Reviving Beijing’s Hutongs with Micro Installations

Above Beijing’s historic hutongs. Image © Ivan Walsh

The Guardian’s Oliver Wainwright documents the current trend of micro-scale installations spurring new life into the historic hutongs of Beijing and gaining support from the local communities, eager to reject the economic pressures of destroying/rebuilding. The local government’s endorsement, however, comes as a surprise – especially considering its fervent impetus to raze these areas just a few years ago. Read the full article here: Designers Use ‘Urban Acupuncture’ to Revive Beijing’s Historic Hutongs.

Tales Pavilion / Luca Nichetto

© Jonathan Leijonhufvud

Architects: Luca Nichetto
Location: Chaoyang, , China
Year: 2013
Photographs: Jonathan Leijonhufvud

Pure Hardcore Icons Manifesto Exhibition

‘Pure Hardcore Icons Manifesto Exhibition’ will be on display from Sept 25 to October 7 as part of this year’s Design Week.

Commemorating the international publication the book ‘Pure Hardcore Icons: A Manifesto on Pure Form on Architecture’ (Published by Artifice Books on Architecture in London, 2013), the exhibition showcases original collages and photomontages, as well as objects, sculptures, paintings and animations by Cruz Garcia and Nathalie Frankowski (WAI Architecture Think Tank).

For more information, please click here.

Title: Pure Hardcore Icons Manifesto Exhibition
Website: http://waiarchitecture.blogspot.com/
Organizers: WAI Think Tank
From: Wed, 25 Sep 2013 
Until: Mon, 07 Oct 2013
Venue: Beijing, Xicheng District, Dashilan, Dawailangying Hutong 8, The Factory
Address: 8 Dawailangying Hutong, Xicheng, Beijing,

Chaoyang Park Project / MAD Architects

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As a continuation to his “Shan-Shui City” concept, which envisions a “city of mountains and water,” Ma Yansong of MAD Architects has proposed an interpretation of ’s ancient natural philosophy in the contemporary city: the Chaoyang Park project. Situated in the world’s second largest city park and surrounded by a typical Chinese business district, the Chaoyang Park project seeks to infuse the “vigorous Shan-Shui culture” with a new urban typology that unites architecture and nature as a single entity.

Mixed Use Tower Winning Proposal / DOS Architects

Courtesy of

Invited to take part in the competition setup by the site’s promoter, GWA (Grow Wealth Assets) in March this year, DOS Architects’ proposal for the Mixed Use development in was just announced as the winner. With the challenge of producing a unique and iconic building, their ‘Cantilevering courtyard tower’ consists of 219,000 sqm of mixed-use space including a hotel, office space, retail and residential units. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Designing in Dialogue: The Architecture of von Gerkan, Marg and Partners Exhibition

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gmp Architekten‘s touring exhibition, ‘Designing in Dialogue: The Architecture of von Gerkan, Marg and Partners‘ is currently being hosted by the Chinese National Museum in until August 25. In this exhibition, gmp will provide an overview of their work: sketches and drawings provide an idea of the conceptual thoughts, models present designs in three dimensions and photos document the completed buildings. The exhibited gmp projects are grouped regionally by continent and in six categories which cover important fundamental, practical and theoretical aspects of gmp’s work. More information after the break. 

Luxury Villa Built on Beijing Rooftop To Be Demolished

Courtesy of .org.cn

As architects, it’s often difficult for us to accept that the users who inhabit our buildings will modify the design in ways we never intended (or wanted). Of course, one can usually reasonably suspect that, at the very least, an inhabitant will never do this: a Professor Zhang has spent the last six years building a two-story luxury villa (complete with surrounding rocks and trees) on the roof of a apartment building. Unfortunately for Zhang, however, who legally bought the penthouse apartment, but never requested the planning permission to subsequently doze it and re-build another structure entirely, the Authorities will demolish the villa in the next 15 days, claiming that it places a dangerous amount of extra weight upon the building and increases “the susceptibility of the construction to earthquakes or lightning strikes.” Story via the Shanghaiist.

Family Box / Crossboundaries Architects

© Chaoying Yang

Architects: Crossboundaries Architects
Location: ,
Architect: Crossboundaries Architects
Collaborating Architects & Engineers: BIAD International Studio & BIAD TSH International Studio
Client: Children Enterprise (UK) Limited
Area: 2,300 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Chaoying Yang

Jean Nouvel Selected to Design National Art Museum of China

Jean Nouvel’s Winning NAMOC Proposal

The rumors are true: Jean Nouvel has been selected as the official winner of the highly acclaimed National Art Museum of (NAMOC) competition in . According to Dezeen, the news has been confirmed by Nouvel’s adviser, Oliver Schmitt. Though little has been released about the winning design, earlier reports have described it as a “vast structure” based on the simplicity of a single line – “a single brush stroke.”

In an interview with Financial Times, Nouvel quoted the Chinese artist Shi Tao (1642-1707): “A single line is the source of everything in existence. [...] We started with calligraphy. [...] Pupils used to spend half a year just on that first line with a brush. That first line contains all of Chinese culture – painting, writing and the energy of Chi.”

National Art Museum of China Entry / Gehry Partners

Courtesy of

Gehry Partners has just released their highly anticipated proposal for the National Art Museum of (NAMOC) in Beijing. Though rumors from last year reported Frank Gehry and Jean Nouvel as the competition’s top contenders, with Nouvel taking the lead, a winner has yet to be confirmed.

Gehry’s design, which is intended to promote cross cultural understanding and appreciation for Chinese contemporary art, aims at setting a new standard for 21st century Chinese architecture. Perhaps the most defining element of the design is the “translucent stone” facade, which is made of a new type of glass developed by Gehry Partners that is said to have the qualities of jade.

More images and the architect’s description after the break…

‘The Cola-Bow’ Installation / penda

Courtesy of

Designed by penda, the cola-bow is a public art made out of more than 17,000 recycled plastic bottles, which were braided to create a shape inspired by the swings of the Coca-Cola logo. Designed for the 2nd Beijing University Creation Expo, which turns into the Beijing Design Week, the aims to also serve as a statement against plastic pollution by taking trash and turning it into a shelter. More images and architects’ description after the break.

‘Shanshui City’ Book Launch and Exhibition / Ma Yansong of MAD Architects

Courtesy of

Displayed earlier this month in a Qing Dynasty courtyard garden at Wu Hao in , Ma Yansong‘s ‘Shanshui City exhibition featured more than twenty architectural models and works of art that are scattered around the ancient courtyard. Among rocks, screen walls, bamboo groves, pools of water and beneath the sky, the scale of each piece varies and collectively they form a futuristic utopian urban landscape. The newly issued book “Shanshui City” – released simultaneously with the exhibition – is an important turning point for Ma Yansong’s ten years of architectural practice and theory. More images and information on the exhibition after the break.

Refurbishment of a Warehouse / TAO – Trace Architecture Office

© SHU He

Architects: TAO – Trace Architecture Office
Location: ,
Architect In Charge: Hua Li
Design Team: Hua Li, Guo Pengyu, Zhu Zhiyuan, Jiang Nan, Li Guofa
Area: 430 sqm
Year: 2009
Photographs: SHU He, Courtesy of TAO Architect’s Office

Elite Group Headquarters / Crossboundaries Architects

© Lucas Zimmermann

Architects: Crossboundaries Architects
Location: , China
Architect:
Client: Elite Education and Communication Group, Beijing
Area: 750 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Lucas Zimmermann

360 HQ office / edg Corporation Ltd.

© David Ho

Architects: edg Corporation Ltd.
Location: Beijing,
Chief Designer: David Ho
Designer: Echo Zhang, Serena Shu, Tian Ren
Area: 36,000 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: David Ho

TAOA Studio / Tao Lei Architecture Studio

Courtesy of

Architects: Tao Lei Architecture Studio
Location: 798 Art Bridge Gallery, Chaoyang, , China, 100015
Architect In Charge: Lei Tao Architecture Studio
Area: 200.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Courtesy of Tao Lei Architecture Studio

Micro-house / Studio Liu Lubin

Courtesy of Studio Liu Lubin

Architects: Studio Liu Lubin
Location: ,
Project Team: Liu Lubin, Wang Lin, Weng Jia, Wang Xiaofeng, Wan Li, Liang YIfan, Zhao Ye
Constructor: Architectural Design & Research Institute of Tsinghua University CO.LTD Nanjing University Of Technology Advanced Engineering Composites Research Center
Photographs: Courtesy of Studio Liu Lubin

W House / Slow Architecture

© Fei Zhiwei

Architects: Slow Architects
Location: , China
Year: 2012
Photographs: Fei Zhiwei