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: The Latest Architecture and News
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.
Life in Space
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 in collaboration with Chinese electronics giant Xiaomi have unveiled the minimal housing prototype MARS Case at China House Vision 2018. Located outside the Bird’s Nest National Stadium in Beijing, the design is part of an annual cross-industry innovation and research platform known as House Vision, which uses the medium of the “house” to explore and question the direction of our living habits and urban environments in the future.
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 Architects Committee 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.”
Read more about the winners below.
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.
2017 was a momentous year for Chinese architecture. From Tianjin Binhai Library taking the internet by storm with images of its terraced "sea of bookcases", to Alvar Aalto Medal recognizing Zhang Ke of standardarchitecture for his professional accomplishments. China has retained a remarkable presence in the global architecture scene.
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.
Architect in ChargeLI Hu, HUANG Wenjing
Design TeamVictor Quiros, ZHAO Yao, ZHANG Hanyang, ZHOU Tingting, YAN Dihua, ZHOU Xiaochen, QIAO Shawei, ZHANG Chang, QI Zhengdong, Joshua Parker, CHEN Chen, Laurence Chan, JIN Boan
In May 2015, Shenzhen Art Museum and Shenzhen Library 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.
"A counteraction to what is happening today in China," OPEN Architecture's Garden School in Beijing seeks to reconnect its students with nature. Located in a new town that, as founding partner Li Hu says, was built "too fast," the school serves as one of the few spaces students can interact with nature. The school is designed like a garden, from its sloping "floor zero" to rooftop gardens, offering unconventional spaces for teaching and inviting public areas that encourage social interaction.
“What is problematic is that these new towns are designed too fast, without much thinking about how the spaces are going to be used, and what kind of space they are going to create. I think it is a problem for human psychology. Living in a new town with not enough good green space, good social space, we’ll become very problematic urban animals,” Hu told Spirit of Space.
Read on for a conversation with the architects.
OPEN Architecture recently created a new kind of school system that provides a balanced and joyful learning environment integrated with farms and gardens. Drawing inspiration from the ancient Chinese philosophy which had always centered on the harmony between people and nature, the architects feel it is urgent to bring the ancient philosophy back to the core of our education, and put it in the context of new challenges ahead. If there is one thing that we have to put above all other issues for the 21st century, it is probably the vulnerability of nature, especially in the decades to come, and amidst all the looming environmental crisis. More images and architects’ description after the break.