Coop Himmelb(l)au has come up with an incredibly unique design for the new Grand Theatre and International Culture & Art Center for Changsha, China. The site is located on the northeastern side of the newly created Changsha Meixi Lake in the Daheexi District, with the design engaging both land and water with a flowing and undulating white form of enormous scale. The architects hope to create a new cultural center that interacts with the existing natural landscape, not only visually, but scientifically by running on alternative energy sources and efficient passive energy systems to reduce environmental impact.
The architects’ description after the break…
Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) have unveiled an ambitious cultural complex, which began to take shape in October after the project broke ground in the heart of Changsha, China. In true Hadid-fashion, the Changsha Meixihu International Culture & Arts Center defines itself by extreme sinuous curves that radiate from each of the three independent structures and links them to a pedestrianized landscape that offers a “strong urban experience”, forming what they hope to be a global destination for theater and art.
The architects’s description after the break…
Seaside Resort Development Competition Entry / John Thompson & Partners + Alan Dunlop Architects + Gillespies
Designed by the multi-disciplinary design team featuring John Thompson and Partners (JTP), Alan Dunlop Architects, and Gillespies, their proposal for the international tourist destination and ecological seaside resort on the Dapeng Peninsula made the final shortlist in the competition. Their design concept draws inspiration from the beauty, tranquillity and characteristics of the siteand learning lessons from examples and exemplars both in China and internationally. More images and architects’ description after the break.
London-based architectural practice Office for Architectural Culture (OAC) recently completed the master plan and architectural concepts for a prestigious International Oceanic Fishing Cultural Center and Museums in China. The 650,000 m2 project in Tanmen, located on the southern island of Hainan, aims to create a realm where new architecture and spaces are profoundly rooted in the village’s culture and heritage is our principal design approach. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Last month, we reported on OMA’s latest competition winner: the Essence Financial Building, a building that OMA Partner David Gianotten described as “a new generation of office tower” for the city of Shenzhen, China. To talk us through the building’s cutting edge sustainable features, we spoke with Arpan Bakshi, an architect, engineer, and Sustainability Manager at YR&G, OMA’s sustainability consultants, who led the environmental design for the project.
Learn more about the Essence Financial Building, OMA’s collaborative approach, and Bakshi’s views on the future of sustainable design – for both China and the world – after the break…
In cities around the globe, change happens almost instantly. Buildings rise, buildings disappear, and skylines morph before one’s eyes. There is no better example of this, of course, than China. From Ordos to Shanghai, Chinese cities are in a constant state of flux, as the Chinese people willfully abandon signs of the past and embrace the new.
Of course, it’s one thing to know this fact; it’s quite another to witness it firsthand, to experience this urgent impetus to demolish and demolish in order to build, build, build, and build. In the face of such large-scale, exponential urban development, it’s easy to feel powerless to suggest another path.
However, in publishing Anatomy of a Chinese City, that is exactly what two young architects have done. By taking the time to observe the “urban artifacts” that make a Chinese city unique, compiling over 100 drawings of everything from buildings to bicycles, Thomas Batzenschlager and Clémence Pybaro have preserved a piece of Chinese history that is quickly going extinct.
In a world where, in the race for progress, quotidian realities are erased unthinkingly, Anatomy of a Chinese City is not just a resource, but a call-to-action, reminding us to slow down and observe the very human context that surrounds us.
Read more about Anatomy of a Chinese City, after the break…
This article, by Austin Williams, originally appeared in The Asian Age as “India, China: Talk of the Town.” Williams is the co-author of Lure of the City: From Slums to Suburbs and director of the Future Cities Project. He teaches architecture and urban studies at XJTL University in Suzhou, China. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
As an architect living in Suzhou, just outside Shanghai, I have become blasé about the skyline being transformed before my very eyes. The classic view of Shanghai’s towering waterfront may not represent great architecture, but it’s impressive all the same… and constantly improving. In most cities across China it is the same story: high-speed construction activity, modernisation, transformation and skyscrapers everywhere. There is a palpable sense of opportunity pending — what the émigrés to America must have felt when arriving in New York 100 years ago.
While many Western commentators point to the failures (the accidents, the pollution and the corruption) with an unremitting Schadenfreude, China marches on. Where else can you watch a modern city grow and change in real time? Where else, indeed?
Read more of Austin Williams’ account of the different kinds of urban development happening in China and India, after the break…
Designed by MA2, the office tower and exhibition hall concept design proposal is for Hong Kong’s Kai Tak development, an airport landing strip that will be reclaimed into the city as a new cultural, business, and residential district. The tower is an expression of fluid movement that manifests into a series of folds, creases, and a bifurcation of massing creating a dual tower. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Designed by Andrea Vattovani Architecture, their ‘Back2rots’ research center proposal consists of a new working environment for young people. Upon developing the program to determine their target and who they wanted to reach, the architects decided to develop a big creative block in which young talented people could find everything. This project would be able to give them everything they need to be creative and to make their dreams a reality by having all the necessary tools. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Huangpu River Banks Development just selected Inbo and NITA‘s proposal as the winning design for the master plan for the sustainable large scale Xin Hua Pudong waterfront development in the very heart of Shanghai. Located on the Huangpu River, their low-cardon, 45ha development entails a marina and a green riverside park with a mixed urban program as the green fingers of the park penetrate and interact with the surrounding urban area. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Steven Holl Architects collaborated with Spirit of Space to create two short films that capture the essence of Chengdu’s newest sustainable micro-city: Sliced Porosity Block. Shaped by the distribution of natural light, this multi-use complex of five sun-carved concrete towers defines itself by the formation of three large public valleys that, not only supports a hybrid of different functions, but anchors the building into the surrounding urban fabric.
View an intimate account of these poetic spaces in the film above and then discover the ideas that inspired them in a conversation with Steven Holl below. The interview also includes an exclusive take on Holl’s post-completion thoughts of Lebbeus Woods’ last built installation: the Light Pavilion.
More information and images of Sliced Porosity Block can be found here on ArchDaily.
NBBJ has shared with us their latest design in sports architecture, a multifunctional industrial sports complex for the residents of Suzhou, China. Designed as a community asset, the cultural sports hub will include a commercial center, aquatics facility, gymnasium, arena, professional sports stadium and more. All facilities will be integrated within a lush “Sports Garden” that features an abundance of pedestrian walkways, gardens and sport fields.
The architects’ description after the break…
A unique ecological resource for an otherwise densely-populated urban region, the Xiasha district is a rural, coastal setting outside of Shenzhen. FCHA‘s second prize winning proposal for the masterplan project of Xiasha Wander Bay seeks to strike a balance between the preservation of the site’s pristine ecology and the needs of a four-season tourist town. More images and architects’ description after the break.
OMA has won the design competition for the Essence Financial Building in Shenzhen, China. Led by OMA Partners David Gianotten and Rem Koolhaas, the design beat out four other entries by international and Chinese practices.
The skyscraper will be OMA’s second in Shenzhen (the first being the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, which will be completed in April this year). By challenging many typical office tower conventions (such as a central core plan and curtain wall systems), OMA hopes their buildings will help lead the way for a “new generation” of office towers in the city.
As David Gianotten commented in the Press Release: ”OMA is very excited about its continuous and deepening participation in Shenzhen’s development, especially as the city makes its latest evolution: from a manufacturing city into a services hub. This next generation of urbanism calls for a new generation of office towers of which the Essence Financial Building could be one.”
More on the Essence Financial Building, after the break…
With Shenzhen’s Bao’an District an emerging incubator for entrepreneurs and rapidly growing new businesses, FCHA’s second prize winning proposal for the Headquarters Building for Small and Medium Enterprises seeks to establish an inclusive hub for start-up enterprises. This building hopes to maximize the exchange of resources and ideas with the aim of sparking new innovation and collaboration. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Aiming to become a unique destination full of surprise and discovery, the design proposal for the Thaihot City Plaza Mall has a multi-faceted façade that has different functions, in plan and elevation. Designed by Spark Architects, this facade moderates the edges of the building in plan to increase sight lines into the pedestrian street drawing people in, unlike linear streets that fail to hold and capture the pedestrians’ interest. More images and architects’ description after the break.
With the aim to create a new and contemporary urban space. the Nanjing Road Mixed Use Area proposal by RTA-Office distributes the volumes on the parcel in order to get an open public space and an intimate one simultaneously. The many passages throughout the 200,000 square-meter project offers walk paths for residents and visitors as it occupies an entire block of the city of Qingdao. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Constituting the northern portion of the planned ‘Future Square’ in the rapidly developing Airport District of Zhengzhou, China, Atelier of Urban Architecture (AUA)‘s design is an iconic addition to the area. The proposed urban planning exhibition centre and associated landscape consists of various programs that are organized on the folding floor slabs, bringing visitors around the centre piece of the exhibition – the physical model, which itself is positioned within a sunken space on ground level. More images and architects’ description after the break.