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Open Architecture: The Latest Architecture and News

The Concept of Architecture in the Chinese Aesthetic Context

Western aesthetics is based on the mathematical analysis of an object's formal structure, using classical beauty laws such as balance, symmetry, and the golden mean. Eastern aesthetics differ in that, as it emphasizes intuitive experience, such as "white space" in traditional Chinese painting, through emotional communication with the "imagery" to produce a certain "Conception." The contrast between reality and emptiness allows the viewer's imagination and feelings to flourish, allowing them to realize "showing the breadth of heaven and earth even in a square inch place." 

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OPEN Architecture Reveals Design for the Shanfeng Academy Campus in Suzhou, China

The architectural practice OPEN has revealed the design for the Shanfeng Academy, a project currently under construction that topped out at the end of April, marking the completion of its highest point. The new campus center, located in a new district of Suzhou city, will host a K-12 international school while also aiming to act as a cultural hub for the local community.

Surrounded by canals, the city of Suzhou is known for its historical gardens with temples, bridges, pavilions, and rock sculptures. These, along with traditional Chinese architecture sites, offer a counterpoint to the city’s active social life and fast-paced business sector. The challenge for OPEN architects was to create a large-scale urban project whilst being sympathetic to the heritage of the city.

OPEN Architecture Reveals Design for the Shanfeng Academy Campus in Suzhou, ChinaOPEN Architecture Reveals Design for the Shanfeng Academy Campus in Suzhou, ChinaOPEN Architecture Reveals Design for the Shanfeng Academy Campus in Suzhou, ChinaOPEN Architecture Reveals Design for the Shanfeng Academy Campus in Suzhou, China+ 18

OPEN Reveals Design for Yantai's New Landmark

Courtesy of OPEN
Courtesy of OPEN

OPEN recently revealed the design of Sun Tower, a new landmark structure for the Chinese coastal city of Yantai. The project echoes the area's characteristic Ming dynasty watchtowers and proposes a cultural facility that re-establish the visitor's connection with nature. Comprising a semi-outdoor theatre, an exhibition space, a library and an observation deck at the top referred to as the "phenomena space", the structure is intended as a place "of reflection and contemplation".

The 15 Winners of the 2022 Building of the Year Awards

With over 100,000 votes cast during the last three weeks, we are happy to present the winners of the 2022 ArchDaily Building of the Year Awards. This peer-based, crowdsourced architecture award showcases projects chosen by ArchDaily readers who filtered thousands of projects down to the 15 best works featured on ArchDaily in 2021.

As in previous years, the winners showcase a wide spectrum of different types of building, giving an insight into how diverse the profession has become in recent decades. High-profile practices take their place as ever, with winners such as MVRDV's Housing project in Bordeaux and Kengo Kuma's Casa Batllo's installation, showing that establishment firms are still able to make their mark, as in more traditional award systems. Alongside these are previously unsung heroes, such as PALMA and HANGHAR with their project, Types of Spaces. Among the winners, we also find Ca'n Terra House by ENSAMBLE STUDIO and Plaza of Kanagawa Institute of Technology by Junya Ishigami + Associates, extremely creative projects that today challenge their typologies.

But for all their many beautiful differences, the winners share a crucial element in common: they represent the values of our mission, to bring inspiration, knowledge, and tools to architects everywhere. Neither ArchDaily nor the Building of the Year Awards would be possible without the continued generosity of the firms that choose to publish their projects with ArchDaily every year, or without the engaged readers who take part in the voting process.

The 2022 Building of the Year Awards is brought to you thanks to Dornbracht, renowned for leading designs for architecture, which can be found internationally in bathrooms and kitchens.

15 Architecture Projects for Life in Space

The Apollo 11 Mission, departed Earth on July 16, 1969, and touched down on the moon 4 days later. This moment marked a milestone for humanity and, to this day, makes us reflect on how technological progress is bringing us ever closer to life beyond planet Earth.

With the help of 3D printers, highly developed and fully automated constructive technology, we have compiled a selection of 15 architectural projects that demonstrate that life on the moon and beyond is closer than we've ever imagined.

The Red Planet: Design on Our Race to Mars

Space has long captured our imaginations. Looking to the ocean above us, writers, scientists and designers alike have continuously dreamed up new visions for a future on distant planets. Mars is at the center of this discourse, the most habitable planet in our solar system after Earth. Proposals for the red planet explore how we can create new realms of humanity in outer space.

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“BEFORE/AFTER”: An Architectural Documentation of Urban Changes in Hutongs

“BEFORE/AFTER” documents the drastic changes, both physical and psychological, which took place during the renovation of Beijing’s Fangjia Hutong in the months between April and September 2017. In 2019, OPEN Architecture was invited to participate in “Unknown City: China Contemporary Architecture and Image Exhibition”, the opening exhibition of the Pingshan Art Museum, with their work “BEFORE/AFTER”.

OPEN Architecture's Rhythmic Music Hall Nears Completion

OPEN Architecture’s anticipated project Chapel of Sound has finally topped out on November 15th with the pouring of its broad concrete roof.

The project, which is expected to open in the summer of 2020, includes a semi-outdoor amphitheater, an outdoor stage, and viewing platforms, overlooking the mountainous rural area of the Jinshanling Great Wall. 

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Tsinghua Ocean Center Photographed Through the Lens of Kris Provoost

Architect and photographer Kris Provoost recently captured new photos of OPEN Architecture's Tsinghua Ocean Center in China. Designed as a laboratory and office building for the newly established deep-ocean research base of Tsinghua University, the project is located at the eastern end of Tsinghua graduate school campus in Shenzhen Xili University Town next to the main campus entrance. Provoost's images reveal details throughout the construction and showcase the project in its larger context.

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Prequalification Results of the International Competition for the Landmark Design of Qianhai New City Center

The Prequalification Meeting of the International Competition for the Landmark Design of Qianhai New City Center was held in Banquet Hall, 3F, Tower C, MingWah International Convention Centre on May 20, 2019. The jury was made up of 7 experts and 2 client representatives. The jury studied the registration documents and conceptual proposals of the 124 applicants. After deep discussion, through 5 rounds of open votes the jury selected 10 shortlisted competitors into the competition and 2 alternatives in order who will enter Stage 2 - Proposal Preparation and Review by order if any of the 10 competitors quit.

OPEN Architecture's Art Park Opens in Shanghai Inside Old Fuel Tanks

OPEN Architecture’s highly-anticipated Tank Shanghai has opened to the public following six years of design and construction. Located on the banks of the Huangpu River in the city’s West Bund, where five abandoned aviation fuel tanks once served the historic Longhua Airport, the scheme gives shape to a new type of contemporary arts center. OPEN’s design features a seamless combination of art, nature, and urban life, “transforming containers of fuel into containers of culture while paying tribute to the site’s industrial past.”

The scheme’s design centers on a Z-shaped “Super Surface,” forming a new center ground sitting below undulating parklands in between the tanks, and above flexible indoor exhibition and service spaces to connect the tanks to one another. Two open plazas and an urban forest merge with the Super-Surface, featuring greenery, water features, smaller galleries, and public artwork.

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Winners of the 2019 Building of the Year Awards

More than 80,000 votes were cast over the last two weeks and, after careful review, the results of the 2019 ArchDaily Building of the Year Awards presented by Unreal are in. Building of the Year, which itself celebrated ten years this year, is the largest peer-based crowdsourced architecture award in the world, showcasing the projects chosen by you, our readers, as the most significant of the year.

This is no mean feat. More than 4000 projects were in contention this year, challenging readers to carefully consider a wide variety of projects across type, scale, and location. 4000 projects were whittled to 75 finalists; 75 have now been reduced to the 15 winners - one for each typological category.

The results are as diverse as the architecture itself. Well-known names are, as in years past, present among the bunch, among them Zaha Hadid Architects, MVRDV, and Heatherwick Studio. For London-based Heatherwick, their win marks the second consecutive year they have taken top honors for a refurbishment-based project. But less-renowned names dominate the ranks of the winners this year. Innocad’s serenely simple office building for a real estate company elevates what corporate architecture can be while the technical and material mastery of Sameep Padora’s Maya Somaiya Library is enough to make any architect look twice. The library is, in fact, one of two Indian projects to take top honors this year - a strong first year showing for the nation whose design talent seems finally to be coming to the fore.

But for all their many beautiful differences, the winners share a crucial element in common: they represent the values of our mission, to bring inspiration, knowledge, and tools to architects everywhere. Building of the Year - indeed, ArchDaily itself - would not be possible without the generosity of firms and readers as invested in our mission as we are. We give our profound thanks to all who participated this year, no matter the form. Congratulations to all the winners!



“Architecture is Hope”: A Conversation with Li Hu of OPEN Architecture

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Meeting with many leading, independent Chinese architects and visiting their built works throughout China in recent years has shaped my understanding of their contributions as regionally sensitive, poetic, photogenic, and even seductive. Yet, so many of these projects can be confused as being produced by a single, narrowly-focused practice. These works are often small in scale and built far from urban centers where ordinary people could benefit from them most. There is a lack of diversity and risk-taking. The following excerpt from my interview with Beijing-based architect Li Hu on his recent visit to New York overturned my doubts and gave me much hope for China’s urban future.

WA Awards for Chinese Architecture 2018

WA Awards for Chinese Architecture (WAACA) was established by World Architecture magazine in 2002, and was awarded biennially. The mission of WAACA is to encourage and introduce completed works addressing the national conditions of China with innovative values. It aims at enlivening the academic atmosphere of Chinese architectural community, promoting the prosperity of Chinese architectural design, enhancing the quality of Chinese architecture, contributing to the public understanding and recognition of architectural industry in China, and introducing Chinese architects and architectures to the world.

In 2014, the seventh cycle of WA Awards for Chinese Architecture expanded to a larger range, with increased the categories of the awards, and identifying more clearly the value appeal of each award. By encouraging more types of projects to participate in the selection, WAACA intends to introduce more outstanding Chinese architectural works to the Chinese society and the world.

Oct 12th, 2018, when 2018 WAACA was held in Beidaihe, the jury selected 59 entries in total for Winners, Highly commended and Shortlisted projects of WA Achievement Award, WA Design Experiment Award, WA Social Equality Award, WA Technological Innovation Award, WA City Regeneration Award and WA Housing Award from a total of 354 valid entries on the basis of their independent judgment.

OPEN Architecture's Chapel of Sound Reimagines the Concert Hall

Nestled in a valley north of Beijing, a building will soon be completed that may appear to have always been there, or to have emerged from and grown out of the surrounding stony landscape. OPEN Architecture’s Chapel of Sound in Chengde, China was recently recognized in the 66th annual Progressive Architecture (P/A) Awards, chosen as one of ten projects to receive the commendation. The P/A Awards focus on innovative, ongoing work that promotes new ways of thinking about architecture. The Chapel of Sound was noted for its creation of a new, progressive type of environment and its reimagining of an established typology.

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OPEN Architecture Designs a Village for Learning in Shanghai

OPEN Architecture has designed a 58,000 square meter campus for the Qingpu Pinghe School in Shanghai. Currently under construction, the educational project's thirteen buildings have largely topped out. The second primary and secondary school project to be completed by OPEN after the acclaimed Beijing No.4 High School Fangshan Campus, the School as a Village concept was made as a creative exploration of contemporary urban design. The project was designed as a model for new educational buildings and campuses in Shanghai and beyond.

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This Week in Architecture: Visions from the Future

Life in Space

10 Futuristic Homes Unveiled at the 2018 House Vision China Exhibition

House Vision China 2018 has opened with 10 futuristic residential designs by architects like Penda, Open Architecture and MAD. Located outside the Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing's Olympic Park, House Vision is a cultural research project initiated with the concept of “new life in the future”. Together with architects and enterprises, the exhibition aims to build cultural research around the future home at a 1:1 ratio. House Vision features a range of home designs, from a shelter for life on Mars to a Living Garden.

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