OMA Wins Skyscraper Competition in China

Essence Financial Building ©

OMA has won the design competition for the Essence Financial Building in , China. Led by OMA Partners David Gianotten and Rem Koolhaas, the design beat out four other entries by international and Chinese practices.

The skyscraper will be OMA’s second in Shenzhen (the first being the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, which will be completed in April this year). By challenging many typical office tower conventions (such as a central core plan and curtain wall systems), OMA hopes their buildings will help lead the way for a “new generation” of office towers in the city.

As David Gianotten commented in the Press Release: ”OMA is very excited about its continuous and deepening participation in Shenzhen’s development, especially as the city makes its latest evolution: from a manufacturing city into a services hub. This next generation of urbanism calls for a new generation of office towers of which the Essence Financial Building could be one.”

More on the Essence Financial Building, after the break… 

Headquarters Building for Small and Medium Enterprises Second Prize Winning Proposal / FCHA

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With ’s Bao’an District an emerging incubator for entrepreneurs and rapidly growing new businesses, FCHA’s second prize winning proposal for the Headquarters Building for Small and Medium Enterprises seeks to establish an inclusive hub for start-up enterprises. This building hopes to maximize the exchange of resources and ideas with the aim of sparking new innovation and collaboration. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Thaihot City Plaza Mall / Spark Architects

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Aiming to become a unique destination full of surprise and discovery, the design proposal for the Thaihot City Plaza Mall has a multi-faceted façade that has different functions, in plan and elevation. Designed by Spark Architects, this facade moderates the edges of the building in plan to increase sight lines into the pedestrian street drawing people in, unlike linear streets that fail to hold and capture the pedestrians’ interest. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Nanjing Road Mixed Use Area Proposal / RTA-Office

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With the aim to create a new and contemporary urban space. the Nanjing Road Mixed Use Area proposal by RTA-Office distributes the volumes on the parcel in order to get an open public space and an intimate one simultaneously. The many passages throughout the 200,000 square-meter project offers walk paths for residents and visitors as it occupies an entire block of the city of . More images and architects’ description after the break.

Zhengzhou Airport District Urban Planning EXhibition Centre Proposal / AUA

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Constituting the northern portion of the planned ‘Future Square’ in the rapidly developing Airport District of Zhengzhou, , Atelier of Urban Architecture (AUA)‘s design is an iconic addition to the area. The proposed urban planning exhibition centre and associated landscape consists of various programs that are organized on the folding floor slabs, bringing visitors around the centre piece of the exhibition – the physical model, which itself is positioned within a sunken space on ground level. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Kengo Kuma Designs New Museum at China Academy of Art in Xiangshan

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To further the promotion of art education, the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and Academy of Art in Xiangshan have announced plans to construct a new university within the hilly suburbs of Hangzhou by the Spring of 2014. Designed by Kengo Kuma & Associates, the Museum at the China Academy of Art will harmonize with the lush topography and resist modifying any existing slopes to accommodate the 4,936 square meter facility. Instead, the museum’s configuration will mimic the lozenge shaped pattern that was discovered within the contour lines, generating a fluid exhibition space with linear and altering floor levels buffered by partially external galleries.

In addition, Kengo Kuma is investigating the possibility of reusing clay tiles and stones from Hangzhou’s old house district so the body of the museum may appear as if the “soil of the tea gardens” were “transformed into architecture”.

More images after the break.

5th Urbanism\Architecture Bi-City Biennale*Shenzhen Appoints Curatorial Teams

Courtesy of Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture Organizer Committee

The Organizing Committee of Shenzhen Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture today officially announced the Chief Curatorship selection for the 5th Urbanism\Architecture Bi-City Biennale*Shenzhen. This biennale will be delivered by two curatorial teams, consisting of Team Ole Bouman and Team Li Xiangning + Jeffrey Johnson. Ole Bouman will act as Creative Director. He will collaborate with Stylepark on Urban Labs. Meanwhile, Li Xiangning + Jeffrey Johnson will be the Academic Directors. The 5th edition of UABB*Shenzhen will open in Shekou, Shenzhen at the end of 2013. More information after the break.

Huaihua Theater and Exhibition Center Proposal / United Design Group

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With the site of the proposed project characterized by a 7m height difference between the south west corner and the north east one and the fastest way to access to it is from the roads west and north of it, the Theater and Exhibition Center will be managed by three different subjects adding further difficulties in organizing the layout. Designed by United Design Group, the 60,000 m² complex is equally subdivided between the theater/cinema part (30,000 m²) and exhibitions: 12,000 m² for the museum; 10,000 m² for the urban planning hall; 3000 m² for the fine arts museum and 1000 m² for the local history exhibition. An extra 6000 m² will host the art training center. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China / Bianca Bosker

Courtesy of University of Hawaii Press

A 108-meter high Eiffel Tower rises above Champs Elysées Square in . A Chengdu residential complex for 200,000 recreates Dorchester, England. An ersatz Queen’s Guard patrols ’s Thames Town, where pubs and statues of Winston Churchill abound. Gleaming replicas of the White House dot Chinese cities from Fuyang to Shenzhen. These examples are but a sampling of China’s most popular and startling architectural movement: the construction of monumental themed communities that replicate towns and cities in the West.

Galaxay Mall / tvsdesign

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Architects: tvsdesign
Location: , China
Area: 213,324 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of tvsdesign

Beijing Agriculture University Library Winning Proposal / Tongji Architectural Design and Research Institute

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The competition winning proposal for the Agriculture University Library is a successful addition to the existing campus. Designed by Tongji Architectural Design and Research Institute, their design takes care of all the functions while providing a comfortable environment for students to study and research. With a construction area of about 49,000m2, the library includes a self-study area, a restaurant, an auditorium, several offices and some meeting rooms. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Shanghai Cultural Center Competition Entry / BKK Architects + Brearley Architects & Urbanists

Courtesy of BKK Architects +

Designed by BKK Architects, in collaboration with Brearley Architects & Urbanists, Normal University’s new Cultural Center aims to create an intensive and richly mixed-use building by applying the lessons of the city and drawing upon the cloister typology. Arranged around an activated central courtyard, the project will provide a new focus for campus life, accommodating a broad range of cultural, retail, hospitality, and leisure activities. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Pavilion 4 / HMA Architects & Designers

© Lvfeng photography Studio

Architects: HMA Architects & Designers
Location: ,
Collaborators: Tongji Architectural Design (Group)
Area: 10,200 sqm
Year: 2010
Photographs: Lvfeng photography Studio, Gengtao, Li Xuefeng

Kunshan Middle School Proposal / United Design Group

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Through United Design Group’s investigation of their context and analysis of the program, they identified, organized and prioritized the four functions inside the school with this “sequence”: public area, education area, living area, and sport facilities, in order to optimize the circulation and the time of students, teachers and guests. The main goal was the integration of the system with the landscape. To do so, they took into account as a valuable reference the Suzhou Gardens Style, in which the water plays a significant role, trying to interpret it in a modern way. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Bamboo Courtyard Teahouse / Harmony World Consulting & Design

© T+E

Architects: Harmony World Consulting & Design
Location: , Yangzhou,
Architect In Charge: Sun Wei
Design Team: Shi Jun, Peter Dykes, Zhang QianQian
Area: 400 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: T+E

Jinan Contemporary Art Museum Proposal / United Design Group

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Designed by United Design Group (UDG ), their proposal for the Contemporary Art Museum faces the main artery crossing the city of Jinan east to west. With the ambition to become the landmark of this urban sector, the first step of the process was to establish a relationship with the existing buildings; the main idea was to complete the sequence of boxes, maintaining the symmetry of the system. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Forte Nanshan / SPARK

© FG+SG

Architects: SPARK
Location: Chongqing,
Project Director: Jan Felix Clostermann
Team: Eldine Heep, Leonardo Micolta, Javen Ho
Area: 5,420 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Jonathan Leijonhufvud, FG+SG, Fernando Guerra – Sergio Guerra

Shanghai Wuzhou International Plaza Winning Proposal / Synthesis Design + Architecture Inc. & Shenzhen General Institute of Architectural Design and Research

Courtesy of & General Institute of Architectural Design and Research

Synthesis Design + Architecture Inc. and Shenzhen General Institute of Architectural Design and Research Co. Ltd have been awarded first place in the invited international design competition for the Shanghai Wuzhou International Plaza. Their scheme, entitled “Urban Canyon”, embodies the energy and vibrancy of the cities distinct urban environment. Inspired by traditional Chinese concepts of Yin and Yang, the project is organized as two nested rock-like volumes which have been broken apart to reveal a flowing canyon condition which connects the project to the urban fabric of the city. More images and architects’ description after the break.