Ole Scheeren in Beijing, from Nowness

In the latest of NOWNESS‘ spectacular , Ole Scheeren – a former partner at OMA and now principal of Büro Ole Scheeren in Beijing – reflects on the past decade he has spent in China overseeing construction of the CCTV Headquarters. He muses over the delicate balancing act that Western architects maintain when they work in , simultaneously bringing change to the city and allowing the city to change who they are and how they see the world. In this context, where change is “something that you are immediately and instantly confronted with” he believes that the CCTV Building is “both confrontational and complicit”.

Baohua Chinese Painting Research Institute / Wang Deng Yue

© Savoye Architectural Photography

Architects: Wang Deng Yue
Location: Fuyang, , Zhejiang,
Area: 7,180 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Savoye Architectural Photography

“Fangda Business Headquarters” Winning Entry / Huasen Architects

Courtesy of

Huasen Architects (HSA) have been announced winners of the Fangda Headquarters competition. The winning proposal, located in Shenzhen, China, reshapes the existing site into a 300,000 sqm vortex of , office, entertainment and recreation spaces, stemming off a high-tech research and technical development hub. Competition requirements called for the integration of a bus terminal predicated on government officials’ calculations that 55% of users would arrive by bus.

Shanghai West Bund Biennial Pavilions / SHL Architects

Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

Architects: Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
Location: ,
Area: 240 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

SENSO Convention Center / MINAX

© Lu Zhigang

Architects: MINAX
Location: Binhu, , Jiangsu,
Design Team: Lu Zhigang, Li Ruiyin, Li Jun
Area: 1,200 sqm
Year: 2010
Photographs: Lu Zhigang

Steven Holl Wins Competition for Qingdao Culture and Art Center

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Steven Holl Architects has been selected as winner, besting and Zaha Hadid Architects, in an invited competition for the new Culture and Art Center of Qingdao City. Located in the heart of Qingdao’s new extension, which is planned for a population of 700,000, the two million-square-foot winning proposal features a conglomerate of four art museums situated amongst a landscape of reflecting pools and gardens which are all connected by a continuous “Light Loop” that moves visitors throughout the site.

Read on for the architect’s description…

Mountains of Construction Debris Accumulate Outside Chinese Cities

© Aly Song / Reuters

Chinese city-dwellers are waking to find eight stories of construction outside of their homes. Over two billion tons of waste, outside Beijing and other major cities, is a result of a booming construction industry. “There’s no systematic way to deal with [the garbage],” says Wilson W.S. Lu, architecture professor at the University of Hong Kong, “The illegal dumping is everywhere.” Recycling efforts have just begun, but local activists believe it will require a radical paradigm shift in the way Chinese residents reclaim material. Read the full New York Times article, “China’s Mountains of Construction Rubble.

Sky SOHO Leasing Showroom / GAP Architects

© Raymond Lau & Jerry Yin

Architects: GAP Architects
Location: , China
Principal Designer: Raymond Lau
Design Team: Raymond Lau, Yandong Ren, Jiabao Zhao
Area: 350.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Raymond Lau & Jerry Yin

2013 Shenzhen Biennale, UABB (Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism /Architecture)

Courtesy of UABB / Transformation of the Guangdong Float Glass Factory

Now in its 5th edition, the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture (UABB) is the only biennial exhibition in the world to be based exclusively on the themes of urbanism and urbanization and is co-organized by and Hong Kong, making it one of the most important events on its type in the region.

The UABB has developed strong alliances with partners both local, regional and from all over the world. Among them include globally renowned cultural institutions like Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A), MAXXI, OMA, Droog Design, International Architecture Biennale of São Paulo, MIT, MoMA New York, and The Berlage.

The curator for this year is Ole Bouman, and amajor attraction of the 2013 Shenzhen Biennale is the creative and dramatic transformation of an old Shenzhen glass factory into one of the Biennale’s core venues for this year. Spearheaded by Ole Bouman, the UABB’s curator and creative director, the project adhered to his manifesto statement of “Biennale as risk.” The revitalisation effort not only provides a unique and functional exhibition space for the Biennale but it reclaims a piece of heritage and history. As a broader objective, the makeover is also a step in redefining Shenzhen’s identity. In completing the urban intervention, Mr. Bouman now calls it a ‘Value Factory’ to manufacture ideas and knowledge.

More after the break.

Placid Mogan Cottage / genarchitects

© Hou Bowen

Architects: genarchitects
Location: , Zhejiang,
Architect In Charge: Kong Rui, Fan Beilei
Interior Designer: Jia Shaojie
Landscape Architect: Wang Xuanpeng
Area: 1055.0 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Hou Bowen

Camper Showroom / Neri&Hu Design and Research Office

© Dirk Weiblen

Architects: Neri&Hu Design and Research Office
Location: Shanghai,
Architect In Charge: Lyndon Neri & Rossana Hu
Associates: Alex Mok, Peter Eland
Area: 300 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Dirk Weiblen

SOHO China’s Zhang Xin on Balancing Design and Commercial Viability

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The list of architects that have collaborated with Zhang Xin’s development company, SOHO China, reads like the roster of an architectural dream team (which includes Zaha Hadid, Yung Ho Chang, Bjarke Ingels, Kengo Kuma, Kazuyo Sejima, Herzog & de Meuron, Thom Mayne, David Adjaye, Toyo Ito and others). So it’s no surprise that the self-made billionaire lectured to a packed house at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design last Thursday. Xin spoke about her commitment to and love of design, explaining that her company’s mission is to bring a variety of architectural languages to China. And though SOHO’s projects are certainly experimental, Xin contends that her developer mindset actually helps meliorate the architect’s propensity to take the experiment too far—all without sacrificing the impressive and iconic forms of SOHO’s building portfolio.

Watch Zhang Xin link her practice in to larger global issues and catch a glimpse of two Zaha Hadid-designs currently under construction: Wangjing SOHO and Sky SOHO.

Aix Arôme Café / One Plus Partnership Limited

Courtesy of One Plus Partnership Limited

Architects: One Plus Partnership Limited
Location: ,
Designers Involved: Ajax Law Ling Kit, Virginia Lung
Area: 150 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Ajax Law Ling Kit, Virginia Lung, Jonathan Leijonhufvud

HENN Wins Competition to Build Cenke Tower in Taiyuan

© Visualisation HENN

Berlin-based Henn Architekten has been chosen as the winner of the architectural competition to design the 280-meter Cenke Tower in . Located on a north-south axis, the mixed-use tower will include office, hotel, and retail space.

Arthouse / Joey Ho Design

© Yong Chang Wu

Architects: Joey Ho Design
Location: , Zhejiang,
Other Designer: Yuki Leung, Momoko Lai
Area: 771 sqm
Year: 2010
Photographs: Yong Chang Wu

Tsao & McKown: Developing a New Kind of Chinese City

Xiqu Urban Development, by Tsao & Mckown. Chengdu, Sichuan Province, , 2010. Image Courtesy of Behance

China’s rapid urbanisation has meant not only the speedy growth of cities but also the disappearance of traditional Chinese architecture. Calvin Tsao and Zack McKown (of Tsao & McKown) find this particularly troubling and so developing a new kind of Chinese city. These pedestrian friendly live-work communities would exist in stark contrast to the high-rise cities that dot the contemporary Chinese landscape. But it hasn’t all been easy. Read the full Wall Street Journal article here: “Calvin Tsao and Zack McKown Bring New Eco-Friendly Designs to China.”

In Progress: The Qingdaobei Station / AREP Architect + MaP3 Structural Engineering

Courtesy of MaP3

Architects: AREP Architect , MaP3 Structural Engineering
Location: Licang, Qingdao, Shandong,
Structural Analysis And Inspection: SSDI
Construction Documents: BIAD
General Contractor: CSCEC
Photographs: Courtesy of MaP3

Bubble Building / 3GATTI Architecture Studio

Skyline View. Image Courtesy of 3GATTI

The Bubble Building, a “renovation of a common, old and unattractive building” in the centre of , is a simple design containing complex environmental qualities. Unlike a conventional retrofit or renovation, 3GATTI‘s proposal places inflatables made of white antibacterial technical outdoor nylon, in front of the windows on the existing building. Their concept was to “create an icon-building, a kind of landmark very easy to recognize, a kind of sculpture with a strong character able to detach itself from the boring cityscape” with the ultimate aim to attract customers to rent both the and commercial spaces.