In Progress: Hostel, Company Retreat and Training Center / Zoka Zola Architecture + Urban Design

rendering-view from entrance

Zoka Zola is an architecture firm that is interested in high degrees of optimization that are achieved through a series of inventions — similar to the inventions and optimizations leading to human flight from early gliders and flying machines to the airplane — where characteristics, shape and use of each element is in a tight interdependent relationship with every other element. Where every element can be enjoyed on its own while at the same time is an essential part of the entire assembly. These inventions toward optimization contribute to the body of usable strategies in architecture, since each assembly is optimized for a very specific set of circumstances. While this high degree of “optimization” is not yet taken seriously as an architectural objective, they believe it will become an objective of future architects because of the growing awareness of our available resources and their uses, eventually making the terms “efficient” and “optimized” common place. This project develops a series of steps towards optimization through architectural form of a building’s natural ventilation.

Architect: Zoka Zola Architecture + Urban Design
Location: Southern
MEP and Structural Engineer: Arup
Cost Estimator: Rider Levett Bucknall

Three Courtyard Community Centre / AZL architects

© Iwan Baan

Architects: AZL architects – Zhang Lei
Location: , Jiangsu Province,
Project Team: Zhang Lei, Shen Kaikang, Yang Hefeng
Collaborator: Yangzhou City Planning & Design Institute
Project area: 1,900 sqm
Project year: 2008 – 2009
Photographs: Iwan Baan

Water Rhythm / Beige Design

© Ulso Tsang

Architects: Beige Design – Danny Chan
Location: , , China
Project area: 40 sqm
Photographs: Ulso Tsang

MVRDV wins competition for Comic and Animation Museum in China


urban planning bureau has announced MVRDV winner of the international design competition for the Comic and Animation Museum (CCAM) in Hangzhou, . MVRDV won with a design referring to the speech balloon: a series of eight balloon shaped volumes create an internally complex museum experience of in total 30.000m2. Part of the project is also a series of parks on islands, a public plaza and a 13.000m2 expo centre. Construction start is envisioned for 2012, the total budget is 92 million Euro.

More images and architect’s description after the break.

Concrete Slit House / AZL architects


Architects: AZL architects – Zhang Lei
Location: Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China
Project Team: Zhang Lei, Meng Fanhao, Cai Menglei, Lu Yuan, Tang Xiaoxin
Collaborator: Architectural Design & Planning Institute, Nanjing University
Project area: 270 sqm
Project year: 2006 – 2008
Photographs: Iwan Baan

Visitor Center in Hengshan Temple / Latitude Studio

Courtesy of

The visitor center in Hengshan Temple, designed by Latitude Studio, aims to promote tourism in the historical-rural area of Southwest Datong, .  The project hopes to respect the ancestral history of the site while providing a modern architecture from which to appreciate the history of .

Read on for more information after the break.

Northstar Changsha Delta Project Exhibition Hall / AZL architects

© Yao Li

The Northstar Changsha Delta project lies on a one square kilometer site with a large-scale urban development project occupying more than five million square meters of construction. Located east of the Xiangjiang River and south of the Liuyanghe River, the project will transform the landscape and shape the future development of north Changsha. The Exhibition Hall is the first built project of Northstar’s ambitious plan, It contributes to the social and economic development of the region; recoding its implementation process while fulfilling the programmatic business and sales objectives of the development.

Architects: AZL architects
Location: Changsha, ,
Project Team: Zhang Lei, Zhou Suning, Wang Liang
Collaborator: Architectural Design Institute, Hunan University
Project Area: 3000 sqm
Project year: 2010
Photographs: Yao Li

Shanghai Houtan Park / Turenscape

Courtesy of

Built on a brownfield of a former industrial site, Houtan Park is a regenerative living landscape on ’s Huangpu riverfront. The park’s constructed wetland, ecological flood control, reclaimed industrial structures and materials, and urban agriculture are integral components of an overall restorative design strategy to treat polluted river water and recover the degraded waterfront in an aesthetically pleasing way.

Landscape Architect: Turenscape (Beijing Turen Design Institute)
Location: Shanghai, 2010 Shanghai Expo Park, China
Project Area: 14 hectares
Project Year 2010
Photographs: Courtesy of Turenscape

Xintiandi Factory / Peter Ruge Architekten


Berlin based design team of Peter Ruge Architekten has shared with us their project, an adaptive reuse of Xintiandi Factory saturated with new program. Supplemental images of the project and a narrative from the architects is available after the break.

Tregunter Residence / davidclovers

Courtesy of davidclovers assisted by Ziyin Zhou

Nestled amongst a forest of towers on Old Peak Road above Central , the Tregunter tower holds unique layered views of Victoria Harbor. The abundance of bay windows, structural walls and beams that are common to residential towers would appear to constrain the possibilities of the apartment. However, by turning constraints into opportunities, davidclovers re-works the volumes of this apartment by using the ceiling and the floor. Subtly elongating, pressing upward, and sloping downward, the ceiling produces variable sensations of compression and expansion – making the apartment seem larger than it is, drawing delicate lines that separate dining from living. Skillfully dodging and maneuvering around air-conditioning units and structural beams, the ceiling integrates artificial light and various materials – re-orienting the apartment toward the exterior.

Architect: davidclovers
Location: The Peak, Hong Kong,
Project Team: David Erdman, Clover Lee, Jason Dembski, Mui Fuk Man, Kantrina Lee, Spencer Mak
Project Area: 2,400 sqf
Photographer: Courtesy of davidclovers assisted by Ziyin Zhou

Foster + Partners’ CITIC Bank Headquarters Tower Breaks Ground


Construction is underway for the sustainable landmark CITIC Bank headquarters tower.  Foster + Partners design for the 100 meter high skyscraper in Hangzhou, intends to establish and iconic presence for the Bank in a prominent location within the new central business district situated adjacent to the Qian Jiang River.

Resonating with elements of traditional Chinese culture, the tower’s form draws inspiration from the shape of the ancient ‘dou’ or ‘ding’ vessel, a traditional symbol of wealth, dignity and stability.   The facade of the diagonally-braced structure  pulls inwards near the base to form a symmetrical V-shape across the south-facing elevation. Wrapped in a diagrid lattice, the floor plates widen as the tower rises expanding to provide panoramic views of the river and the surrounding public plaza.

Zhengdong District Urban Planning Exhibition Hall / AZL architects

© Yao Li

Public places embodying shared cultural values and ideals have the opportunity to become the most important activity and urban life centers in cities. Contrary to the iconic architecture and closed façades ubiquitous in China, AZL architects feel public buildings need to present an openness and give back to the urban context, especially in the case of the Zhengdong District Urban Planning Exhibition Hall.

Architect: AZL architects
Location: Zhengzhou, , China
Project Team: Zhang Lei, Qi Wei, Guo Donghai, Cai Zhenghua
Collaborator: Architectural Design & Planning Institute, University
Project Area: 8,450 sqm
Project year: 2011
Photographs: Yao Li

The Hong Kong Federation of Women T.S. Kwok Service Centre / Barrie Ho


Architects: Barrie Ho
Location: , China
Project area: 9,500 sqf
Photographs: Courtesy of Barrie Ho

House DE / davidclovers

© Almond Chu

House DE is an “infill” townhouse, spectacularly sited on a hillside above , Hong Kong. Combining two existing units into one, the design uses the volumes of three staircases to blend, burrow and interlock spaces vertically across four floors. Each “interaction” is materially monolithic, using stone, wood and a series of delicate aluminum fins. Defined by these fins, the texture and form of the lantern-volume subtly changes shape and depth, casting shadow and emitting light in different ways throughout the house.

Architect: davidclovers
Location: Clearwater Bay, Hong Kong, China
Project Team: David Erdman, Clover Lee, Fei Mui, Jason Dembski, Yvette Herrera, Rathi Subramanian, Lam Pui Wing, Spencer Mak
Project Area: 4,300 sqf
Photographs: Almond Chu

The Teaching Complex / Rocco Design Architects

© Rocco Design Architects

Architects: Rocco Design Architects
Location: ,
Design Team: Rocco Yim, Bernard Hui, Henry Ho, Dennis Chan, Boris Lo, Sophia Ip, Lai Wai Man, Mary Ching
Project area: 5,465 sqm
Project year: 2003 – 2008
Photographs: Rocco Design Architects

Meng House / Tao Lei

© Tao Lei

Architects: Tao Lei
Location: ,
Project area: 580 sqm
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Tao Lei

SC2011 Spain-China Architecture Competition

FUTURE is launching an international ideas competition to identify the best design concepts with the challenge to develop visionary urban proposals with the intention of stimulating contemporary cities, in this case 4 different locations: , , Madrid and Barcelona.

The open competition is single-phase and anonymous. Architects (architectural teams) may participate in the competition if they meet the following requirements:
- Participants in the competition shall be architecture students or architects under 31 years old on the closing date for submission of entries (June 30, 2011).
- Architectural teams participating in the competition shall have at least one architecture student or architect under 31 on the closing date for submission of entries, who will be the team leader.

For more information, visit the competition’s official website.

Barker Residence / davidclovers

© Almond Chu

At eye-level with the top of IFC, one of the tallest buildings in , the Barker Residence holds stunning views of Victoria Harbor. The project is the first of a series of projects designed by davidclovers for a developer of residential properties in Hong Kong. The basic approach is to hone in on the most potent areas of the existing layout, and enhance them. At Barker Residence, reworks the unit horizontally and vertically using a series of subtly inflected walls and artificially-lit ceilings to bend space around corners and through floors.

Architect: davidclovers
Location: The Peak, Hong Kong, China
Project Team: David Erdman, Clover Lee, Mul Fuk Man, Jason Dembski, Damlen Hannigan, Spencer Mak
Project Area: 4000 sqf
Photographs: Almond Chu