China’s Pearl River Delta Overtakes Tokyo as World’s Largest Urban Area

The Pearl River Delta’s urban growth in 1973 and 2003. Image © Flicker CC user NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

’s Pearl River Delta has surpassed Tokyo in both size and population, making it the largest urban area in the world, according to the World Bank. The colossal megapolis – a conglomerate of several cities, including , Guangzhou, Foshan and Dongguan – is a central component to China’s manufacturing and trade industries.

It is now home to 42 million – more people than the countries of Canada, Argentina or Australia. And, considering nearly two-thirds of the East Asia region’s population (64%) is still “non-urban,” the area is expected to grow exponentially.

Chinese Company Constructs the World’s Tallest 3D Printed Building

Image via australiandesignreview.com

Once again, Chinese company WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co has expanded the capabilities of 3D printing. After constructing ten houses in under twenty-four hours last year, now they are back with both the world’s tallest 3D printed building – a five-story apartment block – and a 1,100 square meter mansion with internal and external decoration to boot.

On display in Suzhou Industrial Park in Jiangsu province, the two buildings represent new frontiers for 3D printed construction, finally demonstrating its potential for creating more traditional building typologies and therefore its suitability for use by mainstream developers.

First Images Released of Henning Larsen Architects’ Yuhang Opera

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Coinciding with their tenth anniversary of the Royal Danish Opera, Henning Larsen Architects has unveiled plans for a new Chinese Opera house in . The project, sited in “the middle of a lake, on display to the entire city,” will serve as the centerpiece of an expansive new cultural district north of Hangzhou. It’s design, described by Henning Larsen to be more “playful” than the Copenhagen Opera, will feature a unique geometric facade and sloping roof, backdropped by a waterfront recreational park.

Competition Entry: HAO + AI Envision Bolong 3D Movie Museum and Mediatek for Tianjin

Courtesy of HAO

Commissioned by the Urban Planning Bureau, Holm Architecture Office (HAO) and Archiland International (AI) have unveiled their competition proposal for the Bolong 3D Movie Museum and Mediatek in Tianjin.

Envisioned as part of a new media park slated for construction in the city, the building’s design is playful and contemporary, offering visitors a “series of unique spatial experiences.” Learn more about the project and view selected images from the proposal after the break.

Minghu Wetland Park / Turenscape

Courtesy of

Architects: Turenscape
Location: Liupanshui, Guizhou,
Design Team: Bo Luan, Bin Yan, Gang Huang, Junyan Zheng, Meina Shan, Xin Fan, Shizheng Li, Lin Chen, Zhen Bai, Yu Zhang, Jianfei An, Hongkai You, Yin Liu, Yeqi Cao, Zhang Deng, Ye Yang, Yue Li, Yizhen Ren, Xu Song, Dehua Liu, XIaofeng Zhang, Jie Bai, Jinfeng Zhang, Tuo Liu, Junying Cao
Design Lead: Kongjian Yu
Photographs: Courtesy of Turenscape

NL Architects Propose Striking Chain of Amethyst-Inspired Hotels

View from Base of Tower. Image ©

Cultures around the world attribute magical properties to the amethyst gem. The lustrous purple quartz is said to bring good fortune, heal illness, and calm the mind. It makes sense, then, that NL Architects have modeled their latest hotel chain proposal after an amethyst geode. Designed based on the original hotel layouts of John Portman, this visually striking tower series aims to serve as a symbol of hospitality and well-being for visitors around the world.

Mayor Rejects Sou Fujimoto’s Taiwan Tower Over Fears of Soaring Cost

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Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung has temporarily “pulled the plug” on Sou Fujimoto’s ambitious Taiwan Tower, saying he would rather pay a penalty for breaking the contract than spend an estimated NT$15 billion to realize the “problematic” project.

The Banyan tree-inspired tower was hoped to become the “Taiwanese version of the Eiffel Tower,” as well as a model for sustainable architecture by achieving LEED Gold with its energy producing features. Its steel superstructure, which proposed to hoist a triangular section of the Gateway Park’s greenbelt 300-meters into the air, intentionally had “no obvious form” and was to be perceived as a natural phenomenon.

Examining China’s “Edifice Complex”

The ‘Pearl of the North’ (expected to complete 2018). Image Courtesy of Atkins

In an article for the Wall Street Journal, Dinny McMahon and Yang Jie visit – a “chilly industrial town” in north eastern China which was once the country’s capital (circa 1600). The city will soon be home to what’s being dubbed the ’Pearl of the North’, “a 111-floor office tower that will, briefly, be the seventh-largest in the world, dwarfing One World Trade Center.” The tower, designed by Atkins, is “symptomatic of China’s edifice complex,” McMahon notes – and the city is ”just getting started.” Read the article in full here.

MJH Gallery of iD Town / O-office Architects

© Chaos.Z

Architects: O-office Architects
Location: Shenzhen, Guangdong, China
Architect In Charge: Jianxiang HE, Ying JIANG
Design Team: Jingyu DONG, Thomas ODORICO, xiaolin CHEN, Guixiong Feng
Area: 2800.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Chaos.Z

Youth Hotel of iD Town / O-office Architects

© Chaos.Z

Architects: O-office Architects
Location: Shenzhen, Guangdong, China
Architect In Charge: Jianxiang HE, Ying JIANG
Design Team: Mincong Deng, Jingyu DONG, xiaolin CHEN
Area: 1800.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Chaos.Z

13 New Buildings Join the World’s 100 Tallest List in Record-Breaking Year

2014 Tallest #10: Torre Costanera, Santiago, 300 meters. Image © Pablo Blanco

This past year was a record-breaking season for skyscraper construction. According to a new survey by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), 2014 saw the completion of 97 buildings that were at least 200 meters tall. Of those, 11 were 300 meters or taller, earning them the classification of “supertall.” These are the highest figures on record, with 2011, for example, seeing only 87 200-meters-plus buildings completed.

In addition, in 2014 the total height of completed buildings (23,333 meters) broke the 2011 record of 19,852 meters. With major countries like becoming increasingly urbanized, and the world economy recovering from recession, the CTBUH expects that these numbers will only increase. See the details of CTBUH’s report, and learn what the numbers may predict about the future of skyscraper construction, after the break.

Ole Bouman Appointed Director of V&A-Backed Shekou Design Museum

Shekou Design Museum. Image © Merchants Property Development / Maki and Associates

Ole Bouman, former director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAi), has been appointed director of the new Victoria and Albert Museum-backed Shekou Design Museum in Shenzhen, China. Set to open at the end of 2016 in a Fumihiko Maki-designed building within the Sea World Arts and Culture Center, the new design museum aims to serve as an international platform for Chinese design. 

“We wanted to offer the local residents an internationally important museum that would help promote the development of China’s creative industries and further progress design in China,” stated China Merchants Group (CMG) vice president Sun Chengming. CMG is collaborating with London’s V&A to realize the project. 

More about Bouman’s appointment, after the break.

Wanda Movie Park / Stufish Entertainment Architects

Courtesy of

Architects: Stufish Entertainment Architects
Location: Wuhan, Hubei,
Area: 100000.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of Stufish Entertainment Architects

Han Show Theatre / Stufish Entertainment Architects

Courtesy of

Architects: Stufish Entertainment Architects
Location: Wuhan, Hubei,
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of Stufish Entertainment Architects

Office Around a Tree / Lukstudio

© Peter Dixie

Architects: Lukstudio
Location: , , China
Design Team: Christina Luk, Wesley Shu, Scott Baker, Mavis Li
Area: 133.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Peter Dixie

The Platform / Lukstudio

© Peter Dixie

Architects: Lukstudio
Location: Nan Jing Dong Lu, Huangpu Qu, Shi, , 200085
Design Team: Christina Luk, Scott Baker, Wesley Shu
Area: 50.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Peter Dixie

Video: Mini-Documentary Profiles Artists Who Are Shunning China’s Urban Explosion

In 2011, China had more people living in urban areas than rural areas for the first time in its history, and recent government statistics show that around 300 villages disappear per day in China. Yet in the face of rapid , a “back to land movement” is now also emerging. A new mini- by Sun Yunfan and Leah Thompson, Down to the Countryside, looks at urban residents who, fed up with city life, are looking to revitalize the countryside, while preserving local tradition. The documentary follows Ou Ning, an artist and curator, who moved from Beijing to the village of Bishan, in Anhui province, in 2013. Ning considers himself part of China’s “new rural reconstruction movement,” and the documentary shows his quest to develop the rural economy and bring arts and culture to the countryside.

Learn more about the film on China File and check out an interview with the directors on CityLab.

Yangzhou Jade Workshop / Atelier Xuk

© Lv Hengzhong

Architects: Atelier Xuk
Location: Wantou Land Resources Institute, 783 Qin You Lu, Guangling Qu, , Jiangsu Sheng, , 225006
Project Team: Liukenan Zhangxu, Lujun Zengyahan, Chenruizhi Dongxiao
Area: 6500.0 ft2
Photographs: Lv Hengzhong