At the opening to the 2015 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (UABB) we took a moment to speak with Hubert Klumpner, one of the event's six curators. A professor from the ETH Zurich Swiss Institute of Technology and partner at Urban Think Tank, Klumpner, together with Alfredo Brillembourg, spearheaded the curation of "Radical Urbanism," a sub-theme of the entire Biennale's wider theme, "Re-Living the City."
"...we believe that we have enough buildings, enough construction, enough infrastructure. And it is now time to consolidate it and find the qualities within the built. This is not against future production, it is more about a consideration of what we really want in cities." - Hubert Klumpner
Earlier today in Shenzhen the 6th Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture (UABB) opened its doors to public. Under the overall theme "Re-Living the City," curators Alfredo Brillembourg and Hubert Klumpner of Urban Think Tank headed up the "Radical Urbanism" exhibit in the main venue. Brillembourg and Klumpner invited the exhibition participants to show how we can learn from ad-hoc and "bottom-up" initiatives for alternative urban solutions. In the following essay - originally printed in the UABB 2015 catalogue - the curators call for us to "rethink how we can operate within the city, learn from its emerging intelligence and shap[e] its outcomes to radical and tactical ends."
The notion of a radical urbanism draws us unavoidably into the realm of the political. Imagining a more equitable and sustainable future involves an implicit critique of the spatial and societal conditions produced by prevailing urban logics. As such, we are not only reminded of Le Corbusier’s famous ultimatum, “architecture or revolution,” but its generational echo in Buckminster Fuller’s more catastrophic pronouncement, “utopia or oblivion.” Both were zero-sum scenarios born of overt social disjuncture, whether the deprivations and tensions of the interwar period, or the escalating conflicts and ecological anxiety of the late 1960s. While the wave of experimental "post utopian" practices that emerged in the early 1970s positioned themselves explicitly in opposition to perceived failures of the modern movement, these disparate groups shared a belief – however disenchanted – with their predecessors in the idea that radical difference was possible, as well as a conviction that a break was necessary.
Following a closed competition, which included practices like OMA, KPF and Henn Architects, gmp Architects was selected to design the new CNPEC Headquarters in Longgang, Shenzhen, Southeast China. The power corporation called for a new building that could house over 4000 employees. Read more about gmp’s design proposal after the break.
KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten has won an international competition for the new Shenzhen Art Museum and Library. Selected over schemes by Steven Holl, Mecanoo, OMA, and others, the winning project takes the shape as three "elements" - an art museum, library and archive, and new "Culture Plaza" - united by a "stone podium."
"The main concept behind the design was to create a space that brings together art, culture, and an urban environment – a space where people and culture are encouraged to interact," says the architects.
The 2015 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (2015 UABB), the world’s only biennale dedicated to the themes of urbanism and architecture, announced its highlight exhibits. Based in Shenzhen, one of China’s first Special Economic Zones, 2015 UABB will feature presentations from over 72 exhibitors from six continents who will all explore the theme “Re-Living The City”. Opening to the public on 4 December this year, 2015 UABB will take over the former Dacheng Flour Factory in Shekou, a declining factory complex built in 1980s that will be transformed into a multifaceted exhibition venue especially for the biennale.
Located in the underdeveloped Pingdi Subdistrict of Shenzhen, the project site is a part of the Shenzhen International Low Carbon City, a roughly 53 square kilometer area less than two hours away from Hong Kong with the goal of utilizing low-carbon and carbon-zero technologies in order to significantly boost sustainable development.
IBR is calling for submissions from individuals, teams, and even research institutes, design institutions, and any others, to participate in one, two, or all three of the competition’s categories.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.