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.
Atelier Fcjz: The Latest Architecture and News
"I Failed to be an Artist but I Became an Artistic Architect": Interview with Yung Ho Chang of Atelier FCJZ
LocationChaoyang Qu, China
Atelier FCJZ and Coldefy & Associates Architects Urban Planners (CAAU) were announced last month as the winners of the Fondation de Chine Competition that will add another residential facility to the historic Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris (CIUP). The project is part of #Cite2020, an initiative by the Cite Internationale to develop 1,800 new housing units by 2020. Adding to the existing 40 residential buildings, the Fondation de Chine will introduce a contemporary interpretation of student housing to the campus.
The Guangzhou Bureau of Science and IT has announced the shortlists for two major projects in Guangzhou. The two museum projects - the Guangzhou Museum and the Guangzhou Science Museum, each worth over $160 million - will be the latest in a host of high profile projects in China's third-largest city, a list which includes Zaha Hadid's Guangzhou Opera House, the 600m tall Canton Tower, IFC Guangzhou by Wilkinson Eyre Architects and the Guangzhou Circle, among others.
The Guangzhou Museum will be located to the West of Lingnan Square near the Canton Tower, while the Guangzhou Science museum will be located to the East. Practices making the two lists include Bjark Ingels Group, Miralles Tagliabue EMBT, TFP Farrells, MAD Architects and Steven Holl Architects. Read on after the break for the complete shortlists.
"When you find a piece of stone which is three or four hundreds years old, then you understand the notion of time as more than what we can experience as human beings. At that moment the old thing might be beautiful, it might be ugly. It doesn't matter, but it gives you a sense of profound time, and then you understand your history and ancestors that lived in a different world, different from the one we are in now."-Yung Ho Chang
Located in Beijing’s Yuanming Yuan Park, next to the ruins of the mixed-style Baroque Palace, Yung Ho Chang's office is in an ancient wooden dwelling, surrounded by vegetable gardens grown by the architects of the studio.
In this conversation, Yung Ho, who established China’s first independent architectural office, Atelier FCJZ in 1993, laying the foundation of contemporary practice in China, talks about his story, describing a Beijing which has disappeared as well as the contemporary Beijing and its "New Beijing Sky." He talks about architecture using references from movies, literature, art and artists, describing his approach to architecture in accordance with his philosophy of life.
Architects: Atelier Feichang Jianzhu Location: Dayi, Sichuan, China Architect In Charge: Liu Lubin Project Team: Wu Xia, Guo Qingmin, Liang Xiaoning, Feng Bo Project Year: 2009 Project Area: 2114.0 sqm Photographs: Yang Cao
Yung Ho Chang, founder of Atelier FCJZ, China’s first private architectural practice and head of the Architecture department at the MIT, delivers the first BIArch Open Lecture of the Spring 2010 cycle: “China, Carb, City, China”.
The introduction of this lecture was given by Albert Ferré, director of Actar. You can see the video of the introduction after the break.
The Bamboo Lantern designed for the Gwamgju Design Biennale in Korea by Atelier FCJZ (a prominent chinese firm who is also designing the Shanghai Corporate pavilion for the Expo 2010) appears to be a solid heavy mass. Yet, as visitors separate its two halves and occupy its interior, the mere cubic form turns into something else completely. The lantern is a “ dialogue between opposites” , as its plan is comprised of a circle nested within a square. The circle and square illustrate strong symbolism from the Ancient Chinese tradition, with the former representing the heavens, and the later, the earth. These two shapes are inherently different and yet, when combined, they work together to organize the exterior space and provide a new sense for the interior. “The directionality in the square is used to organize the surrounding exterior viewing space while the stillness of the circular shape that defines the interior intimately collects the rest space,” explained the architects.
More about the lantern after the break.