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Toronto Takes Top Spot in Metropolis Magazine's Livable Cities Ranking

How do you compare cities? It's difficult to collapse millions of individual subjective experiences into a single method of comparison, but one popular technique used in recent years has been to judge a city's "livability." But what does this word actually mean? In their 2015 ranking of the world's most livable cities, Metropolis Magazine has gathered together a group of experts on city planning, urban life, tourism and architecture to break down "livability" into the categories they think matter and draw upon Metropolis' considerable urban coverage to produce one of the most thorough attempts to rank world series yet attempted. Find out the results after the break.

Universities from Barcelona and Zurich Selected to Create a New Design School in China

Through a competition limited to some of the most prestigious universities, The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) and the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) have been chosen to work with the Harbin Institute of Technology of China (HIT) to create a new school of design, architecture and urbanism in Shenzhen. The new centre will be built on HIT's campus and house up to 1,200 post-graduate and doctoral students, with facilities for research, education and production. Read more about this collaboration after the break.

Rocco Yim Reveals the Key to Developing Cities for Low-Carbon Living

During this week’s “Alternatives for Low Carbon City Architecture and Life” conference in Shenzhen, China, we sat down with Rocco Yim to ask him how his work—driven by his interest in connecting cultures— is related to the pursuit of low-carbon or sustainable design. Yim explained the core values that motivate his approach to design, revealing his attitudes towards technologically-driven design solutions. Read on to see what Yim believes to be the essence of succesful urban spaces. 

Opportunities Available at the Forthcoming Shekou Design Museum in Shenzhen

With the new Shekou Design Museum in Shenzhen edging ever nearer to its opening in 2017, the China Merchants Group and the Victoria and Albert Museum have begun the search for a Senior Curator, a Communication Specialist, and a Project Manager proficient in both Mandarin and English. The museum, which has been designed by Fumihiko Maki and is being directed by Ole Bouman, is slated to become "a place of wonders as well as an engine of new ideas." Located in Shekou, described as the cradle of China’s pioneering spirit, this new institution "has potential to become the platform for international design to enter China and the window for Chinese design to go global."

Call for Exhibitors: 2015 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism Architecture in Hong Kong and Shenzhen

The 2015 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism Architecture (UABB) has launched an open call for exhibitors. Co-organized by Shenzhen and Hong Kong, UABB is the only biennial exhibition in the world that is based exclusively on the themes of urbanism and urbanization. This year's edition, which will run from December 2015 to February 2016, will be based around the themes "Re-Living the City" and "Visions 2050 - Lifestyle & The City." All those who are interested in participating as an exhibitor should submit their proposals to the organizers of the Shenzhen curatorial team (here) and Hong Kong curatorial team (here) before June 30, 2015. See our past coverage on the 2013 UABB to learn more about the event.

Open Call: PINGDI 1.1 Alternatives for Low Carbon Architecture

In order to effectively guide and improve the development and construction of the low-carbon pilot zone and to strength its international influence, Shenzhen Public Art Center, under the request from the Planning and Construction Management Office of Shenzhen International Low-carbon City and Shenzhen SEZ Construction and Development Co., Ltd., has organized an international competition for the PINGDI Pilot Zone – the urban design for the zone’s one square kilometer and the architectural design for its 0.1 square kilometer. The number in PINGDI 1.1 is the numerical sum of one and 0.1 square kilometers, and also represents the improvement and exploration of the low-carbon development method.

Morphosis Breaks Ground on Shenzhen Office Tower

Construction is underway on a striking new tower by Morphosis Architects in Shenzhen. "A departure from conventional towers," as the practice describes, the "Hanking Center Tower" merges commercial retail with private office space through the folding of its steel structure. Beyond that, tenants are connected via a series communal sky gardens and a massive sun-lit atrium that occupies the building's core. 

Plaza. Image © Luxigon, courtesy of Morphosis Architects Lobby. Image © Luxigon, courtesy of Morphosis Architects Retail. Image © Luxigon, courtesy of Morphosis Architects © Luxigon, courtesy of Morphosis Architects

Geology Museum / LeeMundwiler Architects

  • Architects: LeeMundwiler Architects
  • Location: 大鹏半岛, Longgang, Shenzhen, China
  • Consultants: BLY Landscape Architecture Planning & Design Institute; Huayi Design.
  • Area: 6200.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Yujiang Peng

© Yujiang Peng © Yujiang Peng © Yujiang Peng © Yujiang Peng

Construction Begins on OPEN's Pingshan Performing Arts Center in Shenzhen

The winning entry in a competition for Pingshan's first theater, Beijing-based OPEN Architecture's Pingshan Performing Arts Center has broken ground in Shenzen. The 1350-capacity theatre is located in the city's new urban district, and slated for completion by the end of 2015.

Read more about the project and view selected images after the break.

Courtesy of OPEN Architecture Courtesy of OPEN Architecture Courtesy of OPEN Architecture Courtesy of OPEN Architecture

MJH Gallery of iD Town / O-office Architects

  • Architects: O-office Architects
  • Location: Shenzhen, Guangdong, China
  • Architect in Charge: Jianxiang HE, Ying JIANG
  • Design Team: Jingyu DONG, Thomas ODORICO, xiaolin CHEN, Guixiong Feng
  • Area: 2800.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Chaos.Z

© Chaos.Z © Chaos.Z © Chaos.Z © Chaos.Z

Ole Bouman Appointed Director of V&A-Backed Shekou Design Museum

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.

From the Ground Up: China and the New Vertical City

By the end of 2015, one in three of the world’s tallest buildings will be in China. With its government planned cities, the Chinese policy often favors high-density development, and some of the most radical and experimental urban design ideas can be applied in China - take for example the recent joint winner of the Shenzhen Bay Super City competition, Cloud Citizen, which takes on a more integrated and interconnected approach to vertical cities. In this article on The Guardian, Nicola Davison investigates how at this critical time in the country’s development, architects and urban planners may choose to move away from previous urban models of isolated skyscrapers, towards a more humane environment that seeks to emulate nature and create diverse public spaces. Read the article in full here

“Cloud Citizen” Awarded Joint Top Honors in Shenzhen Bay Super City Competition

Cloud Citizen, a proposal for a new high-rise typology by Urban Future Organization and CR-Design, in collaboration with a team of experts at Chalmers Technical University, has been jointly awarded the highest prize in the Shenzhen Bay Super City Masterplan Competition. Their futuristic design features a singular mega building complex that aims to create a hyper dense urban center that gives back to the environment. Read on after the break to learn more about the proposal.

Courtesy of Urban Future Organization and CR-Design Courtesy of Urban Future Organization and CR-Design Courtesy of Urban Future Organization and CR-Design Courtesy of Urban Future Organization and CR-Design

KAMJZ Reveals Proposal for Shenzhen Bay Super City Masterplan

Already one of the most remarkable examples of China’s urban growth in the last 30 years, Shenzhen will soon also host a bustling new financial district. The Shenzhen Bay Super City Masterplan aims to create a new city center with top headquarter offices for global corporations and related venues for international conferences, exhibitions, and cultural programs. KAMJZ Architects has recently revealed their competition entry with a plan that proposes a more sustainable city center through the design of a radical new typology for office towers. Read on after the break to learn more about the proposed masterplan. 

Courtesy of KAMJZ Architects Courtesy of KAMJZ Architects Courtesy of KAMJZ Architects Courtesy of KAMJZ Architects

Mecanoo Begins Work on Vast Cultural Centre in Shenzhen

Dutch based practice Mecanoo, nominated for this year's RIBA Stirling Prize for the Library of Birmingham, have begun work on vast cultural centre in Shenzhen marking their first project to break ground on Chinese soil. Comprising of a large public art gallery, a science museum, a youth centre, and a book mall, the 95,000 square metre development will strengthen Longgang District's identity by "providing citizens and visitors with a renewed sense of place." Forming a dynamic link between the high-rise of the city's commercial district and the open spaces of Longcheng Park, the four sculpted forms emerge from the ground to create a series of arches and sheltered spaces to facilitate public events.

See the full set of images and an illustrative film after the break.

Courtesy of Mecanoo / Christopher Malheiros Architectural Visualization Breaks in the volumes create sheltered spaces. Image Courtesy of Mecanoo / Doug and Wolf Exhibition Space. Image Courtesy of Mecanoo / Doug and Wolf Restaurant. Image Courtesy of Mecanoo / Doug and Wolf

RMJM Designs Fish-Inspired Tower Clad with Aluminum Scales

RMJM's Shenzhen studio has just been awarded the contract to build a 93 metre public observation tower inspired by the importance of water in the historic Doumen District, Guangdong Province, China. Perched at the confluence of two rivers, the Doumen Observation Tower will rise from the waterfront of the Zhuhai, and is inspired by the form of a fish soaring above the water, clad in aluminum scales to protect from the hot Chinese sun. The tower will occupy a minimal footprint and will be surrounded by a large public plaza.

Check out the complete specs of Doumen Observation Tower after the break.