Rafael de La-Hoz and ADRI-HIT Chosen to Construct Cultural Centre in Meishan

Courtesy of Arquitectos

Spanish studio Rafael de La-Hoz and Chinese design institute Architectural Design and Research Institute of Harbin Institute of Technology (ADRI-HIT) have been announced as the winners of a competition to construct a new cultural centre in Meishan, . Located in Sichuan province in the nation’s south, the complex will combine a sports centre with five museums, a library, and exhibition hall.

Occupying a sprawling 260,000-square-meters, the new complex is sited near the campus of the University of Meishan, and responds to the terraced topography of Sichuan’s rice paddies. Learn more about the project and view selected images after the break.

Yue Restaurant / PANORAMA

© Ng Siu Fung

Architects: PANORAMA
Location: Chengdu, Sichuan,
Design Team: Horace Pan, Nick Wong, Kenny Hung
Area: 500.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Ng Siu Fung

Ennead Tapped to Design Shanghai Planetarium

© Thomas Wong /

Ennead Architects has won an international competition to design the Planetarium. The “celestial” design hopes to elevate the Science and Technology Museum’s (SSTM) “scientific and technological capacity” while redefine the district Lingang upon its completion in 2018. 

“Drawing inspiration form astronomical principles, our design strategy provides a platform for the experience of orbital motion, and utilizes that as a metaphorical reference and generator of form,” says Ennead Architects.

Interview: Büro Ole Scheeren Unveils Designs for Guardian Art Center in Beijing

Guardian Art Center by Büro . Image Courtesy of Büro

When he opened his practice in 2010, Ole Scheeren had the luxury of already being a rising star in the architecture world. The former partner of OMA made his name as partner-in-charge on landmark projects such as Beijing’s CCTV Headquarters and the Interlace in Singapore, and has since made headlines with striking forms such as those in the MahaNakhon skyscraper in BangkokAngkasa Raya in Kuala Lumpur and DUO, again in Singapore. The unveiling of his latest design, the Guardian Art Center, is likely to get a lot of attention too – but for very different reasons to his previous projects.

The Guardian Art Center features none of the dramatic cantilevers and futuristic formal experimentation of Büro Ole Scheeren‘s other works. Instead the “hybrid art space” – located in the heart of , just a stone’s throw from the Forbidden City – references the scale and materiality of the adjacent traditional buildings. The lower floors, containing an auction house and a museum with a 1,700 square meter exhibition-events space, comprise an aggregation of small “pixelated” blocks, clad in stone with a pattern of perforations derived from a 700-year-old Chinese landscape painting. Though the upper portion of the building, containing a 120-room hotel and a restaurant, is larger in scale, it is broken down by a facade of oversized glass “bricks,” again a reference to the materials of the hutong next door and a “humble and non-elitist symbol in Chinese culture,” according to the press release.

To find out more about this intriguing building, we spoke to Ole Scheeren, who assured us that in spite of its appearance, the Guardian Art Center is just as radical as his previous works. Read on after the break for the full interview.

Flask – The Press / Alberto Caiola

© Shen Zhonghai

Architects: Alberto Caiola
Location: , ,
Area: 130.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Shen Zhonghai

Songjiang Art Campus / Archi-Union Architects

Courtesy of Archi-Union Architects

Architects: Archi-Union Architects
Location: Si Zhuan Nan Lu, Songjiang Qu, Shi,
Architect In Charge: Philip F. Yuan
Area: 150000.0 sqm
Year: 2015
Photographs: Courtesy of Archi-Union Architects

Spark Beijing Office / Spark Architects

© Shu He

Architects: Spark Architects
Location: Dongsishitiao, Dongcheng, China, 100027
Architect In Charge: Lin Li
Project Director: Jan Felix Clostermann, Christian Taeubert
Area: 500.0 sqm
Year: 2015
Photographs: Shu He

Liquid Laundry / hcreates

© Seth Powers

Architects: hcreates
Location: Xuhui, , China
Architect In Charge: Hannah Churchill
Branding & Graphic Design: The Orange Blowfish
Area: 700.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Seth Powers

AR Issues: Architects Don’t Invent, They Transform

Courtesy of The Architectural Review

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this editorial from AR’s February 2015 issue, AR Editor Catherine Slessor reflects on Álvaro Siza‘s ouevre, from his early work in Évora to his latest effort in China. Though the latter is admittedly elegant, Slessor concludes that in comparison to his older transformative designs the recent incarnation of “brand Siza” is a “predictable triumph of style over content.”

The great Portuguese Modernist Fernando Távora once remarked “Style is not of importance; what counts is the relation between the work and life, style is only the consequence of it.” His friend and protégé Álvaro Siza echoed this sentiment when he said: “Architecture does not have a pre-established language nor does it establish a language. It is a response to a concrete problem, a situation in transformation, in which I participate. In architecture, we have already passed the phase during which we thought that the unity of language would resolve everything. A pre-established language, pure, beautiful, does not interest me.”

Cubic Buildings by NADAAA and Himma Studio Redefine the Office Space

Courtesy of

One of ARCHITECT Magazine’s six winners of a 2015 Progressive Architects Award (P/A), NADAAA and Himma Studio‘s Ordos 20 + 10 reflects a reconfiguration of the office typology for compact spaces.

The project is part of a high density office park masterplan in Ordos City, located in Inner Mongolia, in which developments are subject to stringent zoning regulations. Offices included in the area must be comprised of multiple cubic volumes, and lack what NADAAA and describe as “an immediate urban context.” Learn more about the project and the architects’ response to these considerations after the break.

Xinglong Visitor Center / Atelier Alter

Courtesy of Atelier Alter

Architects: Atelier Alter
Location: Xing Long Cun, Gonghe Xian, , Qinghai Sheng,
Principals In Charge: Xiaojun Bu, Yingfan Zhang
Project Architect: Luotao Bai, Xiaoli Sun (China Northeast Municipal Engineering Design & Research Institute Co. Ltd)
Design Team: Yong Zhang, Rui Liu, Kai Qin,Tongwei Liu, Zhenwei Li, Bida Wei, Haifeng Zhang
Local Architect: China Northeast Municipal Engineering Design & Research Institute Co.Ltd
Area: 168379.0 ft2
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of Atelier Alter

AD Interviews: Xiaodu Liu / URBANUS

At the end of 2014, we had the opportunity to catch up with Xiaodu Liu, one of the three founding partners of Chinese firm URBANUS. Telling us about the role of architects in today’s society – especially in – he discusses how the creativity which is known for plays a part in the business of their practice: “Innovation is actually everything for , because the firm is doing projects for very challenging jobs. That’s the only way we do marketing; we have to do something creative, otherwise we don’t have any marketing tools to get something more conventional… we push ourselves to the limit.”

Connected to this, he sees intellectual exchange as the foundation of their success, a mechanism that has allowed them to eschew more traditional marketing: “We have some people similar to us, that are well connected, people understand our work and support our work and they like us. Then we have that network and people refer to us and they actually bring jobs to us… networking is more like in the academic level – a more intellectual exchange.”

Watch the full interview above and check out our past coverage of URBANUS below.

RTA-Office’s Mountainous “Cultural Container” Wins First Prize

Courtesy of

RTA-Office has released its first-prize winning proposal for the Wuhu Urban Planning Exhibition, Office, and Archive. The design stems from the idea of an “urban cultural container,” holding both knowledge and space, and extracts its sculptural form from the surrounding mountainous landscape.

Pushing for the Exhibition Hall to be a recognizable landmark, the design is largely driven by its surrounding context. The building as a whole derives its shape from the rocky faces of the nearby Yashan Mountain, giving it a strong sense of place. Similarly, the structure is divided into three distinct sections all grounded by a central public space, each informed by the same rocky inspiration. The cracks in the rocks’ surfaces are mirrored in the irregular entrances and windows carved into the building’s volumes.

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 , 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,
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 RIBA 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:
Location: Donghai, Lianyungang, Jiangsu,
Architects In Charge: Richard Wang, Stephen Wang
Project Team: Chiou Huei Lin, Philip Kwong, Hao 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.