Vincent Callebaut Proposes “Wooden Orchids” Green Shopping Center for China

Aerial perspective. Image Courtesy of

Vincent Callebaut Architectures have received honorary mention for their “Wooden Orchids” proposal in the International Union of Architects’ (UIA) Mount Lu Estate of World Architecture Competition. Based in Ruichang, China, the competition tasked participants with designing several cultural and commercial complexes near one of the world’s largest flower theme parks. Wooden Orchids consolidates these functions in a green shopping hub that speaks to the area’s demographic and climatic influences.

Images Released of OMA-Designed Chinese Pavilion at 2015 Venice Art Biennale

Exterior view, installation by Liu Jiakun. Image © Italo Rondinella courtesy of

Completed images of OMA‘s design for the 2015 Venice Art Biennale’s Chinese Pavilion have been released. Juxtaposing artworks “in a field of projections and stages,” the is designed to be an “immersive environment” that brings together work by Tan Dun, Liu Jiakun, Lu Yang, Wu Wenguang / Caochangdi Work Station and Wen Hui / Living Dance Studio under the theme “Other Future.”

An Interview With Zhang Bin, Atelier Z+

Sino-French Centre of Tongji University. Image © Zhang Siye

“It’s really easy to build a building. From the very beginning to the realization; it’s very easy! You just give it an interesting form and you get approved. But the real issues are how to make it user-friendly and to enhance the quality of the life of the people trying to escape the influence of the “system”. That’s the challenge. In my experience […] I’ve learned that for architects, both Chinese and foreign, the use of form to create an object is easy but how to do the right thing is very challenging.”
- Zhang Bin, , Sept 2013

From “Silk Road” to “Gas Road”: Students to Document the Turkmenistan-China Gas Pipeline

© Xiaoxuan Lu

Three Harvard students have launched a Kickstarter Project to fund a short film and digital exhibition on the Turkmenistan-China gas pipeline, which runs along the historic Silk Road. “From ‘Silk Road’ to ‘Gas Road’” will explore the “cultural, ecological and urban implications” of the 21st century intervention, following the summertime journey of Lu Xiaoxuan, Benny Shaffer, and Justin D. Stern along the pipeline. The project is being carried out through Harvard’s Fairbank Center for Chinese studies, and the trio intends to finish filming and photographing for the project this summer.

Learn more about the project and how to support it after the break.

LYCS to Break Ground on Zhejiang Printing Group Headquarters in China

Aerial view. Image Courtesy of LYCS Architecture

LYCS Architecture has won a competition to design urban headquarters for the Zhejiang Printing Group. Dubbed “The Corner of Hangzhou,” their proposal is informed by the surrounding cultural context, and the distinctive highrise creates both a habitable thoroughfare and a landmark for the city.

Sunlay Design Group’s Folklore-Inspired Retail Center Will Soon Rise in China

Courtesy of Sunlay Design Group

Sunlay Design Group‘s latest endeavor is a modern with heavy ties to China’s ancient cultural influences. Inspired by classical dragon mythology and the principles of feng shui, the Tianshan Retail Center will offer the Hebei province a mixed-use shopping experience that fuses contemporary form with traditional methodology. Construction is set to begin this summer.

The World’s Longest (and Scariest) Glass Skywalk Opens in China

YouTube Preview Image

The world’s longest skywalk has been inaugurated in China, jutting off the edge of a 718-meter tall cliff in the Longgang National Geological Park in Chongqing, reports CCTV. Aptly named Yuanduan, which means “at the end of the clouds,” the horseshoe-shaped walkway offers visitors stunning (and a bit terrifying) views of the surrounding mountains and canyon below. Extending for more than 26 meters off the cliff’s edge, the is five meters longer than the Grand Canyon Skywalk. Only 30 tourists will be allowed on the at a time. View a gallery of photos at The Daily Mail.

An Interview with Lu Wenyu, Amateur Architecture Studio

Hangzhou Xiangshan Campus Phase 2. Image © Evan Chakroff

“Every couple of years a new manifesto appears, but how long can it last? We need more people doing instead of talking. [At ] we spend an enormous amount of time experimenting, trying to resurrect the craftsmanship that is almost lost. We use a method that is passed on, hand-to-hand, to re-establish tradition instead of talking about abstract but empty concepts.”
- Lu Wenyu, Hangzhou, 2013

Pier Alessio Rizzardi: “A house instead of a building” is a really famous phrase of Amateur Architecture Studio. What is the meaning behind this concept?

Lu Wenyu: Once, Wang Shu said: “we only make houses, we don’t make architecture.” The house and architecture here have their own meanings. Making a house means making it for the people, making it more tranquil, or closer to nature, more humanized. Instead, architecture is an abstract concept, so many designs nowadays are actually architecture. So this sentence, from almost 20 years ago, “making houses, not architecture”, is about not making that abstract concept, but to make something really concrete and tangible, something that you can touch or that is made with your own hands… so when you see this house, you feel differently.

PWD to Break Ground on Mixed-Use Development in Dali City

Birdseye view of the complex. Image © PWD, +OUT, White Monkeys

China-based firm PWD Architecture will soon break ground on Dali Creative Area, a mixed-use development in Dali City, in Yunnan province. The project took home first place in a 2014 design competition, and takes significant direction from the area’s landscape, employing a minimalist stepped-form that celebrates its setting. The development will include a hotel, restaurants, offices, retail and space. It is slated for completion in 2016.

An Interview With Chen Yifeng, Deshaus

Long Museum West Bund / . Image © Xia Zhi

“We use two aspects to express architecture: Qing [emotion], Jing [pattern]. Jing is the architectural pattern that we apply, to certify the living and working style, to consider what our architecture can bring. Another thing is the relationship between architecture and the site, the city and nature. Ancient Chinese dwellings are usually enclosed by walls, creating an introverted space. This is the second aspect Qing, more related to traditional customs, aesthetics, and our attitude towards the environment and nature. The enclosed space originates from our interpretation of Qing. What we have captured about the ancient spirit of aesthetics is a kind of uncertainty, a kind of blurry and ambiguous feeling.”
- Chen Yifeng, Shanghai, 2013

Open Call: PINGDI 1.1 Alternatives for Low Carbon Architecture

© PINGDI Pilot Zone

In order to effectively guide and improve the development and construction of the low-carbon pilot zone and to strength its international influence, Public Art Center, under the request from the Planning and Construction Management Office of International Low-carbon City and SEZ Construction and Development Co., Ltd., has organized an international competition for the PINGDI Pilot Zone – the urban design for the zone’s one square kilometer and the architectural design for its 0.1 square kilometer. The number in PINGDI 1.1 is the numerical sum of one and 0.1 square kilometers, and also represents the improvement and exploration of the low-carbon development method.

Shanghai Natural History Museum / Perkins+Will

© James and Connor Steinkamp

Architects: Perkins+Will
Location: 510 Bei Jing Xi Lu, Jingan Qu, Shanghai Shi, , 200000
Area: 44517.0 sqm
Year: 2015
Photographs: James and Connor Steinkamp

Santiago Calatrava Commissioned to Design His First Bridge in China

Rendering of Huashan. Image © AECOM

The Hubei United Investment Group (HUIG) has commissioned Santiago Calatrava to design three major highway and pedestrian bridges in the AECOM-masterplanned city of Huashan, 12 miles east of downtown Wuhan. The bridges will be Calatrava’s first project in China. They will span a new man-made canal that bisects Huashan’s urban center and connects two lakes that feed the Yangtze River.

“It gives me great personal satisfaction and represents a grand challenge that I face with great enthusiasm to help develop this ambitious project that enables me to design my first bridges in the Far East,” says Calatrava.

Poggenpohl Shanghai Studio / OFA

© Nacasa & Partners

Architects: OFA
Location: NGS (Wanrong Road), Zhabei, , , 200072
Cost: CNY15,000,000
Area: 2200.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Nacasa & Partners

Liyuan Middle School / Minax Architects

© Su Shengliang

Architects: Minax Architects
Location: , Jiangsu,
Area: 40800.0 sqm
Year: 2015
Photographs: Su Shengliang

OMA Designs Chinese Pavilion for 2015 Venice Art Biennale

© OMA

The Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation has commissioned OMA to design the Chinese at the 56th , just a year after Rem Koolhaas served as director of the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale. The exhibition, “Other Future” will feature the work of composer Tan Dun, architect Liu Jiakun, artist Lu Yang, filmmaker Wu Wenguang / Caochangdi Work Station and choreographer Wen Hui / Living Dance Studio in an “immersive environment where artworks are juxtaposed in a field of projections and stages connecting the interior and exterior works.”

A Look at China’s “Nail Houses”

© Reuters / Image via The Atlantic

China‘s rapid growth has led to some unusual situations; shocking images of so-called “” continue to circle the internet, depicting defiant homeowners refusing to give up their homes for low compensation in the name of “progress.” Standalone homes, and even some graves, are being surrounded by high-rise development and roadways, as land disputes play out in court. The Atlantic has just published a fascinating round-up of these peculiar situations. You can view them all, here.  

The Soundwave / Penda

© Xia Zhi

Architects: Penda
Location: , Hubei, China
Area: 5000.0 sqm
Year: 2015
Photographs: Xia Zhi