In the 19th century, “Go west, young man” was an invitation to settle the prairies or prospect for gold in Colorado and California. Now, architects fly to China to realize their dreams on a scale and at a speed that’s unimaginable in the West of today. Few have achieved more spectacular success than Steven Holl. When I was in Beijing in 2008, his Linked Hybrid was a construction site; now those towers have been matched by Sliced Porosity in Chengdu and Horizontal Skyscraper in Shenzen. To come are a pair of new museums near Tianjin, and a porous city within the fast-growing city of Dongguan, a neighbor of Shenzen. All five of these vast projects are explored in a masterpiece of miniaturization that is elegantly produced and fairly priced for a book of this quality.
Entries in china (6)
According to a project description by the architects (via Bustler), the bridge’s takes shape from an “undulating ribbon of structure that wraps around the 6 lane road deck in a continuous sculptural loop form.” The triangle shapes provide a new take on the suspension bridge, supporting the deck of the bridge from two distinct spans. The loop also forms the reflection of a double eight figure—a Chinese symbol of prosperity—in the water below the bridge.
The building also features an atrium in the center of the building that separated the east and west side of the building and functioning as a ventilation channel. According to Luke Leung, SOM Director of Sustainable and MEP Engineering: “The design of the Greenland Group Suzhou Center utilizes an atrium as the ‘lung’ of the building to provide ventilation and will incorporate a series of high efficiency measures with the objective to achieve a 60% savings in energy consumption compared to a conventional US high rise and a 60% reduction in potable water use.”
The building’s expansive lobby is a result of the building a novel approach maximizing the efficiency of the building structure: “[the] unique split-core configuration of the upper floors increases the efficiency of the building structure. By placing half of the building core program on each side of the lobby and interconnecting them with structural steel braces, the combined core becomes more effective than a typical center core system while also creating a dramatic tall lobby space within.”
SOM also recently announced the opening of a new design studio in Downtown Los Angeles as part of the firm's West Coast practice. Michael Mann, FAIA; Paul Danna, AIA; and Jose Luis Palacios, AIA will lead the new studio--all three come from AECOM but all three also worked for SOM in the past. (All renderings by SOM, via Dezeen)
Seoul based firm, Yamasaki Ku Hong Associates Design Lab, designed 'The Great Wall,' a mixed used housing complex that is currently in progress in Suizhong, China. The complex also includes office, retail and differentiated public outdoor courtyards which are sandwiched in between two different types of retail, which allows for a concentrated and continuous shopping experience.
The idea of stacking small-size factories in an apartment format is received well, but there have been some problems associated with access to day-lighting and poor working conditions. As a response, they tried to develop next generation ‘apt-factories’ with improved ecological, economical, flexible and social bases in mind.
Mecanoo Architects, a firm based in Delft, Netherlands, won the first prize in the design competition for a new 90,000 m2 cultural complex in Shenzhen, China consisting of a public art museum, science museum, youth center, bookshop, underground parking and a public square.
With their aim to connect the cultural complex with the surrounding areas and a new residential development, Mecanno's design includes a series of tapering volumes emerging from one side of the 70,000 m2 public square. The buildings then come together to create open arches and sheltered outdoor spaces for numerous event types.