By the end of 2015, one in three of the world’s tallest buildings will be in China. With its government planned cities, the Chinese policy often favors high-density development, and some of the most radical and experimental urban design ideas can be applied in China – take for example the recent joint winner of the Shenzhen Bay Super City competition, Cloud Citizen, which takes on a more integrated and interconnected approach to vertical cities. In this article on The Guardian, Nicola Davison investigates how at this critical time in the country’s development, architects and urban planners may choose to move away from previous urban models of isolated skyscrapers, towards a more humane environment that seeks to emulate nature and create diverse public spaces. Read the article in full here.
Nearly 50 years after realizing Habitat ’67, when the need for high quality affordable housing is at an all time high, Moshe Safdie is expanding on his ideas first explored in the stacked Montreal utopia to discover just how natural light and the feeling openness can be achieved in today’s megalopolises. Watch as Safdie makes a case to do away with the high-rise in the short TED Talk above.
Kean University has announced plans to open a new architecture school based on the design philosophy of Michael Graves. Following the footsteps of a man who laments the “loss of drawing,” the new Michael Graves School of Architecture will prioritize hand drawings as a key to design process.
“In our technologically savvy world, to this day, Michael Graves’ philosophy is to draw by hand first so that the students see, ‘feel’ and experience the new building spatially. Then, only after the drawing is complete will the students transfer the design to a computer so that the computer becomes an execution tool, not an ideation tool,” describes acting dean and former student of Graves, David Mohney.
“We need a new generation of cities in China” - Siegfried Zhiqiang Wu
As the tide of urbanization sweeps across most of the developing areas in China, the building frenzy has become a Chinese phenomenon. Some people are making money from it, some people are getting power from it, and some people are worrying about it. Recently, a new set of policies and reports have been published by the Chinese central government, and the whole society seems to be boosted by the new talk of a Chinese Dream. But, what is really happening inside China? Can it absorb this enormous growth? And, will urbanization continue in a proper way?
As the chief planner of the 2010 Shanghai Expo, Siegfried Zhiqiang Wu has been deeply involved for years in many of China’s main urbanization projects. It was almost midnight when we met Professor Wu in Shanghai, and although Wu had just gotten off a night flight from Beijing, his passion, frankness and intelligence remained undoubtedly impressive. In the following edited talk with interviewer Juan Yan, Professor Wu discusses China’s dramatic urbanization, its architectural culture and the future of smart cities.
Zaha Hadid and Norman Foster have been tapped to design two luxury hotels for the Jumeirah Group’s newest properties in China: Jumeirah Wuhan and Jumeirah Nanjing. Both properties will be adjacent to existing business districts and will provide luxury suites, specialty restaurants, executive club lounges, business centers, spas and more.
The President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, has reportedly called for an end to the “weird buildings” being built in China, and particularly in the nation’s capital, Beijing. In a two hour speech at a literary symposium in Beijing last week, Mr Xi expressed his views that art should serve the people and be morally inspiring, identifying architectural projects such as OMA’s CCTV Headquarters as the kind of building that should no longer be constructed in Beijing.
With China’s construction boom being one of the most talked about features of today’s architecture scene – and many a Western practice relying on their extravagant projects to prop up their studios – the Chinese leader’s comments have the potential to affect the landscape of architectural practice worldwide. But what is behind these sentiments? Read on after the break to find out.
playze and Schmidhuber have been selected as winners of an invited competition to design the Urban Planning Exhibition Center in Ningbo, China. Inspired by the ancient artform of the Chinese ribbon dance, the exhibition center aims to “blur the lines” between citizens and decision makers in a way that grants the public “rare access into the inner-workings of the city” in an effort to strengthen the relationship between local government and community.
The idea of the Chinese “Urban Planning Museums” is the nation’s response to the rapid urban growth occurring in many of its major cities. The museums are intended to communicate city planning and development issues to the public. You can learn more about playze and Schmidhuber’s design, after the break.
The Royal Architecture Institute of Canada (RAIC) have announced that Li Xiaodong has been awarded the inaugural Moriyama International Prize, named after esteemed Canadian architect Raymond Moriyama. The prize, which comes with a monetary value of CAD$100,000, has been established to recognise buildings that are judged to be “transformative, inspired as well as inspiring, and emblematic of the human values of respect and inclusiveness.”
The jury deliberated projects submitted from nine countries: Canada, China, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom and Tajikistan. According to the citation, the jury was “impressed by the breadth of international interest in the prize and encouraged by the high level of engagement with the aims and objectives of the program revealed in the submissions.” The prize is open to all architects irrespective of nationality and location and seeks to recognise a single work of architecture (as opposed to a life’s work), celebrating buildings in use.