After studying architecture at Tsinghua University in Beijing and Miami University in Oxford, Ohio Beijing-born and based architect Wang Hui (b. 1967) co-founded URBANUS in 1999 in Shenzhen with his partners Liu Xiaodu and Meng Yan. After his graduation in 1997, Wang Hui worked in New York until 2002, while also moonlighting for URBANUS remotely. The architect heads the company’s Beijing office, which he set up in 2003, overseeing projects in the Beijing-Tianjin-Tangshan triangle, the Yangtze River Delta region, and other parts of China.
Urbanus: The Latest Architecture and News
“Every Generation Has a Responsibility to Design a Better Life”: In Conversation with Wang Hui of URBANUS
Following an exciting week of nominations, ArchDaily’s readers have evaluated over 800 projects and selected 10 finalists of the Building of the Year Award. Over 20,000 architects and enthusiasts participated in the nomination process, choosing projects that exemplify what it means to push architecture forward. These finalists are the buildings that have inspired ArchDaily readers the most.
At the Chicago Architecture Biennial, Chinese Firms Look to Tradition to Write a New Chapter in Their Nation's Architectural History
This article was originally published on the blog of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, the largest platform for contemporary architecture in North America. The 2017 Biennial, entitled Make New History, will be free and open to the public between September 16, 2017 and January 6, 2018.
When we think of contemporary architecture in China, we often refer to the megaprojects by international architecture studios that tend to get covered most in the design media. From OMA’s CCTV Headquarters and Shenzhen Stock Exchange to the recently completed Tianjin Binhai Library by MVRDV and Poly International Plaza by SOM, these projects dominate urban skylines at a singular scale that suggests they were built to impress.
Beyond individual buildings, China’s mega-architecture boom is rapidly developing entirely new cities, a process designed to relieve the country’s principal metropolitan areas of their high density, while offering new prototypes for urban life. These highly branded environments are prompting displacement – as a form of rural exodus – and social stress throughout the country, while also ignoring the legacy of traditional Chinese architecture in urban centers.
The Design Museum in London has announced the shortlist projects in the running for the 2017 edition of their prestigious Beazley Design of the Year award. Now in its tenth year, the award was established to “celebrate design that promotes or delivers change, enables access, extends design practice or captures the spirit of the year.”
This year, a total of 62 projects have been nominated across six categories: Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Graphics, Product and Transport – including 13 projects from the Architecture category. A winner from each category and the overall winner will be announced on January 25, 2018. Previous winners of the architecture category include: IKEA’s Better Shelter last year (also the overall winner), Alejandro Aravena's UC Innovation Center in 2015, and Zaha Hadid Architects’ Heydar Aliyev Center (overall winner in 2014).
See all of the architecture nominees below.
The Chicago Architecture Biennial has announced the list of participants invited to contribute to the event’s second edition, which will be held from September 16 to January 7, 2018 in Chicago. More than 100 architecture firms and artists have been selected by 2017 artistic directors Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee, founders of Los Angeles–based Johnston Marklee, to design exhibitions that will be displayed at the Chicago Cultural Center and throughout the city.
“Our goal for the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial is to continue to build on the themes and ideas presented in the first edition,” explained Johnston and Lee. “We hope to examine, through the work of the chosen participants, the continuous engagement with questions of history and architecture as an evolutionary practice.”
Architectural photographer Marc Goodwin has recently completed the third collection of his "ultra-marathon of photoshoots" – this time in Beijing. Following his unique insight into the spaces occupied by Nordic architectural offices (based in Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen and Helsinki) and his look at studios both large and small lived in by London-based practices, Goodwin has turned his lens to the burgeoning number of offices in the Chinese capital. From MAD Architects' magnificent old printing works to ZAO/standardarchitecture's purpose-built studio, here is a view into the places that architectural offices call home.
Currently on display at the Aedes Architecture Forum Berlin, "ZÀI XĪNG TǓ MÙ: Sixteen Chinese Museums, Fifteen Chinese Architects," takes an in-depth look at China’s recent museum boom and its effects on the socio-political and cultural landscape of modern China.
As part of the exhibition, filmmaker Moritz Dirks sat down with 16 of the top architects working in China today, including Wang Shu, Dang Qun of MAD Architects, and Zhu Pei of Studio Pei-Zhu, to discuss the challenges of creating cultural spaces that relate both to the global, digital, urban contexts of the contemporary world and to the strong heritage and identity of Chinese culture.
Continue after the break for the 16 interviews.
Tommi Lindh, director of the Alvar Aalto Foundation, shares four exciting reasons to enjoy the architectural offerings of Finland this summer.
Architecture hasn't been this intensively represented in the Finnish summer events ever. The whole summer is full of nice places to visit, but what makes August so very special is what's happening in Helsinki and Jyväskylä in the beginning of the month. The Alvar Aalto Symposium kicks off with lectures by the Museum of Finnish Architecture in Helsinki on Wednesday, August 5 and continues to Jyväskylä where the main event starts on Friday, August 7 with the first thematic session and a keynote presentation by Liu Xiaodu of Urbanus.
“If you don’t know or really didn’t study the local culture, do universal design. That’ll keep the quality. If you want to do something that you don’t know, there is a big chance that it’s going to fail and have a bad impact on the city and the people here. Do it in your own way. If you do something good and beautiful back home, you should do exactly the same type and put it here. That’s also a good contribution because you show good architecture quality… Do something universal!” - Liu Xiaodu, Shenzhen, 2013
Founded in 1999, Urbanus is led by its trio of partners Meng Yan, Wang Hui and Liu Xiaodu, all of whom studied first in China and then abroad in the USA before returning to their native country at the very beginning of its construction boom. In this interview Liu Xiaodu discusses the changing realities of Chinese architecture education, the beginnings of their firm and the positive side to the “chaos” of the country's current urban expansion.
Every year, citizens of Catalonia commemorate the events of September 11th 1714, a key date in the War of the Spanish Succession that has come to symbolize what Voltaire called "the Barcelonans' extreme love of freedom." With this year marking the 300th anniversary of these events, Barcelona Cultura enlisted the Fundació Enric Miralles to curate 7 public installations around the city as part of its Tricentenari BCN program.
The result is BCN RE.SET, organized by Benedetta Tagliabue of the Fundació Enric Miralles and stage director Àlex Ollé, which invited guest architects from countries all over the world to colloborate with local universities and create installations symbolizing 6 political and ideological concepts: identity, freedom, Europe, diversity, democracy and memory. These installations will be in place until September 11th. Read on after the break for descriptions of all 6 installations.
China's accelerated urbanization juxtaposes many local and global urban models in the contemporary urban space of the mega-city/metacity region. Since 1945 the global and local discourse on urban design and development has been dominated by four conceptual models. These four models, the metropolis, the megalopolis, the fragmented metropolis and the megacity/metacity have appeared in Asia with local characteristics and with special, hybrid characteristics. China's rapid urbanization has been based on an equally rapid industrialization that has telescoped the historical development pattern of western nations into 60 years.
A few hours ago in Venice, Rem Koolhaas presented his curatorial vision for "Fundamentals" in a live-streamed opening press conference. As we reported last year, "Fundamentals" will focus on architecture rather than architects and history rather than contemporaneity. Koolhaas will not just curate an exhibition of his own, but will be coordinating the "collective effort of all national pavilions."
This year's exhibition features the participation of 65 countries--including 11 first-time participants (Azerbaijan, Côte d'Ivoire, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, New Zealand and Turkey). See the complete list of national participants--which includes collaborations with Jacques Tati, Hans Ulrich Obrist, FAT, Iñaki Ábalos and others--after the break.
Click here to see all of ArchDaily's previous coverage of the 2014 Venice Biennale. And stay tuned... we'll be bringing you on-the-ground reports from Venice when the Biennale launches in the first week of June!
The commission was to design a 220 apartment housing complex for people for low income families in Guangzhou. Urbanus decided to give the complex a nice and intimate atmosphere, by reinterpreting the traditional Hakka Houses. This housing typology correspond to 300 year old houses in the south of China, and as you can see on some pictures after the jump, they are basically a large housing project where complete families live as a community (aunts, nieces, nephews, etc.)