An Interview with Liu Xiaodu, Urbanus

Nanshan Wedding Center/ Partner in charge: Meng Yan. Image © Meng Yan & Wu Qiwei

“If you don’t know or really didn’t study the local culture, do universal design. That’ll keep the quality. If you want to do something that you don’t know, there is a big chance that it’s going to fail and have a bad impact on the city and the people here. Do it in your own way. If you do something good and beautiful back home, you should do exactly the same type and put it here. That’s also a good contribution because you show good architecture quality… Do something universal!” – Liu Xiaodu, Shenzhen, 2013

Founded in 1999, Urbanus is led by its trio of partners Meng Yan, Wang Hui and Liu Xiaodu, all of whom studied first in China and then abroad in the USA before returning to their native country at the very beginning of its construction boom. In this interview Liu Xiaodu discusses the changing realities of Chinese architecture education, the beginnings of their firm and the positive side to the “chaos” of the country’s current urban expansion.

Lone Ranger Hot Dog Shop / Linehouse

© Benoit Florencon

Architects: Linehouse
Location: Wai Ma Lu, Huangpu Qu, Shi, China
Area: 19.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Benoit Florencon

XJTLU Becomes First Chinese Architecture Course with Unconditional RIBA Accreditation

XJTLU’s Administration Information Building, completed in 2013 by Aedas. Image Courtesy of Aedas

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has awarded unconditional Part 1 accreditation to the undergraduate program at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) in Suzhou, making it the first Chinese architecture program to be certified by the UK architecture body. The accreditation marks another first for XJTLU’s partner university at Liverpool, which pioneered the RIBA accreditation system by becoming the first certified course in the world in 1906, and officially marks the program at XJTLU as on a par with other architecture schools around the world.

TaiwanGlass Donghai Office Building / WZWX Architecture Group

© Fernando Guerra I FG+SG

Architects: WZWX Architecture Group
Location: Donghai, Lianyungang, Jiangsu,
Architects In Charge: Richard Wang, Stephen Wang
Project Team: Chiou Huei Lin, Philip Kwong, Li, Jian Fei Chen
Area: 3200.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Fernando Guerra I FG+SG, Ingmar Kurth

Construction Begins on OPEN’s Pingshan Performing Arts Center in Shenzhen

Courtesy of

The winning entry in a competition for Pingshan’s first theater, Beijing-based OPEN Architecture‘s Pingshan Performing Arts Center has broken ground in Shenzen. The 1350-capacity theatre is located in the city’s new urban district, and slated for completion by the end of 2015.

Read more about the project and view selected images after the break.

Kids Museum Of Glass / Coordination Asia

Courtesy of Coordination Asia

Architects: Coordination Asia
Location: G+ Park, 685 Changjiang West Road, Baoshan, ,
Architect In Charge: Tilman Thürmer
Area: 2000.0 sqm
Year: 2015
Photographs: Courtesy of Coordination Asia

Yanqing Grape Expo / Archea Associati

© Cristiano Bianchi

Architects: Archea Associati
Location: Yanqing, ,
Design Team: Archea Associati, 
Laura Andreini, Marco Casamonti, Silvia Fabi, Giovanni Polazzi
, Luana Carastro, Francesco Giordani,
Stefano Marcinkiewicz, Marco Mugnai, Mattia Mugnaini, Eleonora Prestifilippo, Feng Xiancheng
Area: 15000.0 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Cristiano Bianchi, Pietro Savorelli

Baita Italia / SLOW Architects

© Zhou Ruogu

Architects: SLOW Architects
Location: Songhua Lake, Jilin,
Area: 500.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Zhou Ruogu

Zaha Hadid and ADPI Unveil Plans for World’s Largest Passenger Terminal in Beijing

© ZHA / Methanoia

ADP Ingeniérie (ADPI) and Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) have unveiled designs for what will be the world’s largest airport passenger terminal – the Beijing New Airport Terminal Building. The Daxing scheme, based off the bid-winning planning concept by ADPI, hopes to alleviate traffic from Beijing’s existing Capital Airport, which is operating beyond its planned capacity.

“Initially accommodating 45 million passengers per year, the new terminal will be adaptable and sustainable, operating in many different configurations dependent on varying aircraft and passenger traffic throughout each day,” stated ZHA in a press release. “With an integrated multi-modal transport centre featuring direct links to local and national rail services including the Gaotie high speed rail, the new Daxing airport will be a key hub within Beijing’s growing transport network and a catalyst for the region’s economic development, including the city of and Hebei Province.”

An Interview with Zhang Lei, AZL Architects

Nanjing Wanjing Garden Chapel / AZL Architects. Image © Yao Li

“We have to try to work with scale and memory. I think in the last twenty years the main problem is that we lost the 归宿感 [sense of belonging]. The people here have been moving from house to house for a long time, the result is that we don’t have a feeling of home… even if you are staying in a nice house or villa you don’t consider it as an ideal or permanent home where you could stay. This might be considered the problem. More than ten years ago we used to have that feeling, the sense to belong to a specific space. We used to live in neighbourhoods where we had a social background, a community, now you don’t have any community, you don’t see the neighbors any more. Now Chinese people are becoming lonely, they are losing that feeling and becoming ‘homeless’.” - Zhang Lei, , 2013

C&C Design Creative Headquarters / C&C Design

Courtesy of C&C Design

Architects: C&C Design
Location: , Guangdong,
Designer: Peng Zheng
Area: 600.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Courtesy of C&C Design

Zhong Huan Plaza Art Center / CAA

Courtesy of

Architects: CAA
Location: , Hebei, China
Collaborators: Cui Heran, Zhang Fanwei, Zhangpan, Lin Yun, ChenFei
Area: 540.0 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Courtesy of CAA

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

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

China’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 Shenzhen, 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  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

©

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 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.