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Fang Zhenning

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Centre Pompidou Acquires 12 Architectural Models by MAD Architects

09:00 - 25 February, 2019
Centre Pompidou Acquires 12 Architectural Models by MAD Architects, Absolute Towers. Image © Fang Zhenning
Absolute Towers. Image © Fang Zhenning

The Centre Pompidou in Paris has acquired 12 architectural models by MAD Architects, depicting 10 significant projects undertaken by the firm. Each model embodies MAD’s core values that “look to envisioning a futuristic architecture that is akin to dream-like earthscapes – one that creates a conversation with nature, the earth, and the sky.”

The collection, permanently acquired by the Pompidou, represents projects developed by MAD between 2005 and the present day, demonstrating the evolution of the firm’s design process. The Pompidou has become the first major European cultural institution to acquire such a collection of MAD’s work, on display in an exhibition beginning in April 2019.

Clover House. Image Courtesy of MAD Architects East 34th. Image Courtesy of MAD Architects Lucas Museum of Narrative Art (Chicago). Image © Shu He Pingtan Art Museum. Image © Shu He + 13

“A Building Created Just to Perform a Particular Function is a Dead Building”: Pei Zhu of Studio Zhu-Pei

07:00 - 19 February, 2019
“A Building Created Just to Perform a Particular Function is a Dead Building”: Pei Zhu of Studio Zhu-Pei, Minsheng Museum of Modern Art / Studio Zhu Pei. Image Courtesy of Studio Zhu Pei
Minsheng Museum of Modern Art / Studio Zhu Pei. Image Courtesy of Studio Zhu Pei

Since the early 2000s, China consistently has been surprising the world as the playground for international superstar architects’ most daring creations. It still does so, but the element of surprise is gone, and with increased concern for building more pragmatically, resourcefully, and overall responsibly, we are much more critical of these spectacular buildings. The script has been flipped: it is the architecture that is produced locally, with humility and social relevance, that attracts attention these days. Nowhere is this process more evident than in China, where the projects led by homegrown talent are by far the most relevant and meaningful architecture that is being built in the country today.

Ma Yansong: “Some People May Say My Work Is Futuristic, But I See It as Traditional”

09:30 - 30 March, 2018
Ma Yansong: “Some People May Say My Work Is Futuristic, But I See It as Traditional”, Huangshan Mountain Village. Image © Hufton + Crow
Huangshan Mountain Village. Image © Hufton + Crow

With the unconventional, undulating forms of his buildings—and the fact that his path to architectural success included a stint working for Zaha HadidMa Yansong is often miscategorized as an architect of the latter generation of Deconstructivists, interested only in futuristic forms that push the boundaries of technology for the sake of innovation as an end in itself. But in fact Ma’s designs, especially those in his home country of China, are deeply rooted in nature and tradition, as he explains in the latest interview from Vladimir Belogolovsky’s “City of Ideas” series.

Chaoyang Park Plaza. Image © Hufton + Crow Harbin Opera House. Image © Iwan Baan Huangshan Mountain Village. Image © Fernando Guerra |  FG+SG Absolute Towers. Image © Iwan Baan + 93

Minsheng Contemporary Art Museum / Studio Pei-Zhu

20:00 - 28 July, 2015
Minsheng Contemporary Art Museum / Studio Pei-Zhu, Second Floor. Image © Fang Zhenning
Second Floor. Image © Fang Zhenning

Second Floor Gallery Exterior. Image © Zhu Qingsheng First Floor. Image © Minsheng Art Museum Tsinghua Studio Visit. Image © Fang Zhenning + 22

An Interview with Zhu Pei, Pei-Zhu Studio

10:30 - 23 March, 2015
An Interview with Zhu Pei, Pei-Zhu Studio, OCT Design Museum / Pei-Zhu Studio. Image © Pier Alessio Rizzardi
OCT Design Museum / Pei-Zhu Studio. Image © Pier Alessio Rizzardi

“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, Beijing, 2013

OCT Design Museum / Pei-Zhu Studio. Image © Fang Zhenning Blur Hotel / Pei-Zhu Studio. Image © Pei-Zhu Studio Shenzhen Urban Planning Bureau / Urbanus. Image © Pei-Zhu Studio Blur Hotel / Pei-Zhu Studio. Image © Pei-Zhu Studio + 13