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 email@example.com
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…
Architects: Christopher Charles Benninger Architects
Location: Lonavla, Pune, India
Architect In Charge: Prof. Christopher Benninger
Design Team: Daraius Choksi, Harsh Manrao, Shivaji Karekar, Akshay Modhak, Sujit Kothiwale, Neha Kothiwale, Shalaka Vaidya, Kshitija Parmar, Madhvi Bhuradia, Noel Jerald, Er. Rahul Sathe
Area: 21,500 sqm
Photographs: A. Ramprasad Naidu
Slums, shanty-towns, favelas - they are all products of an exploding migration from rural to urban areas. Over the last half century, people living in or near metropolises has risen in proportion to the global population. Migrations from rural areas to urban areas have grown exponentially as cities have developed into hubs of economic activity and job growth promising new opportunities for social mobility and education. Yet, with all these perceptions holding fast, many people who choose to migrate find themselves in the difficult circumstances of integrating into an environment without the proper resources to accommodate the growing population. Cities, for example, like Mumbai, India’s largest city and 11th on the list as of 2012 with a population of an estimated 20.5 million. According to a New York Times article from 2011, about 60% of that number live in the makeshift dwellings that now occupy lucrative land for Mumbai’s developers.
More to come after the break.
Architects: Rintala Eggertsson Architects
Location: Karnataka, India
Design Team: Sami Rintala, Pasi Aalto, Gunilla Bandolin,Robin Belven, Einar Syversen, Helder Matos, Ida Mosand, Monica Bellika Esaiassen, Kristin Rønnestad, Marta Correa, Moritz Kerschbaum, Olav Kildal, Jonny Klevstad, Karoline Førsund and Dagur Eggertsson
Collaborators: Eden Project, Loowatt Ltd., Buro Happold, Annapurna Garimella, Suresh Heblikar, Jim O’Donnell, Sujata Goel, Kalidas Shetty, Talavane Krishna, Arnun Balakrishnan and Murali Krishna
Photographs: Pasi Aalto
Location: Hyderabad, India
Project Team: Vivek V. Shankar, Dhanaprakash, Jano Christopher, Jhanavi
Cladding: Hunter Douglas India Ltd
Façade Installer: Srinivas
Structural Engineer: Pase Group
Building Contractor: Babji Mali
Landscape Design: Earthworks
Area: 8,300 sqm
Photographs: Pallon Daruwala
Taking place in Mumbai, India from March 6th to March 8th, the 361° International Architectural Conference is an initiative by Indian Architect & Builder to create a truly relevant dialogue on architecture. One of the oldest and the most respected design forums in the country, the conference plans once again to host individuals such as Peter Zumthor, Charles Correa, and Fernando Menis, to lead the thought and practice of architecture and as an extension – design in the world. For more information, please visit here.
Spread across 1156 acres, the proposal for the Trans Ganga Masterplan by Studio Symbiosis is envisioned as an iconic city on the banks of Ganga, aimed at being a self sufficient sustainable city. Developed as a mixed use project, this will provide the most influential and dominant context for the master plan. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Commissioned through a design competition, the Office Complex for Delhi Pollution Control Committee proposal by M:OFA Studios houses about 200 officials , scientists and a devoted work force responsible for making and implementing policies, research and formulating norms for keeping India’s capital Pollution free. The significance of this office in the larger context is an affirmation of this purpose itself contributing towards a higher standard of living for the populace of Delhi State. It was the understanding of this purpose and sustainability in the Indian context that became the core design parameters for the DPCC head office building. More images and architects’ description after the break.