Qichun Catholic Church / Leekostudio

Courtesy of

Architects: Leekostudio
Location: , China
Design Team: Li Yikao, Jin Xing
Year: 2011
Photographs: Courtesy of Leekostudio

AD Interviews: Keith Griffiths, Chairman of Aedas, on Appoaching Densification in London

Keith Griffiths. Image Courtesy of

Following the recent announcement of Aedas’ demerger into two separate companies - one retaining the Aedas name and the other now known as AHR - we spoke to Keith Griffiths, Chairman of Aedas’ global board and a practicing architect for close to three decades. The company, which was recently ranked by the Architects’ Journal as the 5th largest and most influential practice in the world, have now moved their head office to London’s Chandos Place and are championing a new approach to urban in the UK’s capital. Alongside discussing how an international practice of Aedas’ scale successfully operates, Griffiths offered his insight into how the future looks for European cities based on a tried and tested Asian model of densification.

To find out how Aedas approach sustainability in flourishing Asian markets, as well as the significance of the ‘urban hub’ typology for London’s metropolitan future, read the interview in full after the break.

How Chinese Urbanism Is Transforming African Cities

The Great Wall Apartments, a Chinese style residential compound in Nairobi, Kenya. Image Courtesy of Go West Project

This article from Metropolis delves into China’s urban development of many African cities, and the effect this has had on the architectural quality of those cities. Chinese contractors and architects are able to propel a city’s growth at lower cost and on schedule, but in doing so, they out-compete local companies and ignore cultural context. Is this an acceptable trade-off? Read the full article and decide for yourself.

The factory of the world has a new export: urbanism. More and more Chinese-made buildings, infrastructure, and urban districts are sprouting up across , and this development is changing the face of the continent’s cities.

Or so says Dutch research studio Go West Project , who have been tracking this phenomenon for their on-going project about the export of the Chinese urban model to Africa. Since 2012, the group, made up of Shanghai-based architect Daan Roggeveen and Amsterdam-based journalist Michiel Hulshof, have visited six African cities to do research. Roggeveen and Hulshof recently released their preliminary report in an issue of Urban Chinaa magazine focusing on Chinese urban development.

Dashun Pavilion / Pro-Form Architects

© LV Hengzhong

Architects: Pro-Form Architects
Location: , China
Design Team: WANG Fangji, YIN Wei, SONG Zhuoer, XIAO Xiao, NIE Xin
Year: 2011
Photographs: LV Hengzhong

Interview with Rocco Yim of Rocco Design

Guanzhou Museum. Image Courtesy of Rocco Design

In the ancient culture identity is a touch of spatiality. Our use of space is psychological, you line up sequences of courtyards and buildings in order of importance so it prepares your mood, they get a sense of anticipation. We could reuse this spatially in today’s different types of buildings to achieve different purposes, but it originates from the past — that makes it Chinese.” – Rocco S. K. Yim, , 2013

On the 38th floor of the AIA Tower, Rocco Yim’s office faces the bay, from which you see the quintessential view of the city: the Hong Kong skyline. Rocco Yim is the founder of Limited (founded in 1982) and responsible for the design of iconic buildings like the International Finance Centre in Hong Kong. In this conversation he talks about the importance of the density created and supported by the urban flow in China, and his unique point of view on iconic architecture in relation to ancient culture.

Thousands of Inhabitants May Be Relocated As Chinese Bankers Eye Venezuela’s Torre David

© Vía ‘The Atlantic’

Torre de David (the Tower of David) - the world’s tallest slum and the subject of Urban-Think TankJustin McGuirk, and Iwan Baan‘s Golden Lion-winning Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2012 - is once again making headlines. Venezuelan newspaper TalCual reports that the Venezuelan government is in negotiations with Chinese banks interested in purchasing the building.

Tower of David is an unfinished financial skyscraper in downtown . Construction began on the tower in 1990, but the death of the principal investor in 1993 and the subsequent banking crisis that hit the country in 1994 froze construction; by the end of the year, the tower was in the hands of the state. Nevertheless, in 2007 two thousand homeless citizens took over and inhabited the skyscraper, making it the tallest vertical slum in the world.

Daidai Pavilion / Pro-Form Architects

© LV Hengzhong

Architects: Pro-Form Architects
Location: Jiading, , China
Design Team: WANG Fangji, XUE Jun, SONG Zhuoer, LI Peng
Year: 2011
Photographs: LV Hengzhong

Kale Café / YAMO Design

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Architects: YAMO Design
Location: Binjiang, Hangzhou, Zhejiang,
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of YAMO Design

Zhangmiao Exercise Park / Archi-Union Architects

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Architects: Archi-Union Architects
Location: Baoshan Road, Shanghai,
Architect In Charge: Philip F. Yuan
Schematic Design: Alex Han, Shaoliang Hua, Fuzi He
Construction Design: Fuzi He, Weiwei Zhao
Area: 4000.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Courtesy of Archi-Union Architects

Jiangyin Primary & Secondary School / BAU Brearley Architects + Urbanists

© Shu He

Architects: BAU Brearley Architects + Urbanists
Location: Yushanwan Garden, Furong Avenue Side Road, Jiangyin, Wuxi, Jiangsu,
Area: 56000.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Shu He

Suzhou School / BAU Brearley Architects + Urbanists

© Shu He

Architects: BAU Brearley Architects + Urbanists
Location: Suzhou, Jiangsu,
Architect In Charge: James Brearley, Fang Qun, Jiang Han, ,Lin Donghui, Richard Tam, Olga Mladenovic, Nicky Chang, Mao Jie, Zhou Yinying, Chen Lei
Year: 2009
Photographs: Shu He

Hangzhou Duolan Commercial Complex / BAU Brearley Architects + Urbanists

© Shu He

Architects: BAU Brearley Architects + Urbanists
Location: Xiasha, Jianggan, , Zhejiang,
Archtiecture Team: Jiang Han, James Brearley, Huang Fan, Lin Youzhen, Zhen Lili, Cao Xizhen
Landscape Team: Huang Fang, Xiong Juan, Li Shuyun
Year: 2012
Photographs: Shu He

The Lotus Building and People’s Park / studio505

© John Gollings

Architects: studio505
Location: Wujin, , Jiangsu, China
Year: 2013
Photographs: John Gollings

Phoenix Valley / studio505

© John Gollings

Architects: studio505
Location: Wujin, Changzhou, Jiangsu,
Year: 2013
Photographs: John Gollings

Kunshan Visitor Center / Vector Architects

© Shengliang Su

Architects: Vector Architects
Location: Kunshan, Suzhou, Jiangsu,
Architect In Charge: Gong Dong
Project Architects: Zhimin Zhou, Xiangdong Kong, Feng Xu, Ran Huo
Area: 280 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Shengliang Su

Flamingo Shanghai Office / Neri & Hu Design and Research Office

© Dirk Weiblen

Architects: Neri & Hu Design and Research Office
Location: 7 Mengzi Road, Huangpu, , , 200231
Architect In Charge: Lyndon Neri, Rossana Hu
Associate In Charge: Nellie Yang
Project Manager: Jerry Guo
Desing Team: Begoña Sebastian, Anqing Zhu, Kelvin Huang, Brian Lo, Zhao Yun, Litien Poeng
Client: Flamingo
Area: 620.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Dirk Weiblen

Jiahe Boutique Hotel / Shangai Dushe Architecture Design

© Shengliang Su

Architects: Shangai Dushe Architecture Design
Location: Jiangyin, , Jiangsu, China
Architects In Charge: Kege Ling, Yijia Liu
Area: 7,000 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Shengliang Su

Rocco Designs New Campus for Chu Hai College of Higher Education

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Modeled after its dense urban surroundings, Chu Hai College of Higher Education’s new campus in Hong Kong meets a complex program while giving students a fantastic view of the ocean. Designed by Rocco Design Architects Limited, the building’s geometry stacks different programmatic uses on top of each other and connects them with a vertical boulevard. The result is a sculptural entity, partially inspired by Chinese calligraphy, that seeks a balance between solid and void.