Emperor Qianmen Hotel / asap

© Jonathan Leijonhufvud

Architects: asap
Location: Dongcheng, Beijing,
Lead Architect: Adam Sokol
Area: 7500.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Jonathan Leijonhufvud

Mecanoo Begins Work on Vast Cultural Centre in Shenzhen

Courtesy of Mecanoo / Christopher Malheiros Architectural Visualization

Dutch based practice Mecanoo, nominated for this year’s RIBA Stirling Prize for the Library of Birmingham, have begun work on vast centre in Shenzhen marking their first project to break ground on Chinese soil. Comprising of a large public art gallery, a science museum, a youth centre, and a book mall, the 95,000 square metre development will strengthen Longgang District’s identity by “providing citizens and visitors with a renewed sense of place.” Forming a dynamic link between the high-rise of the city’s commercial district and the open spaces of Longcheng Park, the four sculpted forms emerge from the ground to create a series of arches and sheltered spaces to facilitate public events.

See the full set of images and an illustrative film after the break.

Shanghai MOCA / Atelier Liu Yuyang Architects

© Jeremy San

Architects: Atelier Liu Yuyang Architects
Location: People’s Park, 231 Nanjing West Road, People’s Square, Huangpu, , 200000
Design Team: Liu Yuyang, Keith Yee, Tynnon Chow, Larry Tsoi
Area: 3900.0 sqm
Year: 2009
Photographs: Jeremy San

Broadway Malyan Designs New Urban District in Chengdu

Courtesy of Broadway Malyan

Broadway Malyan has been awarded a commission to design the initial phase of a new, iconic urban district in Chengdu in Western China. The  Creative Centre will be the first landmark in a larger master plan for a high-tech mixed use and business park, set to be called Tianfu New Town.

Committed to setting a high standard of environmentally conscious and sustainable design for the region, Chengdu Creative Centre and the future Tianfu New Town district aim to cut current energy consumption standards in half. The entire complex will be composed of interconnected office, retail, and public green space anchored by a striking central retail tower, 110 meters tall.

Fernando Guerra Captures Álvaro Siza’s First Project in China

© |

We are excited to share these exclusive photos taken by Fernando Guerra | FG+SG of Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza’s first project in China: The Building on the Water.

Evoking the image of a dragon perched elegantly on water, the contours of the building seem to move gently in a perfect synergy between local symbolism and the subtle elements of Siza. Snaking around, the form escapes formal convention, emerging as an autonomous entity that contrasts with the orthogonal form of the factory complex. The delicate transition geometry of curves and bridges that connect the different spaces and pavements makes this project one of the most striking examples of Siza’s distinctive architecture. 

Through different shades, reflections and his unmatched composition of light and shadows, Fernando Guerra’s striking images show a poetic scene and the perfect relationship between the building and its environment. We can envision the changes and transitions that the white concrete building goes through as a result of its contact with the water throughout the day.

Read on after the break to see the exclusive images…

RMJM Designs Fish-Inspired Tower Clad with Aluminum Scales

View from Below. Image Courtesy of

RMJM‘s Shenzhen studio has just been awarded the contract to build a 93 metre public observation tower inspired by the importance of water in the historic Doumen District, Guangdong Province, China. Perched at the confluence of two rivers, the Doumen Observation Tower will rise from the waterfront of the Zhuhai, and is inspired by the form of a fish soaring above the water, clad in aluminum scales to protect from the hot Chinese sun. The tower will occupy a minimal footprint and will be surrounded by a large public plaza.

Check out the complete specs of Doumen Observation Tower after the break. 

The Chinese Dream: Original Architecture Not Included

Western-styled developments are increasingly popular in , such as this suburb of Shanghai. Image © Flickr CC User Brian Yap

Looking for your dream home? Picket fence, driveway (sedan included), basketball net, and terracotta pots complete with flowers in bloom, available now in the quiet neighbourhood of Rancho Santa Fe in Shanghai, China. According to this article in The Guardian, ”The Chinese Dream” is currently sweeping the People’s Republic, with Western planning models replicated with identical ineffective results. The article offers an intimate insight into the role of American architectural fetishism in modern China, and how the government is now fighting to curb the trend. Read the complete article here.

Daqing Left Bank City / A-ASTERISK

© Misae Hiromatsu

Architects: A-ASTERISK
Location: , Heilongjiang, China
Architects In Charge: Nakamura Nobuhiro, Qin Yi, Shigeno Yuji, Wang Wenping, He Zengcai
Architecture Design: A-ASTERISK
Area: 200413.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Misae Hiromatsu

Qiqihaer Hezhitang Hot Spring / A-ASTERISK

© Misae Hiromatsu

Architects: A-ASTERISK
Location: Qiqihar, Heilongjiang,
Architects In Charge: Nakamura Nobuhiro, Qin Yi, Shigeno Yuji, Lai Jie, Wang Wenping, He Zengcai.
Area: 11357.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Misae Hiromatsu

Interview with Qi Xin of Qi Xin Architects and Engineers

Olympic Park Siheyuan / Qi Xin Architects and Engineers. Image © Pier Alessio Rizzardi

Architecture is not important. You can make a microclimate or situation, but you cannot have more influence about life or the urban situation, it’s just a very small operation you are working on, and you cannot control the situation of the city.. But even if you are just working on a single object here, you can always try to have more or less a positive influence on the city, you can always contribute in your way to the city, to the citizens. But in a larger view it’s not that important; it’s you or somebody else. The people are happy or not, their happiness is not relying on your architecture.” – Qi Xin, , 2013

Shedding light on topics from China‘s rapid urbanization to the issue of copycat architecture, this interview of Chinese architect Qi Xin conducted by Pier Alessio Rizzardi questions the role of architecture in Chinese society, and reveals the mindset of the modern Chinese architect. Qi Xin’s answers challenge many of the myths surrounding Chinese architecture, often through one-line gems such as “what is permanent for Chinese people is the spirit, not material,” and “the most important thing is that we don’t know where we are going… we are making the future cities.”

China’s “City-Making Process”: Investors’ Power in the People’s Republic

Real estate in . Image © Pier Alessio Rizzardi

The world is looking at the urban machine of Chinese cities, at the newly founded theme-cities and at the new urban economic investment areas around the cities. The buildings are repetitive, the areas are sometimes uninhabited, but the thing that leaves urban planners, architects and the public amazed is that these buildings are often completely sold out even before they are completed.

To buy these freshly constructed residences takes money, and over the last three decades the Chinese economic miracle served precisely to grow the per capita income. The reform of the economic system in 1978 was the driving force that triggered the mechanism of capital production. The reform led to millions of people migrating to the cities from the underdeveloped west of the country in search of higher salaries and a well-founded hope of revolutionizing their economic existence.

Should China put Design Restrictions on New Developments?

Apartments in . Image © Neville Mars under a CC licence

China may be at a turning point in urban design: a recent article in Australian Financial Review points out that over 50 million apartments in Chinese cities (about 22.5 percent) are unoccupied. This problem springs from the ongoing Chinese construction boom, prompted by developers looking to stimulate urban economic growth as quickly as possible. However, Ma Yansong of MAD Architects believes these empty apartments are a sign that buyers find them unsuited to their needs, and that  should begin to enforce good design principles on these rapidly-constructed complexes. Read the full article here.

Seven Sage County Community Office Building / Allied Architects International

Courtesy of

Architects: Allied Architects International
Location: , Zhejiang, China
Area: 1400.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of Allied Architects International

Neri&Hu: Redefining the Meaning of ‘Made in China’

Design Collective / Neri & Hu. Image © Shen Zhonghai

When Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu arrived in Shanghai in 2000, working on a project for Michael Graves, they had no plans to stay. “Three months turned into six, then eight,” said Neri of his first visit; fourteen years later, Neri & Hu Design and Research Office operates from with more than 100 multi-disciplinary staff. The firm has developed a reputation for their original designs in a landscape dominated by duplicate architecture. In a recent article in The Star Online, Leong Siok Hui maps Neri & Hu‘s road to success, featuring their work on Design Collective and The Waterhouse at South Bund. Read more here.

Fortune Plaza / P&T Group

Courtesy of P&T Group

Architects: P&T Group
Location: Beijing, Beijing,
Associate Architect: CERI Ltd
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of P&T Group

Shanghai Tower Enters Final Stage of Construction

Climbing skyward, Tower (center) is seen in (July 2014), in the final stage of construction. Situated in ’s fast-growing Pudong District, Tower is located adjacent to the Jin Mao Tower (left) and the World Financial Center (right). Image © Nick Almasy Photography

After nearly eight years of design and construction, what will soon be ’s tallest and the world’s second tallest building has entered into its final phase of construction. Designed by Gensler, the 632-meter (2,073 feet) spiraling Shanghai Tower is now set to be completed in 2015, becoming the centerpiece of the city’s Lujiazui commercial district.

In light of the tower reaching its final phase of construction, Marshall Strabala, the Chief Architect of the building, has unveiled new photos of the construction process. Enjoy these photos as well as a video interview with Strabala on the construction process after the break…

Guangzhou Announces Shortlists for Two Museum Projects

© Flickr CC User jo.sau

The Guangzhou Bureau of Science and IT has announced the shortlists for two major projects in Guangzhou. The two museum projects – the Guangzhou Museum and the Guangzhou Science Museum, each worth over $160 million – will be the latest in a host of high profile projects in China‘s third-largest city, a list which includes Zaha Hadid‘s Guangzhou Opera House, the 600m tall Canton Tower, IFC Guangzhou by Wilkinson Eyre Architects and the Guangzhou Circle, among others.

The Guangzhou Museum will be located to the West of Lingnan Square near the Canton Tower, while the Guangzhou Science museum will be located to the East. Practices making the two lists include Bjark Ingels Group, Miralles Tagliabue EMBT, TFP Farrells, MAD Architects and Steven Holl Architects. Read on after the break for the complete shortlists.

Atkins Designs Striking Office Complex in Guangzhou

©

Design and engineering firm Atkins has been commissioned by the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) to design a series of new office buildings in Guanzhou. Their proposed design takes the form of three independent buildings, two of which form large, window-like structures. With a working title “Window of Guangzhou,” these buildings will commemorate the city’s history as the first Chinese port city opened to international trade along China’s legendary Silk Road.