Does it make sense to design green parks in desert cities such as Casablanca, Dubai, or Lima? Ostensibly it does, because they contribute freshness and greenness to the urban environment. In exchange, however, they disrupt native local ecosystems, incur high maintenance bills, and begin a constant struggle to ensure water availability.
China seems to be at the peak of a refurbishment fever. Not only hutongs in historic downtowns, but abandoned industrial factories are becoming new tech or cultural hubs, and even buildings in the risk of collapse are refurbished to extend their lifespan. Why is this happening? Who is investing? How could this happen in a country where you cannot buy properties?
In this edition of Editor's Talk, our editors from ArchDaily China share their thoughts on how in a fast-paced development process, such as the one China is going through, there is a refurbishment fever in its biggest cities.
I Am Interested in Seeing the Future is an architectural exhibition, that, contrary to what you might expect, includes no models and no drawings. Instead, as soon as visitors arrive, they find themselves surrounded by text. The wall facing the entrance is covered by an installation of single words on posters, interview transcripts on colored paper, and mirrors that reflect the sentences on flimsy scrolls arcing down from the ceiling.
Enquanto meio de representação da arquitetura, a fotografia apresenta qualidades indiscutíveis. Com ela, é possível apresentar a um público distante obras erguidas em qualquer lugar do mundo, de vistas gerais a espaços internos e pormenores construtivos - ampliando o alcance e, de certo modo, o acesso à arquitetura.
Entretanto, como qualquer outra forma de representação, não é infalível. Na medida que avanços tecnológicos permitem fazer imagens cada vez mais bem definidas e softwares de edição oferecem ferramentas para retocar e, por vezes, alterar aspectos substanciais do espaço construído, a fotografia, por sua própria natureza, carece de meios para transmitir aspectos sensoriais e táteis da arquitetura. Não é possível - ao menos não satisfatoriamente - experienciar as texturas, sons, temperatura e cheiros dos espaços através de imagens estáticas.
"I Failed to be an Artist but I Became an Artistic Architect": Interview with Yung Ho Chang of Atelier FCJZ
Beijing architect Yung Ho Chang together with his wife Lijia Lu started his practice in 1993 under the name Feichang Jianzhu, atelier FCJZ. It literary means “not ordinary architecture,” a symbolic name for the practice that became China’s first independent architectural office, laying the foundation of contemporary practice in the country. Chang is referred to as the father of contemporary Chinese architecture. He grew up in the prominent architect’s family. Chang’s father, Zhang Kaiji [Yung Ho Chang’s Chinese name is Zhang Yonghe] was a classicist. He was one of the chief architects of the Beijing Architectural Design Institute and the design architect in charge for what is today the National Museum of China on Tiananmen Square. Chang studied architecture in Nanjing, then received his Bachelor degree from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, and Master of Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley. He has taught in both China and America, including at Harvard’s GSD and headed MIT’s architecture department from 2005 to 2010. In 2012, the year he joined the Pritzker Prize Jury, his fellow countryman Wang Shu became the first Chinese architect who won the Prize. The following is an excerpt from my conversation with Yung Ho Chang at his Beijing office.