In cities around the globe, change happens almost instantly. Buildings rise, buildings disappear, and skylines morph before one’s eyes. There is no better example of this, of course, than China. From Ordos to Shanghai, Chinese cities are in a constant state of flux, as the Chinese people willfully abandon signs of the past and embrace the new.
Of course, it’s one thing to know this fact; it’s quite another to witness it firsthand, to experience this urgent impetus to demolish and demolish in order to build, build, build, and build. In the face of such large-scale, exponential urban development, it’s easy to feel powerless to suggest another path.
However, in publishing Anatomy of a Chinese City, that is exactly what two young architects have done. By taking the time to observe the “urban artifacts” that make a Chinese city unique, compiling over 100 drawings of everything from buildings to bicycles, Thomas Batzenschlager and Clémence Pybaro have preserved a piece of Chinese history that is quickly going extinct.
In a world where, in the race for progress, quotidian realities are erased unthinkingly, Anatomy of a Chinese City is not just a resource, but a call-to-action, reminding us to slow down and observe the very human context that surrounds us.
Read more about Anatomy of a Chinese City, after the break…
Science and technology evolve at an astounding rate. They are in constant motion and change, with such fierce speed that both surprises and excites. The non-stop evolution is boundless, and it gets faster and more dynamic every day.
Companies, industries, laboratories and research centers devote energy and make investments to discover new ways to enhance and consolidate a variety of products in general. The spaces that showcase scientific and technological progress have become hubs of social interest, where magic and fantasy of the near yet unknown future attract like a magnet that boasts an amazing array of features.
In mankind and nature, science and technology have uncovered a universe of solutions and answers that not only shapes a better future but also brings all the bits and pieces together. Nature serves as the middleman between mankind and science; there lie its strength and bright future. The virtual world has taken on paramount importance and plays the leading role in today’s stage.
Location: Beijing, China
Project Director: Jan Felix Clostermann, Stephen Pimbley
Design Team: Jacky Chen, Yuhua Chen, Yuen Yuen Chen, Jan Felix Clostermann, Shu Fan, Jiarkai Guo, Vivian Huang, Akin Jabar, Yun Wu Jian, RenJie Li, Wenhui Lim, Minghao Liu, Oren Rabinowitz, Christian Taeubert, Wao Tao Wang, Chengming Xu, Wenzhen Yee, Hua Zhang
Area: 157,807 sqm
Photographs: FG + SG
Beijing Agriculture University Library Winning Proposal / Tongji Architectural Design and Research Institute
The competition winning proposal for the Beijing Agriculture University Library is a successful addition to the existing campus. Designed by Tongji Architectural Design and Research Institute, their design takes care of all the functions while providing a comfortable environment for students to study and research. With a construction area of about 49,000m2, the library includes a self-study area, a restaurant, an auditorium, several offices and some meeting rooms. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Architects: LOT-EK Architecture & Design
Location: Beijing, China
Architect In Charge: Ada Tolla, Giuseppe Lignano
Design Team: Keisuke Nibe, Koki Hashimoto, Judith Tse
Client: Guo Feng Development
Consultants: Beijing Architectural & Engineering Design Company
Area: 24,000 sqm
Photographs: Shu He, Courtesy of LOT-EK Architecture & Design
The WUHAO Curated Shop is a modern approximation of a classical Chinese garden, located in one of Beijing’s richest historical districts. Having shown at Beijing Design Week and the Milan Furniture Fair, WUHAO offers a contemporary vision of the classical Chinese garden while also nurturing the work of emerging Chinese designers and international talents. Founder and curator Isabelle Pascal shares her first encounter with the ancient courtyard and explains how the experience inspired the collections she curates today.
It’s only been a few weeks since she turned 62 but it’s already shaping up to be Zaha Hadid’s year. Yesterday, she was announced winner of the Japan National Stadium Competition earlier this week, her latest US project, the Eli & Edythe Broad Museum opened; and the beginning of the month saw much fanfare and frenzy surrounding her extraordinary work in Beijing: Galaxy Soho .
Check out all the latest images of Zaha Hadid’s Galaxy Soho, after the break…
Architects: Zaha Hadid Architects
Location: Soho, Beijing, China
Architects In Charge: Zaha Hadid & Patrik Schumacher
Project Director: Satoshi Ohashi
Associate: Cristiano Ceccato
Project Architect: Yoshi Uchiyama
Project Team: Stephan Wurster, Michael Hill, Samer Chamoun, Eugene Leung, Rita Lee, Lillie Liu, Rolando Rodriguez-Leal, Wen Tao, Tom Wuenschmann, Seung-ho Yeo, Shuojiong Zhang, Michael Grau, Shu Hashimoto, Shao-Wei Huang, Chikara Inamura, Lydia Kim, Yasuko Kobayashi, Wang Lin, Yereem Park
Local Design Institute: BIAD Beijing Institute of Architecture & Design
Area: 332857.0 sqm
Photographs: Iwan Baan, Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects
Constructed for Beijing Design Week 2012, the ‘Ban’ pavilion draws inspiration from floral petals in the way the shape of the flower is created by its bent petals. Designed by Orproject, Ban is constructed from bent polymer sheets which form a self-supporting structure and create shapes and volume from a multitude of leaves. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Designed by MAD Architects for the 2011 international competition for a new national museum in Beijing, their proposal aims at being a city-sized museum where the public space is the greatest good. Situated on the central axis of the 2008 Olympic site, and part of a six mega volume masterplan, the main question became how to design something iconic on an unrealistic and inhuman city scale. Their response became a hybrid between an elevated public square and a floating mega building above. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Rumors are flying that Pritzker Prize winning architect Jean Nouvel has been selected to design the new National Art Museum of China (NAMOC) in Beijing. Although the official announcement isn’t due until November, Architectural Record has claimed that multiple, unidentified sources confirmed the news. If the reports are true, the French architect will have beat out fellow Pritzker Prize-winning architects Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid for the highly coveted commission.
In a post-2008 Olympics attempt to attract more visitors to the area, the massive, 1.3 million square foot structure will be built next to the Herzog & de Meuron-designed Bird’s Nest. It will be one of three buildings planned for the area – the others being a museum dedicated to arts and crafts and a Sinology museum.
Continue after the break to learn what may have given Nouvel the edge.