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Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism / Architecture (UABB) VALUE FACTORY February Program

The Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture, which enters its final weeks, has already welcomed more than 120,000 visitors. The Value Factory offers a jam packed program to conclude a very inspiring UABB 2013. From now until the end of February, visitors can enjoy tours, workshops, exhibitions, performances and debates. Check out this month's full program after the break. 

Value Farm / Thomas Chung

  • Architects: Thomas Chung
  • Location: Shekou, Nanshan, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China
  • Design Team: Gary Law, Bill So, Sam Wong
  • Area: 8120.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Value Farm

© Value Farm © Value Farm © Value Farm © Value Farm

Farrells Selected to Masterplan Two Sites in Shenzhen’s Qianhai Financial District

Farrells has been announced as winner of an international competition to masterplan two prominent commercial zones in Shenzhen’s Qianhai financial district. Adjacent to the district’s Qianhaiwan metro station, the two districts are expected to boost cross-border trade between Shenzhen and Hong Kong. The first, 460,000-square-meter masterplan will feature a 320-meter-tall skyscraper and two 185-meter gateway towers, providing high-end office, residential and retail space, as well as serviced apartments. 

AD Interviews: David Gianotten / OMA

During the Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture, we had the opportunity to speak with David Gianotten, partner-in-charge of OMA’s Hong Kong office. Gianotten launched the Dutch firm’s Asian headquarters in 2009, where he supervises major projects such as the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and the Taipei Performing Arts Centre.  

Standing outside of the recently completed Stock Exchange headquarters, he answered our questions about urbanization, innovation and the intricacies of running an office in an environment with such rapid urban growth. Shenzhen has proven an experiment of economic openness and is a vivid example of China’s recent growth. The city’s skyline is practically a physical graph of an upward-trending economy, with buildings designed by nearly every internationally renowned architecture firm. But OMA’s Shenzhen Stock Exchange building stands apart from the rest not only because of its impeccable construction (a rarity in the fast-paced building booms of Chinese cities), but also because it houses the institution that lists China’s biggest companies.

The 254 meter tower is an elegant structure that combines pure volumes with an exoskeleton grid clad in translucent glass. It represents a characteristic OMA-approach to innovative architectural solutions, made possible by extensive programmatic and technical research.

Read the full interview (which includes Gianotten’s insights on the study of architecture, the role of architects, and the importance of simplicity when communicating complex innovation) after the break. 

AD Interviews: David Gianotten / OMA AD Interviews: David Gianotten / OMA AD Interviews: David Gianotten / OMA AD Interviews: David Gianotten / OMA

Finnish/Chinese Architects Explore Copying and Collaboration at the Shenzhen Biennale

As part of the Shenzhen Architecture Biennale, Finnish practice Lassila Hirvilammi Architects entered into a collaboration with Chinese architect Gigi Leung to explore the themes of copying, authenticity and knowledge transfer between cultures. Working with master craftsmen, they created two versions of the same space (each influenced by their respective cultures), intentionally blurring the line between copying and taking inspiration.

Read on for more on this lesson in sharing differing architectural understandings

© Tuomo Tammenpää © Pekka Turunen © Tuomo Tammenpää © Tuomo Tammenpää

NBBJ Designs Towering Shenzhen Campus for Internet Giant

  • Architects: NBBJ
  • Design Collaboration: CCDI
  • Area: 270000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2016
  • Photographs: NBBJ

NBBJ has unveiled a 250-meter-high, two-tower campus that will become Tencent’s main headquarters at the Shenzhen High-Tech Industrial Park upon completion in 2016. As the world’s third-largest internet corporation, and 2013’s most innovative Chinese company according to FastCo, Tencent hopes the new campus will serve as a vibrant workplace for an expanding workforce of 12,000 employees. 

Shenzhen Bay Super City International Competition

Shenzhen is located in the south of Guangdong, China, facing Hong Kong across the river. In 2012, it had a permanent population of 10.54 million and its GDP, standing at RMB 1,295 billion, ranked the fourth amongst cities in Mainland China for years. After more than thirty years of reform and opening up, it has developed from a small town in the southern coast of China to a modern metropolis, becoming a miniature of China’s reform, opening-up and modern construction.

MAD Envisions More 'Natural' Chinese Cities in the Future

Ma Yansong of MAD recently presented a 600,000 square meter urban design proposal for the city of Nanjing titled, "Shanshui Experiment Complex," at the 2013 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism / Architecture in Shenzhen, China. The concept takes into account the culture, nature and history of Nanjing while reconsidering the methodology in which Chinese cities are built.

Qianhai Integrated Transportation Hub / gmp Architekten

Architects von Gerkan, Marg and Partners (gmp) have been commissioned to design of a new urban development project on a 45 hectare site in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen. The competition-winning proposal comprises a transportation hub including five underground railway stations, a border control point and numerous commercial areas. Above ground there will be a range of tower blocks of different heights with apartments, shops and offices to form multi-functional city quarters.

Shenzhen Biennale: The Value Factory and the Urban Border

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 Shenzhen 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
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:

"Fangda Business Headquarters" Winning Entry / Huasen Architects

Huasen Architects (HSA) have been announced winners of the Fangda Headquarters competition. The winning proposal, located in Shenzhen, China, reshapes the existing site into a 300,000 sqm vortex of retail, 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)

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 Shenzhen 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

  • Architects: One Plus Partnership Limited
  • Location: Shenzhen, China
  • Designers Involved: Ajax Law Ling Kit, Virginia Lung
  • Photographer: Ajax Law Ling Kit, Virginia Lung, Jonathan Leijonhufvud
  • Area: 150.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Courtesy of One Plus Partnership Limited

Courtesy of One Plus Partnership Limited Courtesy of One Plus Partnership Limited Courtesy of One Plus Partnership Limited Courtesy of One Plus Partnership Limited

Gaga / Coordination Asia

  • Architects: Coordination Asia
  • Location: Inspection Bungalow, Kochi - Dhanushkodi Rd, Kannan Devan Hills, Kerala 685613, India
  • Partner: Rito Communication Group
  • Area: 290.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Diephotodesigner.De

© Diephotodesigner.De © Diephotodesigner.De © Diephotodesigner.De © Diephotodesigner.De

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

Titled 'Between earth and sky', this proposal for the new Gateway of Shenzhen 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.