Over the course of the last decade there has been a growing interest in the handcrafted buildings, as well as in the application of local and renewable materials in building construction. Under the concerns about the heavy environmental and economic expenses caused by construction, nowadays urban planners are embracing the concept of sustainability, which refers to “meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.
Standardarchitecture: The Latest Architecture and News
Chinese architect Zhang Ke, the founder of the firm standardarchitecture, has been awarded the 2017 Alvar Aalto Medal. Presented by the Museum of Finnish Architecture, the Finnish Association of Architects SAFA, the Architectural Society, the Alvar Aalto Foundation and the City of Helsinki, the medal recognizes an architect who, in the words of the Museum of Finnish Architecture, is "exceptionally accomplished in the field of creative architecture and has carried on Aalto’s legacy of sustainable, humane design."
As an architect, no matter how much support you have got, you always feel you are fighting by yourself. – Zhang Ke
The recent turning point experienced by the Chinese economy will probably be treated in future studies as the sign of a new coming era in China. The slowest growth rate in 25 years has already caused profound echoes in the architectural field. As one of the three Chinese participants in the central exhibition, “Reporting from the Front,” at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, in this interview architect Zhang Ke discusses his insight into the architectural front line in China, reflecting on architects’ social responsibilities and his vision of tomorrow’s Chinese architecture.
Zhang Ke is the founder and partner of standardarchitecture, an architecture firm based in China. Still relatively new, the firm has roughly 40 staff members, half of which are from China. Despite their status as a fledgling office, standardarchitecture has already completed a varied range of projects, including urban interventions in the iconic hutongs of Beijing and tourism infrastructure in the Nepal region. In 2015, Zhang Ke and his firm were the focus of an exhibition at the AEDES Gallery in Berlin, titled “Contemplating Basics.” In this interview, Zhang Ke talks about the importance of learning at different schools, as well as his own beliefs about the duty of an architect, the importance of context and his desire to tell stories in architecture.