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.
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!
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 (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.
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.
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.
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.
OPEN Architecture has released a new set of photos that documents the construction milestones of Pingshan Performing Arts Center in Shenzhen, China. The project was initially announced in 2015 as the first theatre planned for the newly-developed Pingshan area. With its building envelope now fully formed and cladded in precision-engineered aluminium panels, the Performing Arts Center is set to open by the end of this year as one of the city’s most anticipated cultural venues.
The American Institute of ArchitectsCommittee on Architecture for Education has announced the winners of this year’s Education Facility Design Awards. The eight winners and two merit honors were awarded this year’s best educational facilities that not only demonstrate excellence in contemporary architectural design but also further education in innovative ways and serve as an inspirational learning space. This year’s projects are designed for students of all ages, from childhood facilities to higher education buildings.
“Education continues to evolve, and the projects from this year’s Education Facility Design Awards program—presented by the AIA and the Committee on Architecture for Education—represent the state-of-the-art learning environments being developed in today's learning spaces. These projects showcase innovation across the entire learning continuum, displaying how architects are creating cutting-edge spaces that enhance modern pedagogy.”
OPEN Architecture has released the latest construction photos of the Dune Art Museum topping out in a Chinese coastal city near Beijing. The art museum manifests itself as a complex of interconnected concrete shells, which in the next and final stage of construction, are to be buried in sand and shrubs to restore the natural silhouette of the dunes on the beach.
Drawn from keen observation of the rapidly changing social economic landscape of China, and using OPEN Architecture’s projects as case studies, Towards Openness is a symphony of seven new and upcoming projects and six idea chapters that are interwoven to offer an in-depth examination of this unique practice and the critical thinking underlying its work.
Authored by OPEN’s Founding Partners Li Hu and Huang Wenjing, the book also brings together new contributions by Kenneth Frampton, Steven Holl, Lars Lerup, Yehuda Safran, Huang Juzheng, and Qing Feng.
So many of our readers around the world celebrate Chinese New Year and welcome fresh beginnings in the Year of the Dog, we would like to take a look back at 2017 and share with you the most visited projects from China. This is a collection of projects coming from world-famous practices such as MVRDV and MAD Architects, and also from the younger, local talents who have demonstrated great potential in bringing positive changes to China’s built environment.
At international stone exhibition Marmomac 2017, Chinese firm OPEN Architecture has created a transient installation titled "The Eternal & The Ephemeral" that allows visitors to transform a cube of stone tiles into new, unplanned forms. The project responds directly to the theme of the event, "Soul of City," which asked designers from across the globe to collaborate with Italian stone manufacturers to create pieces built entirely from stone. OPEN's concept focused on the relationship between transience and heaviness in the material, prompting the installation to gradually "disappear" over the 4-day event.
Text description provided by the architects. Chinese firm OPEN Architecture has revealed their latest project in progress, a museum located on the coast of Bohai Bay in northern China. Titled "Dialogue by the Sea," their project comprises two complementary art spaces: a cave-inspired space hidden within the beach's sand dunes, and a second space that rises from the sea "like a solitary piece of rock." Both projects are currently under construction, with a timeline yet to be released.
In May 2015, Shenzhen Art Museum and ShenzhenLibrary organized an international design competition for their new homes in Longhua District. 134 firms submitted concept proposals for the first stage, eight firms were selected to enter the second phase competition in July, among them OMA, Steven Holl, Mecanoo, OPEN, KSP, and others. Below is OPEN’s competition entry for the second phase.