“If we look at architecture from a cultural point of view, we see we are in a special moment where we are trying to figure out our identity. I think we are too focused on how to transform old Chinese architecture into contemporary architecture; but in no way can you transform it, you can see it with your own eyes. For instance you cannot transform a Roman building into today’s buildings! Sometimes you have to forget about history to create contemporary and unique architecture.”
- Zhu Pei, Shenzhen, 2013
This week, with the help of our readers, our Architecture City Guide is headed to Beijing. Beijing has a range of architectural styles, but the three most prevalent are the traditional imperial style (the Forbidden City), the “Sino-Sov” style (boxy structures built between the 1950s and 70s), and lastly the explosion of a modern corporate style that is punctuated with Starchitect buildings like OMA’s CCTV TV Station HQ. We put together a list of 12 modern/contemporary buildings that we feel provides a good starting point. It is far from complete. There are dozens of other great buildings that are not our list, and we are looking to add to the list in the near future. Please add your favorites in the comment section below so we can add them on the second go around. Again thank you to all our readers who sent in their suggestions and photographs. The city guides would not be possible without your help.
Chinese Studio Pei-Zhu has designed the Xixi Wetland Art Museum located in a rural nature preserved near Hangzhou, China. The concept stems from the interaction between building and nature. As leaves fall from trees they arrive naturally on the ground. The resulting form creates shelter against the earth.
This design creates the genuine qualities of scattered, fallen leaves and shelter through five buildings. Some leaves overlap and attach with other leaves. One leaf remains separate, yet still unites in visual language with the linked leaves. The four linked structures house functions for business, recreation, a hotel, restaurant, and reception. The single standing leaf is the art museum.
The buildings are covered by light colored, reflective zinc panels that have a brushed finish, resulting in a diffused and soft reflection of their interactions with people and nature. this blending influences a person as they experience the museum. All colors, light, and details merge into a continuous representation that is not recognizable as individual objects, but are distinguished as a uniform and natural image.
Seen at designboom. More images after the break.