GRAFT + penda to Break Ground on Myrtle Garden Hotel

© GRAFT +

GRAFT Architects and penda are preparing to break ground on Myrtle Garden Hotel in the outskirts of Xiangyang, China. Nestled on a hillside site within the largest Myrtle Flower Garden in Asia, the wooden annular structure is designed to provide a “soothing harmony between the architecture and its natural environment.” 

Shanghai Community Cubes / INCLUDED

© Marco Jacobs

Architects: INCLUDED
Location: Gucun Road, Chongming, ,
Architect In Charge: Matt Mueller
Area: 150.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Marco Jacobs, Jennifer Ha

In Progress: Tianjin Riverside 66 / KPF

Courtesy of Kohn Pedersen Fox ()

Architects: KPF
Location: , China
Design Principal: James von Klemperer, FAIA
Director/Senior Designer: Jeffrey A. Kenoff, AIA
Kpf Project Team And Contributors: Jeffrey A. Kenoff, Audrey Choi, Edwin Lau, Peter Gross, Ciara Seymour, Gary Stluka, Benjamin Albury, Bernard Chang, Hanna Chang, Saera Park, Shang Chen, Sarah Smith, James Kehl, Sandra Choy, Thomas Coldefy, Javier Galindo, Onur Gun, Heejin Kim, Yoojung Kim, Ming Leung, Luis Llull, Manon Pare, Charles Portelli, Samuel Schmitz, James Siow, Kristin Speth, Donald Springer, Kyle Steinfeld, Scott Wilson, James von Klemperer, Paul Katz
Area: 152,800 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF)

The Indicator: The Slum Exotic and the Persistence of Hong Kong’s Walled City

© Greg Girard and Ian Lambot

Whenever I see sensational exposes on the supposedly sublime spatial intensity of Hong Kong’s Kowloon Walled City (demolished in 1994), they strike me as nothing more than colonial fantasies that have little to do with the reality of living in the midst of one of the world’s cruelest slums. You see the Walled City pop up constantly like it’s still a valid or even interesting subject. This informal settlement has been diagramed, photographed, and written about for decades from an aesthetic point of view, rendering its victimized and oppressed inhabitants all but invisible. Not to say that this wasn’t home to a lot of people and that no “fond memories” were formed there, but still, like all slums, it was a tough place to live, fraught with contradictions in the haze of hope for a better life.

Niyang River Visitor Center / Standardarchitecture + Zhaoyang Architects

© Chen Su

Architects: Zhaoyang Architects, Standardarchitecture
Location: , Xizang (Tibet),
Area: 430.0 sqm
Year: 2009
Photographs: Chen Su

UA Studio 7 and Aedas’ Central Business District for Hongqiao Airport Now Underway

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Urban Architecture (UA Studio 7) and Aedas‘ winning proposal for the Hongqiao Central Business District has broke ground at Shanghai’s domestic Hongqiao Airport, mainland China’s fourth busiest airport. The 18.4 hectare office and retail center, masterplanned by UA, has been divided into two parts: UA Studio 7 will design the office district, “a flower with eight leaves,” while Aedas designs the shopping, hotel, and conference center along a “bow curve” of pedestrian flow.

According to UA, the winning scheme’s success was “due to a highly energy-efficient architecture proposal combined with an urban plan that allows for pedestrian-friendly spaces.”

Shenzhen Deli / Linehouse

© Benoit Florencon

Architects:
Location: Futian, , Guangdong, China
Area: 145 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Benoit Florencon

Dingli Sculpture Art Museum / ATR Atelier

© Lu Hengzhong

Architects: ATR Atelier
Location: , Fujian,
Architect In Charge: Wang Yan
Design Team: Gao Guangye, Zhang Xu
Area: 3,900 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Lu Hengzhong

Latitude Studio Designs “Future Mall” Exhibition Space in Beijing

Entrance Facade (night). Image Courtesy of

Latitude Studio, based in Barcelona and , have unveiled designs for a showroom exhibition centre in China’s capital city. Integral to the design is how visitors circulate and interact with the spaces centred around the “future shopping mall”. Including an auditorium, model spaces and views onto an area which is expected to see enormous retail development, the building’s central atrium and “thematic sightseeing walk” offer a unique journey for the visitor.

Value Farm / Thomas Chung

© Value Farm

Architects: Thomas Chung
Location: Shekou, Nanshan, , Guangdong, China
Design Team: Gary Law, Bill So, Sam Wong
Area: 8120.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Value Farm

Zhengzhou Vanke City Gallery / Locus Associates

© Béton Brut

Landscape Architects: Locus Associates
Location: , Henan, China
Design Team: Brandon Huang, Jerome Lee, Kenny Fung, Ray Wan
Facade Architect: Shenzhen Upright&Pure Architectural Design Co. Ltd
Local Architect: Chongqing Xinzhongjian Architectural Design Consultants
Area: 18000.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Béton Brut

Farrells Selected to Masterplan Two Sites in Shenzhen’s Qianhai Financial District

©

Farrells has been announced as winner of an international competition to masterplan two prominent commercial zones in ’s Qianhai financial district. Adjacent to the district’s Qianhaiwan metro station, the two districts are expected to boost cross-border trade between and Hong Kong. The first, 460,000-square-meter masterplan will feature a 320-meter-tall skyscraper and two 185-meter gateway towers, providing high-end office, residential and retail space, as well as serviced apartments.

VIDEO: Watch Two Men Scale the World’s 2nd Tallest Tower

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“We prepared carefully and picked an appropriate date, the Chinese New Year day. At that time the security was less watchful, workers were on vacations, and cranes did not work. We got to the crane at around midnight. [...] The result you can see in our new video.”

Those are the rather unassuming words of Vitaliy Raskalov, a Ukrainian “roof-hacker, urban-explorer, blogger” who has just pulled off an extraordinary, jaw-dropping stunt (way more incredible than his humble words would suggest).

Raskalov and Russian photographer Vadim Mahora broke into and climbed the Gensler-designed Shanghai Tower, soon to be China’s tallest and the world’s second tallest skyscraper at 632 meters (2,074 feet) high. Although the tower will eventually boast the world’s fastest elevators (reaching 40mph), the pair had to climb the 120 flights of stairs by foot (taking them about two hours); they then spent another 18 hours sleeping and waiting for the weather to clear. The staggering resulting images show not just the dizzying heights, but also fantastic views of the adjacent Jin Mao Tower and Shanghai World Financial Center (together, the trio of buildings that are re-defining the skyline).

Check out the incredible images, after the break.

Guodian New Energy Technology Research Institute Beijing / BIAD 3A2 Studio

© Yang Chaoying

Architects:
Location: Changping, , China
Design Team: Ye Yiqian, Liu Weigang, Xue Jun, Duan Wei, Cong Zhen, Huo Jianjun, Wang Yazhao, Xu Xiaoying
Area: 240,000 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Yang Chaoying

AD Interviews: David Gianotten / OMA

During the Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture, we had the opportunity to speak with David Gianotten, partner-in-charge of OMA’s Hong Kong office. Gianotten launched the Dutch firm’s Asian headquarters in 2009, where he supervises major projects such as the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and the Taipei Performing Arts Centre.

Standing outside of the recently completed Stock Exchange headquarters, he answered our questions about urbanization, innovation and the intricacies of running an office in an environment with such rapid urban growth. Shenzhen has proven an experiment of economic openness and is a vivid example of China’s recent growth. The city’s skyline is practically a physical graph of an upward-trending economy, with buildings designed by nearly every internationally renowned architecture firm. But ’s Shenzhen Stock Exchange building stands apart from the rest not only because of its impeccable construction (a rarity in the fast-paced building booms of Chinese ), but also because it houses the institution that lists China’s biggest companies.

The 254 meter tower is an elegant structure that combines pure volumes with an exoskeleton grid clad in translucent glass. It represents a characteristic OMA-approach to innovative architectural solutions, made possible by extensive programmatic and technical research.

Read the full interview (which includes Gianotten’s insights on the study of architecture, the role of architects, and the importance of simplicity when communicating complex innovation) after the break.

Finnish/Chinese Architects Explore Copying and Collaboration at the Shenzhen Biennale

© Tuomo Tammenpää

As part of the Shenzhen Architecture Biennale, Finnish practice Lassila Hirvilammi Architects entered into a collaboration with Chinese architect Gigi Leung to explore the themes of copying, authenticity and knowledge transfer between cultures. Working with master craftsmen, they created two versions of the same space (each influenced by their respective cultures), intentionally blurring the line between copying and taking inspiration.

Read on for more on this lesson in sharing differing architectural understandings

New Opera in Jinan / Paul Andreu Architecte

© Philippe Ruault

Architects: Paul Andreu Architecte
Location: Jinan, Shandong, China
Design Team: Katharina Kriener, Stephanie Boufflet, Pengzi Zhang, Riccardo Vanigli, Olivia Faury, Antoine Barbeyer, Yanfang Niu, Kasia Dudzik, Hailin Zhai, Chen Wei, Wei Dong, Guo Kun
Year: 2013
Photographs: Philippe Ruault

Wulumuqi Road Apartment / SKEW Collaborative

Courtesy of

Architects: SKEW Collaborative
Location: Shanghai,
Architect In Charge: Eunice Seng, H. Koon Wee, Darren Zhou
Design Team: Zhao Wenju, Sam Cheng
Area: 110 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Courtesy of SKEW Collaborative