To win recognition, China's smaller cities bet on starchitecture
From egg-shaped concert halls to skyscrapers reminiscent of big pairs of pants, China’s top cities are famously full of curious monuments to architectural ambition. But as land prices in the main metropolises have shot into the stratosphere, developers have been scrambling to buy up plots in the country’s second and third-tier cities, spawning a new generation of delirious plans in the provinces.
— The Guardian
"From Harbin “City of Music” to Dezhou “Solar Valley”, provincial capitals are branding themselves as themed enclaves of culture and industry to attract inward investment, and commissioning scores of bold buildings to match." View full entry
Using architecture to combat air pollution
Birds fly in and out of the eight-storey "Green Office Building" in Shenzhen, China, because a third of its walls are completely open to the air. It's a clever natural design that enables the building to stay cool without air conditioners.
Across town, in a vast campus known as the "Low Carbon Park", mist is sprayed into the air to cool the streets down and remove dust.
— The BBC
Experiments like these are appearing across China's cities, as part of a devolution of power designed to clean up smoggy air and meet energy targets to tackle climate change. View full entry
McGregor Coxall to design “bird airport” wetland park in Tianjin
Australian practice McGregor Coxall had the winning scheme to transform a degenerate landfill site into a new migratory-bird wetland sanctuary park in Tianjin, China. The Asian Development Bank and the Port of Tianjin co-launched the park design competition in response to the increasing loss of... View full entry
Shenzhen's Design Society to feature V&A gallery for its October 2017 opening
As brand-new collaborations go, the Shenzhen Design Society's choice to feature London's V&A gallery as part of its cultural hub opening this October isn't too shocking, unless you consider that galleries of Chinese art and photography aren't necessarily a common feature of the global art... View full entry
Smog continues to choke Beijing
The Chinese capital issued its highest red fog alert for a second day on Wednesday, keeping highways closed in and around the city which is already under a smog alert after weeks of choking winter pollution.
China's weather bureau warned of visibility of less than 50 meters in some areas, leading many airports to cancel flights.
Air pollution is one of the most significant public health issues facing major cities around the world. Find out more here:Working indoors not enough to protect you from air pollution, according to new studyThese are the most-polluted cities in the USReducing Turin's smog with free public... View full entry
The ‘world’s highest bridge’ opens in China
The world’s highest bridge officially opened Thursday in China, spanning a gorge that’s almost 2,000 feet deep.
The Beipanjiang Bridge in southwest China took three years to build, and cost $146.7 million. The four-lane structure stands 1,854 feet above the Beipan River below. [...]
Technically, France’s Millau Viaduct bridge still holds the title of world’s tallest bridge, thanks to the height of its towers rising from the valley floor. But its road bed is a mere 890 feet above the ground.
Photos by Eric Sakowski (Illustration of the completed bridge by Jon Fether, Jesus Catalan, Eric Sakowski); Images via HighestBridges.com.Related stories in the Archinect news:China's record-breaking glass bridge already closed again after two weeksWorld's longest and highest glass bridge opens... View full entry
Another "airpocalypse" strikes China
Tens of thousands of “smog refugees” have reportedly fled China’s pollution-stricken north after the country was hit by its latest “airpocalyse” forcing almost half a billion people to live under a blanket of toxic fumes.
Huge swaths of north and central China have been living under a pollution “red alert” since last Friday when a dangerous cocktail of pollutants transformed the skies into a yellow and charcoal-tinted haze.
— the Guardian
According to Greenpeace, the total number of afflicted people equals the populations of the United States, Canada and Mexico combined.Air pollution is a major problem that affects nearly every city in the world. Find out more here:Working indoors not enough to protect you from air pollution... View full entry
China will build modular housing factories in the UK, aiming to produce 25,000 homes per year
The six planned factories will use British light gauge steel framing to produce panelised components for residential developments that are “at least 75% off-grid” thanks to solar power and energy efficient design, renewables developer Welink said in announcing the joint venture today (19 December). [...]
The UK government greeted the news enthusiastically, as it tries to lure innovative entrants to the UK housing market to help it deliver its objective of 1 million new homes by 2020.
More pre-fab on Archinect:SHoP-designed Brooklyn tower – now world's tallest modular building – opens its doorsJean Nouvel's prefab 'Simple' home can be reconfigured from the inside outTo solve a housing crisis, invest more in modular constructionA Parisian architect's plan to solve housing... View full entry
Whatever happened to China's futuristic Traffic Elevated Bus?
China's once-celebrated Traffic Elevated Bus (TEB) has been left abandoned in the middle of a Hebei city road, not having moved once in over two months. Originally touted as the futuristic solution to urban traffic jams, the "straddling bus" is currently causing them.
A local reporter recently checked up on "the future of public transportation" at its testing site in Qinhuangdao, only to find it forgotten in a rusted garage, covered in dust.
"To test its invention, the company actually leased part of a city road in Qinhuangdao. Since the bus now remains exactly where it was abandoned , it continues to block three lanes of traffic, annoying residents to no end."The 'road-straddling bus' previously in the Archinect news: Public transit... View full entry
COOP HIMMEL(B)LAU completes work on the Museum of Contemporary Art & Planning Exhibition in Shenzhen
COOP HIMMELB(L)AU has completed work on the Museum of Contemporary Art & Planning Exhibition (MOCAPE), a major new cultural center in the Futian Cultural District of Shenzhen. The “monolithic” structure houses two separate institutions, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Planning... View full entry
74 reported dead after construction scaffolding collapses in eastern China
The cooling tower was being built in the city of Fengcheng in Jiangxi province when the scaffolding tumbled down [...]
Chinese President Xi Jinping urged local governments to learn from the accident and hold those responsible accountable. [...]
China has suffered several major work-safety accidents in recent years blamed on weak regulatory oversight, systemic corruption and pressure to boost production amid a slowing economy.
According to the Associated Press, the collapse is "the country's worst work-safety accident in over two years." The cause is currently under investigation.Related on Archinect:Five dead after eight metre concrete wall collapses in Birmingham, EnglandBerkeley balcony collapse investigation: no... View full entry
A new Foster + Partners-designed university campus opens in Shenzhen
On the eastern edge of Shenzhen, a new university campus designed by Foster + Partners just opened. The China Resources University, a 55,000 sq. meter project, is part of a larger mixed-used development headed by the London-headquartered firm.According the press release, the campus sits on a hill... View full entry
Despite recent territorial disputes over the South China Sea, a Chinese company has been awarded a major contract to build artificial islands off the coast of the Philippines
Located on the eastern edge of the body of water commonly referred to in English as the South China Sea, the Philippines is among the countries that dispute China’s claim to the area and its islands. Earlier this year, a Hague-based tribunal, constituted under the United Nations Convention on... View full entry
Zaha Hadid's Jockey Club takes RIBA's award for International Excellence
Fittingly, Zaha Hadid Architects' 15-storey, 15,000 square meter Jockey Club International Tower has raced ahead of all other structural competition, winning RIBA's award for International Excellence. Here, the ever observant Iwan Baan shows us why:And for good measure, here's a video tour: View full entry
NEXT Architects design a swooping "Mobius strip" bridge for Changsha, China
The Dutch-Chinese firm NEXT Architects has a well-deserved reputation for designing eye-catching bridges. Their latest project, a bright red, Mobius strip-like pedestrian bridge for the Chinese city of Changsha, is set to become another jewel in their portfolio.185 metres long and 24 metres tall... View full entry