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Tim Franco Captures the Overscaled Urbanization of Chongqing

These days, many of China's largest urban areas are easily recognizable to people from all over the world, with the skylines of coastal mega-cities such as Shanghai and Beijing taking their place in the global consciousness. Far less known though is the inland city of Chongqing - another of China's five top-tier "National Central Cities" - where in 2010 the Chinese government embarked on a plan to urbanize a further 10 million of the region's rural population, with around 1,300 people now moving into the city every day.

Since his first visit to the city in 2009 photographer Tim Franco has been on a mission to document the rapid change in what he believes is "maybe the most widely unknown megacity in the world." The result is Metamorpolis, a forthcoming photographic book by Franco with text by British journalist Richard Macauley, which documents the colossal scale of development juxtaposed against the people of Chongqing - many of whom still live an incongruous rural lifestyle among the concrete sprawl. Read on after the break for more images from the book and an interview with Franco about the experience of documenting one of the world's fastest-growing cities.

© Tim Franco © Tim Franco © Tim Franco © Tim Franco

SND Fashion Store / 3GATTI

  • Architects: 3GATTI
  • Location: Chongqing, Chongqing, China
  • Architect in Charge: Francesco Gatti
  • Area: 180.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Shen Qiang

© Shen Qiang © Shen Qiang © Shen Qiang © Shen Qiang

Zhongxun Times / 10 Design

  • Architects: 10 Design
  • Location: Chongqing, China
  • Design Team: Gordon Affleck, Brian Fok, Lukasz Wawrzenczyk, Frisly Colop Morales, Jason Easter, Nick Chan, Rita Pang, Ryan Leong, Dan Narita, Jon Martin
  • Area: 130000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Courtesy of 10 Design

Courtesy of 10 Design Courtesy of 10 Design Courtesy of 10 Design Courtesy of 10 Design

Chongqing Greenland Clubhouse / PURE Architecture

© Shu He Photography © Shu He Photography © Shu He Photography © Shu He Photography

Chongqing Business Center Proposal / United Design Group

Located in the center of the business zone in the Jangbeizui District of Chongquig, China, the office building proposal by United Design Group will service the business zone, promote the business condition, enrich the functions of the center, and become the fresh blood of the district. The considerations about the surroundings have been mostly centered on the orientation of the other projects (already under construction) and by the presence of a linear park that will connect the site with the water front where the Chongqing Grand Theatre is located. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Zaha Hadid Seeing Double in China

East © ZHA
East © ZHA

Eleven Zaha Hadid projects are currently being constructed in China, however one of them has the international architecture mogul seeing double. Unfortunately, Hadid has found herself in a race to finish the Wangjing SOHO office and retail complex in Beijing before pirates complete their doppelgänger version in Chongqing, a megacity near the eastern edge of the Tibetan plateau. As reported on Spiegel Online, the Dame claimed that the pirates are currently in the lead and building faster than SOHO. The original, which is set for completion in 2014, features three curved towers whose “shimmering”, metallic skin unifies the complex as each volume appears to “dance” around each other. Hadid is not the first to be mimicked in China. Last year, a small UNESCO-protected village in Austria, Hallstatt, was recreated, brick for brick, in the subtropical district of Guangdong, China. You can find the complete story here.

Houston Pavilion / Morris Architects

Courtesy of Morris Architects
Courtesy of Morris Architects

Morris Architects shared with us their Houston Pavilion for the 8th China International Garden Expo in Chongqing, China, which is a showcase for a variety of landscape typologies throughout China and the world. The theme, “Better Garden, Better City”, promotes harmony between landscaped and built spaces. The City of Houston is one of thirty-two international cities invited to participate in the Expo. Morris Architects partnered with SWA Group to design the Houston Pavilion. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Brownstone Bar / Kokaistudios

  • Architects: Kokaistudios
  • Location: Yongjia Road, Wanzhou, Chongqing, China
  • Architects: Kokaistudios
  • Interior Design: Andrea Destefanis, Pietro Peyron, Carmen Lee
  • Client: Blue Horizon Hospitality Group
  • Area: 130.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2010
  • Photographs: Charlie Xia

© Charlie Xia © Charlie Xia © Charlie Xia © Charlie Xia

New Jindai Elementary School / TEKTAO

  • Architects: TEKTAO
  • Location: Chongqing, China
  • Architects: TEKTAO/Tongji University
  • Project Team: Lou Yongqi, Ji Xiang, Yuval Zohar LEED AP, Ruo Chen, Ding Chan, Wu Zhen, Guo Ling, Wang Ci Yin, Lu Lian Jie, Wang Ye, Xu Hang Yu
  • Area: 5000.0 sqm
  • Photographs: Lou Yongqi, Yuval Zohar

© Lou Yongqi © Lou Yongqi © Yuval Zohar © Lou Yongqi

Chongqing New World Shopping Center / logon architecture

Courtesy of Logon Architecture
Courtesy of Logon Architecture

German-based logon architecture shared with us their project for the Chongqing New World Shopping Center, which includes luxury residential housing, a highrise tower and a 5-star hotel. More images and architect’s description after the break.

Brittle / Nicolas Fayad

© Nicolas Fayad
© Nicolas Fayad

Recent Harvard graduate, Nicolas Fayad, was awarded the Boston Society of Architects’ James Templeton Kelley Prize, an honor recognizing the most successful graduating project.  Fayad’s “Brittle”, a School of Arts, is an exploration of responsive and adaptive form.  Fayad’s programmatic elements have been organized and molded in response to the changing typography of Chongqing, China – making the design quite flexible as it can easily adapt to any change of land within the city. More about the awarded design after the break.

Chongqing Library / Perkins Eastman

  • Architects: Perkins Eastman
  • Location: Chongqing, China
  • Architects: Perkins Eastman
  • Building Type: Public Assembly
  • Budget: US $38.6M
  • Area: 50000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2007

Chongqing Library / Perkins Eastman Chongqing Library / Perkins Eastman Chongqing Library / Perkins Eastman Chongqing Library / Perkins Eastman