The culmination of an international competition for Kinmen County has resulted in five winning and honorable mention schemes that promise to use architecture as a means of elevating the county’s national identify as a maritime gateway. Responding to the need for expansion and the desire to establish the port as a tourism and recreation destination, the Kinmen Harbor Bureau challenged architects to a two-stage competition for an energy-smart, low-carbon, and possibly expandable port that could host a variety of passenger services.
Preview the winning results, after the break…
Repurposing antiquated buildings is on the rise in China, and this proposal by Tianhua Architecture Design Company serves as a prime example. Planned for a site in the Hexi district of Tianjin, the Shanghai-based practice will soon transform a 1917 textile mill into a contemporary art gallery and private museum.
The architects, who have adapted their design to emphasize the gridded layout and high ceilings of the existing structure, plan to insert a garden courtyard deep into the building’s core. This will not only counterpoint the structure’s industrialized aesthetic, but will provide natural light deep into the interior while preserving the exiting cruciform layout.
schmidt hammer lassen architects has unveiled a new cultural hub for Ningbo’s Labour Union. Planned to serve both the city and the union’s nearly three million members, the “Home of Staff” will unite two stepped complexes of support, health, education, culture and leisure facilities with a half a kilometer long central park.
Twenty years ago, one of the world’s most unusual and unexpected pieces of architecture was razed to the ground: Hong Kong’s Kowloon Walled City, the most densely populated area on earth. Squalid, dark, and labyrinthine, the informal city was not only a hotbed for organized crime, but also a vibrant community of commerce and hope. Now, the Wall Street Journal has released this short documentary, bringing the city back to life and revealing why it holds a special place in world culture today.
Construction has commenced on MAD’s Chaoyang Park Plaza within one of Beijing’s largest public parks and central business district. A continuation of Ma Yansong’s “Shan-Shui City” concept, which aims reintroduce nature into the urban realm, the mixed-use complex reinterprets natural formations illustrated in traditional Chinese paintings as contemporary “city landscapes.”
“Like the tall mountain cliffs and river landscapes of China, a pair of asymmetrical towers creates a dramatic skyline in front of the park,” described MAD. “Ridges and valleys define the shape of the exterior glass facade, as if the natural forces of erosion wore down the tower into a few thin lines.”
The fertile Anqiu region of China’s Shangdong Province is known locally as the land of “cultivation, stone hills, and creeks.” Thus, Little Diversified Architectural Consulting’s (LITTLE) design for Anqiu’s new cultural campus and fitness center is based upon these very elements.
The campus will host five buildings raised on a plinth: a multi-functional citizen’s center, a 10,000 square meter performing arts building, a central public library, and two museums devoted to Anqiu’s history and urban development. Each of these buildings will be clad in a thin veneer of local stone, transforming them into rocky outcrops that reference the local hills.
Winsun New Materials, a construction firm based in Suzhou, China, has successfully built ten small-scale houses using a massive 3-D printer. The 22 foot tall machine uses glass fibers and cement to produce building elements, such as walls, in successive layers. Winsun estimates that their printing process is approximately half as costly as traditional construction methods. Acknowledging China’s strict environmental policies, the company also has plans to use scrapped construction materials to print future buildings. You can read more about this ongoing project in this article from the Wall Street Journal.
As reported by Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper, a group of Chinese investors has revealed plans for a new city in Kenya that will “match the splendour of Dubai“. Though the investors are still resolving details with the Kenyan government, the city is planned for an area in Athi River, around 30km south-east of Nairobi, and is billed as a Chinese-controlled economic zone. At this early stage, the plans feature at least 20 skyscrapers. You can find more details of the proposal here.