Ground will be broken on Wednesday, May 9, 2012 for Skidmore Owing & Merrill LLP (SOM)’s newest building at Beijing’s China World Trade Center (CWTC) complex. The 58-story Phase 3B Tower features sleek horizontal bands of canted glass that wrap the building’s square floor plates. The 918-feet (280-meters) tall icon will be located immediately northeast of the 74-story, SOM-designed China World Trade Center Tower 3, completed in 2010—which is the tallest building in the Chinese capital. More images and complete press release after the break.
OPEN Architecture recently created a new kind of school system that provides a balanced and joyful learning environment integrated with farms and gardens. Drawing inspiration from the ancient Chinese philosophy which had always centered on the harmony between people and nature, the architects feel it is urgent to bring the ancient philosophy back to the core of our education, and put it in the context of new challenges ahead. If there is one thing that we have to put above all other issues for the 21st century, it is probably the vulnerability of nature, especially in the decades to come, and amidst all the looming environmental crisis. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Leo A Daly, in collaboration with Local Design Institute WDCE, recently won a competition to design Phase 2, Plot B, of the international headquarters campus of China Mobile Ltd. in Beijing. One of the largest mobile telecommunications companies in the world, China Mobile Ltd. selected their design for the research and development office and laboratory buildings, each a five- and nine-story facility, which are organized on an east-west pedestrian axis and mirrored in their massing to establish opposite, formal entries linked to internal courtyards at the ground level. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Architects: Tao Lei Architect Studio – Lei Tao, Bozhou Kang, Mingliang Zhao
Location: Beijing, China
Structure Area: 1,600 sqm
Structure Design: Qinghai Wang
Photographs: Courtesy of Tao Lei Architect Studio
WAI Architecture Think Thank has completed a study for an architecture, urbanism and spatial politics laboratory in the center of Beijing. Conceived as an avant-garde institution for the education of environmental and spatial design, their design creates an educational center based on the principle of open learning and cross-disciplinarity. The building arranges the multiple programs in a sequence of open spaces and sloping floors that together form a continuous loop of learning experiences. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Located in natural surroundings close to the mountain, river, and wetland in the west south suburb of Beijing, Atelier 11’s proposal for the main pavilion of the Expo aims to create an artificial landscape. Rather than a manmade construction, their design echos the park’s site condition and the Expo’s particular theme. Simplistic form, unique spaces, and flexible planning become elements that both facilitate and influence one another in the overall design. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Grey Brick Galleries, Red Brick Galleries, Three Shadows Photographic Centre by Ai Weiwei at Cao Chang Di, Beijing
Beijing urban expansion _
The fast and enormous urban development of Beijing has transformed the city into a metropolis made of suburban residential compounds, abandoned industrial plants, community housing blocks from the 70s-80s and popular self-grown villages. A mix of high rise residential areas, business districts, impressive infrastructures enclosing spontaneous house areas surviving the demolition and renovation dictated by the construction market. The population has grown from 1 to 18 millions in 60 years, and the size of the city has reached 5 times the ancient capital within the walls – the 2nd Ring Road.
The urban expansion, mostly based on imported urban models and low quality constructions, has been exploding in the past 30 years, and it is rooted with political and economical decisions, as well as local culture and history. Briefly, Beijing is a stunning showcase of urban consequences happening in the world’s first growing economy, during an explosive industrial revolution.
Hallway House, a radical residential project designed by NL Architects, has been conceived within the framework of a ‘match making’ program set up by the Dutch Architecture institute (NAi), together with Housing Corporation VANKE. As a Sino-Dutch collaboration in social housing, NL Architects has created a new concept for high-quality affordable housing on a site in Huilongguan, Beijing. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Architect: DADA Architectural Design + Planning
Location: Changping District, Beijing, China
Design Architect: DADA- Principal: Wu Hua; Design Partner: Zhao Zhao
Project Managers: Duan Gong, Li Gang, Project Architect: Jonathan Kan
Parametric Design: Zhou Difeng
Design Team: Jessica Strandell, Yao Cong
Architect of Record: ZJHJ
Budget: 300M CNY ( US$47.6M )
Built Area: 50,000 sqm
Site Area: 28,760 m
Photographs: Courtesy of DADA Architectural Design + Planning
Seeking to improve their outdated and overcrowded department library, the intention for the design of the Law school library aims at housing their growing book collection and creating a central focus for the school. After numerous studies and surveys indicated that students and faculties in Tsinghua hunger for open and easy-communication space, Zhubo based their concept on a people-oriented idea instead of a formalistic one. At the same time, they hoped for an eye-catching library that enlivens the campus, creating a destination that attracts both students and teachers. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) has been selected as winner of an international design competition with its Beijing Bohai Innovation City master plan that illustrates a new model of compact, environmentally enhanced urban design.
The winning proposal centers a new environmentally friendly district along the high-speed rail line, linking the national capital to the port city of Tianjin while leveraging the economic and lifestyle assets of the Beijing-Tianjin corridor. The city expansion will bring 17.6 million square meters of mixed-use development, with a focus on providing a premier headquarters location for advanced industries in the dynamically growing Bohai Rim, a region that already accounts for more than a quarter of China’s GDP.
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The Lost Wall project by YNL Design is not meant to be a physical revival of what’s lost, but rather an ideological intervention through the use of controversial architectural intrusion. It redefines the project site by sharply contrasting with the surrounding environment, an allegory of modern China and its destructive treatment of Beijing’s historic buildings in the past century. The goal is to reinforce the importance of historic preservation by facilitating a cultural discussion. More images and architects’ description after the break.
EASTERN design office + KAWAGUCHI & ENGINEERS shared with us their project, Light Thread, China Agricultural University’s Gymnasium / Wrestling Arena for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. During the Olympic Games, the wrestling arena has a 10,000-person capacity. After the Olympic Games, 4,000 temporary seats can be taken out and the interior can be refitted with three arenas, a pool, and 6000 seats to transform the space into a gymnasium complex. Since this building will come into the possession of the Chinese Agriculture University, they sought to create a condition that allows the special requirements of the Olympic Wrestling Arena and the functional features of a building for the Chinese Agriculture University to both be fulfilled in a single construction. More images and architects’ description after the break.
‘Housing With a Mission’ Project at the Hong Kong and Shenzhen Biennale on Architecture and Urbanism
The project ‘housing with a mission’, featured at the Hong Kong and Shenzhen Biennale on architecture and urbanism, is designed as a co-production by five Chinese and five Dutch architectural offices and aims at building 1000 dwellings for the ‘Ant Tribe’ in Beijing. This is the Chinese name for the generation of millions of young graduates who live in cramped conditions in the outskirts of cities and work in low-paid jobs.
The Chinese offices include Standard Architecture, Urbanus, O-Office, Node and CAFA. The Dutch firms include aronsgelauff, Next, KCAP, NL architects and Barcode. More images and project description after the break.