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.
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 urbanization, a “back to land movement” is now also emerging. A new mini-documentary 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.
Aedas has unveiled designs for a mixed-use development in Xuzhou, China. Planned for a scenic reserve area between Yunlong Mountain and Lake, “Huasha Plaza” hopes to minimize its footprint by acting as an extension to the surrounding landscape. Once complete in 2015, the project will be comprised of a hotel, residential, office and retail. Read on for more details.
In an article for The Guardian, Oliver Wainwright steps “inside Beijing’s apocalypse”: the poisonous, polluted atmosphere that often clings to the Chinese capital. He explores ways in which those who live in this metropolis have started to redefine the spaces they frequent and the ways in which they live. Schools, he notes, are now building inflatable domes over play areas in order to “simulate a normal environment.” The dangers were made clear when ”this year’s Beijing marathon [...] saw many drop out when their face-mask filters turned a shade of grey after just a few kilometres.” Now, in an attempt to improve the living conditions in the city, ecologists and environmental scientists are proposing new methods to filter the air en masse. Read about some of the methods here.
OMA has won a competition to design the Lujiazui Exhibition Centre, a 1,500 square meter space in Shanghai Pudong on the site of the former “Shanghai Shipyard.” The design aims to create a concentrated culture and event space within the surrounding financial district, on the edge of the Huangpu River, one of the most photographed waterfronts in the world.
More on the design after the break
Encountering the “Weirdness” in China: A Talk with the Guangzhou Circle Architect Joseph di Pasquale
Recently, lots of controversial “Jumbos” have been erected on mainland China, leading most of their creators, architects from Western countries, to be placed at the centre of public discussion. Furthermore, China’s President Xi Jinping’s recent comment about “no more weird buildings” has led the Chinese central government into this whirlpool. What can western landmark makers learn from all of this?
We met Joseph di Pasquale, architect of the Guangzhou Circle, in Milan some days after “weirdness” became the most used word in Chinese architecture. In the following edited talk with interviewer Yifan Zhang, the architect of the latest landmark in South China’s largest city discusses his new project, the real circumstances in China, and the future for foreign architects.
Architects: Shenzhen Upright & Pure Architectural Design Co., Ltd.
Location: Zhengzhou, Henan, China
Area: 4600.0 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of Shenzhen Upright & Pure Architectural Design