Articles on China’s building boom often highlight the property bubble, megalomaniac planners, governmental corruption and private graft, substandard building practices and the destruction of the nation’s cultural heritage.
In Mark #51, we interviewed four Chinese architects on four aspects of China’s building practices to reveal the mechanisms at the foundation of this unedifying image. Li Hu offers his thoughts on architecture, Liu Yuyang on urban planning, Li Xiaodong on aesthetics and Liu Jiakun on construction processes. What can we learn from their experience?
http://www.archdaily.com/542854/mark-magazine-51AD Editorial Team
The influx of students in Aarhus, Denmark is causing the city to rapidly expand. In response to the growing need for affordable housing close to the local university, 3XN teamed up with developer Jens Richard Pedersen to design a residential high-rise near the institution. The future tower has been dubbed La Tour as an ode to the building that currently occupies the site, Hotel La Tour.
Newly released renders and model photographs depict the tower as a sweeping semi-circular form that rises in steps. The gradual elevation of the building will start at the street, defining the transition from the surrounding small-scale buildings to the urban high-rise typology. For more information and images, read on after the break.
The architecture, design, and construction professions are seen, by ourselves and by those outside the professions, as visual and tectonic fields. Architects and designers are trained as visual artists, using two- and three-dimensional means to depict buildings, spaces, and urban environments. We learn how to sketch; to build physical and digital models; and to draw plans, elevations, sections, and details. Similarly, contractors and construction managers are trained in scheduling, cost estimating, and the physical requirements of constructing buildings. These are valuable skills for us design and construction professionals at all stages in our careers. But for most of us, there comes a time when we need to write stuff, when written documents dominate our professional lives. Letters, proposals, reports, specifications, contracts, RFIs and RFI responses, meeting minutes, emails, and white papers are just some of the types of documents that we spend much of our time writing.
Unfortunately, we receive little training in our writing skills. True, our elementary school education may have given us the basics of English grammar and composition. In college, most of us had to fulfill liberal arts requirements that involved writing. But when we entered the profession, we were unprepared to deal with how much we would have to write, and how important it would be to our professional lives.
In Borders: A Very Short Introduction, Hagan Diener writes, "…every border has a story. Every line on a map, every maker in the landscape, was derived from some complex negation of power and culture." It is this potency of meaning that makes the physical and conceptual border such a fascinating site. The 2013-2014 ACSA administered and AISC sponsored Steel Design Student Competition challenged students to design a border crossing station addressing the complex factors of cross-border relationships, using structural steel as the primary material. Learn more about the competition and the winning projects after the break.
The planning phase for the new National Arts Museum in Norway is coming to a close and the images of the winning design by architects Kleihues + Schuwerk Gesellschaft von Architekten have been released. With its modernization and expansion, the museum aims to enhance the fields of art and design in Norway and serve as a cultural hub for locals and tourists alike. Learn more about the project and see the proposed design after the break.
The number of women becoming architects in the UK is increasing, according to the latest figures by the UK’s Architects Registration Board (ARB). Now, 7,538 female architects are registered with the ARB, up nearly 74% from just 10 years ago, the Architects’ Journal (AJ) reports. Yet despite the overall increase, women still only make up 22% of the profession, and represented just 38% of the new registrants in 2013.
Read on after the break for comments from female architects…
The Scandinavian countries have developed great buildings that resonate with both the scarce light in winter and the long summer days. Henry Plummer, Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has very carefully studied the various daylight phenomena in the Nordic countries, with extensive photo journeys and brilliant writing that combines an analytical perspective with a poetic touch. His view of daylight looks beyond the practical advantages of using reflective white spaces to facilitate bright rooms; the passionate photographer is much more interested in the light effects that play with the local beauty of nature and touch the human soul.
Read on for more about how Nordic light enters white spaces