Shenzhen Biennale: The Value Factory and the Urban Border

Entrance pavilion at the Value Factory © ArchDaily

Now in its 5th edition, the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism / Architecture (UABB) is the only biennial exhibition in the world to be based exclusively on the themes of urbanism and urbanization. The Biennale is co-organized by and Hong Kong, two of the most intensely urban cities in the world, where political and economical contexts have shaped unique urban dynamics. 

A few days ago we had the chance to attend the opening of the Shenzhen Biennale, curated by Creative Director Ole Bouman together with Academic Directors Li Xiangning and Jeffrey Johnson. The Biennale, focused on “Urban Borders,” is split between two venues that will be open until Feb 28th, 2014. 

Toll Stations and Canopies at the AP-7 South La Jonquera - Salou, Catalonia

Right next to the Shenzhen Ferry Terminal, where thousands of people commute every day between Hong Kong, Macau and Chinese cities along the Pearl River Delta, the Border Warehouse  displays a series of projects -including the national pavilions- that deal with border issues, from projects that mediate Shenzhen and Hong Kong; the 3,154km long border between Mexico and the US, to transit stations and border checkpoints designed by contemporary architects. Participating include Enrique Walker, Juerguen Mayer, Aterlier Bow Wow, Joseph Grima, Teddy Cruz, Abalos + Sienkiewicz, MAD, among many others.

“Cities are filled with numerous – and at first sight invisible – borders. Between rich and poor, between ethnic groups, between high and low, between dense and sprawl, in short, between center and periphery. But who and what define these borders?” – Ole Bouman

But perhaps the most interesting part of the Biennale takes place at the main venue: The Value Factory. 

More information about the Value Factory and a complete photo report after the break:

Hotel Kapok Shenzhen Bay / Goettsch Partners

© 1st Image

Architects: Goettsch Partners
Location: Shenzhen, Guangdong,
Year: 2012
Photographs: 1st Image

“Fangda Business Headquarters” Winning Entry / Huasen Architects

Courtesy of Huasen Architects

Huasen Architects (HSA) have been announced winners of the Headquarters competition. The winning proposal, located in Shenzhen, China, reshapes the existing site into a 300,000 sqm vortex of , office, entertainment and recreation spaces, stemming off a high-tech research and technical development hub. Competition requirements called for the integration of a bus terminal predicated on government officials’ calculations that 55% of users would arrive by bus.

2013 Shenzhen Biennale, UABB (Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism /Architecture)

Courtesy of UABB / Transformation of the Guangdong Float Glass Factory

Now in its 5th edition, the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture (UABB) is the only biennial exhibition in the world to be based exclusively on the themes of urbanism and urbanization and is co-organized by and Hong Kong, making it one of the most important events on its type in the region.

The UABB has developed strong alliances with partners both local, regional and from all over the world. Among them include globally renowned cultural institutions like Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A), MAXXI, OMA, Droog Design, International Architecture Biennale of São Paulo, MIT, MoMA New York, and The Berlage.

The curator for this year is Ole Bouman, and amajor attraction of the 2013 Shenzhen Biennale is the creative and dramatic transformation of an old Shenzhen glass factory into one of the Biennale’s core venues for this year. Spearheaded by Ole Bouman, the UABB’s curator and creative director, the project adhered to his manifesto statement of “Biennale as risk.” The revitalisation effort not only provides a unique and functional exhibition space for the Biennale but it reclaims a piece of heritage and history. As a broader objective, the makeover is also a step in redefining Shenzhen’s identity. In completing the urban intervention, Mr. Bouman now calls it a ‘Value Factory’ to manufacture ideas and knowledge.

More after the break.

Aix Arôme Café / One Plus Partnership Limited

Courtesy of

Architects: One Plus Partnership Limited
Location: , China
Designers Involved: Ajax Law Ling Kit, Virginia Lung
Area: 150 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Ajax Law Ling Kit, Virginia Lung, Jonathan Leijonhufvud

Shenzhen Stock Exchange HQ / OMA

© Philippe Ruault

Architects: OMA
Location: Binhe Avenue, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China
Partners In Charge: , David Gianotten
Collaborators: Ellen van Loon, Shohei Shigematsu
Associate In Charge: Michael Kokora
Area: 180000.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Philippe Ruault

Gaga / Coordination Asia

© Diephotodesigner.De

Architects: Coordination Asia
Location: Futian, , Guangdong, China
Partner: Rito Communication Group
Area: 290 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Diephotodesigner.De

Gateway of Shenzhen Southern University of Science and Technology Proposal / penda

Courtesy of

Titled ‘Between earth and sky’, this proposal for the new Gateway of Southern University of Science and Technology by penda is a metaphor of formal contrasts to design a campus landmark. Their design for an entrance sculpture at the University is a connection of 2 opposites: the fluid, lower part connects the gate to the gentle hills of the landscape in the background and carries a grid of lights, which can be seen as a connection to the cosmos – a contrast of the earth and the sky. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Chinese University of Hong Kong (Shenzhen Campus) Master Plan Winning Proposal / Rocco Design Architects

Courtesy of

Rocco Design Architects Ltd., in collaboration with Gravity Partnership Ltd. and Wang Weijen Architecture, recently won the international competition for the new campus for the Chinese University of Hong Kong in . Currently in construction, the planning concept for the new campus is “Academic Clusters, Campus Green and Natural Terrain”. Phase one of the campus is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2015. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Vanke One City / Kokaistudios

Courtesy of Kokaistudios

Architects: Kokaistudios
Location: Yantian, ,
Project Team: Andrea Destefanis, Filippo Gabbiani, Pietro Peyron, Qin Zhantao, Yu Liding, Li Wei
Area: 2,300 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Lu Feng Photography, New & Old Studio

In Progress: Shenzhen Qianhai Exhibition Center / Urbanus

Courtesy of Urbanus

Architects: Urbanus
Location:
Project Designers: Meng Yan, Zhou Chengsong, Lin Ting, Chen Lansheng, Jessica Cheung, Xie Shengfen, Li Jiajia, Chen Danping
Collaborating Architect: Shenzhen Institute Academy of Building Research
Area: 4323.7 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of Urbanus

First Press Conference of Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture

Courtesy of Organizing Committee of Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture

The Organizing Committee of the Shenzhen Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture recently announced that the 2013 Biennale, which will open December 6, will be delivered by two curatorial teams, consisting of Team Ole Bouman and Team Li Xiangning + Jefferey Johnson. Old Bouman wil act as curator, creative director. Li Xiangning + Jefferey Johnson will be the curators, academic directors. The main venues for the event are the former YAOPI float glass factory (venue A) and the old warehouse at Shekou ferry terminal (venue B). More information after the break.

Construction of China’s Tallest Building On Hold Due to Concrete Scandal

© KPF

Scheduled to be the tallest tower in China and the second tallest building in the world by 2015, Kohn Pedersen Fox’s 660-meter-high Ping’an International Finance Center has received a major unexpected set back. Following an industrywide inspection conducted last week, Shenzhen government officials have discovered a low-quality sea sand has been used by developers to create substandard for KPF’s supertall and at least 15 other buildings under construction.

Although sea sand lures contractors by costing significantly less than standard river sand, it contains a deadly mixture of salt and chloride that corrodes steel in concrete and threatens the structural integrity of a building over time.

According to Bloomberg, Shenzhen’s Housing and Construction Bureau found 31 companies violated industry rules and ordered eight of them to suspend business for one year in the city for using substandard sea sand to make concrete.

Seaside Resort Development Competition Entry / John Thompson & Partners + Alan Dunlop Architects + Gillespies

Courtesy of John Thompson & Partners + + 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 and internationally. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Behind the Scenes of OMA’s Latest Tower with Sustainability Consultant Arpan Bakshi

Essence Financial Building. Image © OMA

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, . To talk us through the building’s cutting edge sustainable features, we spoke with Arpan Bakshi, an architect, engineer, and 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…

Masterplan of Xiasha Wander Bay Second Prize Winning Proposal / FCHA

Courtesy of

A unique ecological resource for an otherwise densely-populated urban region, the Xiasha district is a rural, coastal setting outside of . 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 Wins Skyscraper Competition in China

Essence Financial Building © OMA

OMA has won the design competition for the Essence Financial Building in Shenzhen, . 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 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 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… 

Headquarters Building for Small and Medium Enterprises Second Prize Winning Proposal / FCHA

Courtesy of

With ’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.