“If you don’t know or really didn’t study the local culture, do universal design. That’ll keep the quality. If you want to do something that you don’t know, there is a big chance that it’s going to fail and have a bad impact on the city and the people here. Do it in your own way. If you do something good and beautiful back home, you should do exactly the same type and put it here. That’s also a good contribution because you show good architecture quality… Do something universal!” – Liu Xiaodu, Shenzhen, 2013
Founded in 1999, Urbanus is led by its trio of partners Meng Yan, Wang Hui and Liu Xiaodu, all of whom studied first in China and then abroad in the USA before returning to their native country at the very beginning of its construction boom. In this interview Liu Xiaodu discusses the changing realities of Chinese architecture education, the beginnings of their firm and the positive side to the “chaos” of the country’s current urban expansion.
Every year, citizens of Catalonia commemorate the events of September 11th 1714, a key date in the War of the Spanish Succession that has come to symbolize what Voltaire called “the Barcelonans’ extreme love of freedom.” With this year marking the 300th anniversary of these events, Barcelona Cultura enlisted the Fundació Enric Miralles to curate 7 public installations around the city as part of its Tricentenari BCN program.
The result is BCN RE.SET, organized by Benedetta Tagliabue of the Fundació Enric Miralles and stage director Àlex Ollé, which invited guest architects from countries all over the world to colloborate with local universities and create installations symbolizing 6 political and ideological concepts: identity, freedom, Europe, diversity, democracy and memory. These installations will be in place until September 11th. Read on after the break for descriptions of all 6 installations.
China’s accelerated urbanization juxtaposes many local and global urban models in the contemporary urban space of the mega-city/metacity region. Since 1945 the global and local discourse on urban design and development has been dominated by four conceptual models. These four models, the metropolis, the megalopolis, the fragmented metropolis and the megacity/metacity have appeared in Asia with local characteristics and with special, hybrid characteristics. China’s rapid urbanization has been based on an equally rapid industrialization that has telescoped the historical development pattern of western nations into 60 years.
David Grahame Shane, Adjunct Professor at GSAPP, Columbia University will give a public lecture at Studio-X Beijing. A panel discussion will accompany this lecture, in which Wang Hui from URBANUS will introduce and discuss the Urban Models in China’s Accelerated Urbanization and public space.
Title: Lecture / Four Urban Models in China’s Accelerated Urbanization: Local Public Space Implications
From: Tue, 03 Jun 2014 19:00
Until: Wed, 28 May 2014 21:00
Venue: Studio-X Beijing, GSAPP, Columbia University
Address: Andingmen Inner Street & Fangjia Hutong, Dongcheng, Beijing, China, 100009
A few hours ago in Venice, Rem Koolhaas presented his curatorial vision for “Fundamentals” in a live-streamed opening press conference. As we reported last year, “Fundamentals” will focus on architecture rather than architects and history rather than contemporaneity. Koolhaas will not just curate an exhibition of his own, but will be coordinating the “collective effort of all national pavilions.”
This year’s exhibition features the participation of 65 countries–including 11 first-time participants (Azerbaijan, Côte d’Ivoire, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, New Zealand and Turkey). See the complete list of national participants–which includes collaborations with Jacques Tati, Hans Ulrich Obrist, FAT, Iñaki Ábalos and others–after the break.
Click here to see all of ArchDaily’s previous coverage of the 2014 Venice Biennale. And stay tuned… we’ll be bringing you on-the-ground reports from Venice when the Biennale launches in the first week of June!
Location: Yanshan Road, Shekou, Nanshan District, Shenzhen, China
Project Designers, Design Director: Meng Yan, Zhu Jialin
Architecture Design: Zheng Ying, Huang Zhiyi, Yao Xiaowei, Zuo Lei, Liu Xiaoqiang, Yie Peijun, Li Da, Shen Yandan, Ji Yuyu, Zhang Zhen, Liu Liu, Liu Zirong, Xia Miao, Yuan Yi, Guo Donghai
Landscape Design: Xing Guo, Wei Zhijiao, Ding Yu, Cedric Yu, Li Jing, Huang Yihong, Liao Zhixiong
Client: China Merchants Real Estate Co. Ltd.
Site Area: 13,198 sqm
Floor Area: 21,540 sqm
Photographs: Wu Qiwei
Location: Nanshan Distrit, Shenzhen, China
Design Director: Meng Yan, Zhu Jialin
Project Director: Zhang Zhen, Fu Zhuoheng, Wei Zhijiao
Architecture Designers: Wang Jun, Yin Yujun, Hu Zhigao，Li Qiang, Zhang Xinfeng
Landscape Designers: Liao Zhixiong, Lin Ting, Yu Xiaolan, Liu Jie
Collaborator: Guoqun Studio (Interior Design); Shenzhen Keyuan Construction Group co.,Ltd (Curtain wall Design)
Client: Construction Bureau of Nanshan District
Site Area: 3,002.5 sqm
Floor Area: 977.5 sqm
Photographs: Meng Yan, Wu Qiwei
Location: No.22, Long Ze South Road, Tangshan, Hebei Province, China
Construction Period: 2011
Site: 24,444 sqm
Floor Area: 49,008 sqm
Client: Tangshan Museum
Project Designers: Wang Hui, Wu Wenyi, Du Aihong, Hao Gang, Zhang Yongjian, Liu Yinyan, Zhang Miao, Cheng Zhi, Zheng Na, Chen Chun, Wei Yan, Liu Shuang, Liu Nini, Yang Qing, Chen Lan, Huo Zhenzhou
Collaborator: Beijing Longanhuacheng Architectural Design Co., Ltd
Photographs: Chen Yao, Hao Gang
‘Housing With a Mission’ Project at the Hong Kong and Shenzhen Biennale on Architecture and Urbanism
The project ‘housing with a mission’, featured at the Hong Kong and Shenzhen Biennale on architecture and urbanism, is designed as a co-production by five Chinese and five Dutch architectural offices and aims at building 1000 dwellings for the ‘Ant Tribe’ in Beijing. This is the Chinese name for the generation of millions of young graduates who live in cramped conditions in the outskirts of cities and work in low-paid jobs.
The Chinese offices include Standard Architecture, Urbanus, O-Office, Node and CAFA. The Dutch firms include aronsgelauff, Next, KCAP, NL architects and Barcode. More images and project description after the break.
The winning design of a large international architectural competition, ‘The Two Towers’, was recently announced in Shenzhen, China. The team selected to design this new Shenzhen landmark – comprising 100.000 square meters in total – is a constellation of ADEPT (DK) and Urbanus (CHN) with VSA (HK), Max Fordham LLP (GB) and Beijing CCI Architectural Design Co, LTD (CHN). The jury meeting was hosted at the Shenzhen Municipal Planning Building with Pritzker Prize winner Thom Mayne as chairman of the jury. More information on the competition winners after the break.
Chinese practice Urbanus (previously featured at ArchDaily with their Jade Bamboo Culture Plaza, the Integrated Teaching Building in the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Tulou Housing Guangzhou) shared with us the exhibition design for the city Shenzhen at the UBPA (Urban Best Practice Area), an exhibit aligned with the Expo 2010′s main theme “Better City, Better Life”, which tracks how major cities around the world are coping with the new problems arising from their urbanization processes, as well as their effective and creative solutions, making it as highly specialized exhibition space.
The city of Shenzhen evolved from a small fishing village to an international center in only 30 years, a complex process presented at this pavilion:
Architects: URBANUS Architecture & Design Inc.
Location: Shenzhen, China
Design Director: Meng Yan
Project Manager: Xing Guo
Designers: Ding Yu, Wu Kaimao, Liao Zhixiong
Client: Luohu Development & Reform Bureau, Shenzhen
Site Area: 6,870 sqm
Design Period: 2005-2006
Construction Period: 2008-2009
Photographs: Meng Yan
URBANUS was awarded with the 1st prize on the competition for the new integrated teaching building at the Chinese University in Hong Kong. Entitled “Windows on Community,” the building strives the link the two parts of the campus together, while also providing a visual connection with those who approach. Through the implementation of a Moebius Strip, the design mixes the inner circulation of the building with the exterior circulation of the streets. “This loop of circulation and urban internal street for us is not only a vertical linkage but more the heart of the college-a lively community space at the center of it all,” explained the architects.
More about the University after the break.
Shenzhen is one of the most active cities in China, and was recently appointed “City of Design” by the UNESCO (2008). A recent competition for Crystal Island, located in the center of the city, envisions the Shenzhen Creative Center, an iconic project in front of the city hall.
The project, won by OMA in collaboration with chinese firm Urbanus, includes a major new cultural center, transport hub, and public landmark. The Shenzhen Creative Center takes advantage of such a central location, and disaggregate the program over a 20-hectare landscape of parks and gardens, on which clusters of pavilions and small buildings form “Design Villages” creating a micro urban system which includes buildings for Design Administration, Tourism Center, buildings for design retail and expo and a design campus. It also includes a big open space, the Ceremonial Plaza.
All these buildings and open spaces are connected by an elevated pedestrian system, the “Ring Connector”, which also connects to existing and future train and subway stations.
At the center of this circular project, a spherical void becomes a landmark for the city: the Shenzhen Eye.
The disaggregation of the program on such an active area has the potential to mix the creative industry with the rest of the city’s activities, potentiating multiplicity, permeability, and openness towards creative activity.
The project collaboration between OMA and Urbanus includes the young Ole Scheeren and Rem Koolhaas, and Urbanus partner Meng Yan, with a team lead by OMA Associates Dongmei Yao and Anu Leinonen.
After the break, a schematic model of the program relations and another rendering.
The commission was to design a 220 apartment housing complex for people for low income families in Guangzhou. Urbanus decided to give the complex a nice and intimate atmosphere, by reinterpreting the traditional Hakka Houses. This housing typology correspond to 300 year old houses in the south of China, and as you can see on some pictures after the jump, they are basically a large housing project where complete families live as a community (aunts, nieces, nephews, etc.)