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Beijing To Enforce Guidelines After Xi Edict on “Strange Architecture”

Posted: 12/3/2014 9:30 am

cctv buildingChina has experimented with some strange and challenging architecture over the past few years, leaving behind several unique and iconic structures.

President Xi Jinping recently said enough is enough. “I don’t want any more strange architecture,” he said. Now, the deputy mayor of Beijing Chen Gang agrees and says the city will play a more active role in enforcing style standards. “City planners are to consider the overall style of city buildings. Dimensions, scale, style, color, shape, and materials must conform to standard regulations.”

Chen made the comment at the Beijing Cultural Heritage and Innovation Forum of Construction Experts. Chen also said the new policy is to ensure public harmony and preserve traditional architecture, all while embodying a cosmopolitan spirit that maintains regional characteristics.

Photo: cbda


Tencent Building Iconic New Headquarters in Shenzhen

Posted: 10/29/2014 3:24 pm

tencent new headquartersIt might not look like much today, but all the construction and dust at Houhai Boulevard and Binhai Grand Avenue in Shenzhen will soon result in Shenzhen’s newest and most iconic highrise. The architectural masterpiece will be the new headquarters of tech giant Tencent, the maker of the popular QQ and WeChat messaging apps.

As seen in these pictures, the plan calls for two towers, one standing at 50 stories and 248 meters high, and the other standing at 41 stories at 194 meters high. The north tower is already finished.

tencent new headquartersThe theme of the building design is “interconnectivity”, which explains the three middle sections that will connect the two buildings together. However, the theme is lost on netizens who bluntly ask why the building isn’t in the shape of a penguin, the company’s mascot, while another succinctly calls the construct a “handshake building”.

tencent new headquarters


Photos: Shenzhen Announcements, tja


Look Like Venice? This is China’s Latest White Elephant… in Dalian

Posted: 10/21/2014 9:35 am


A boat cruises past European-style castles in the Venice replica in Dalian.

Dalian, the capital of Liaoning Province in northern China, has unveiled an RMB 5 billion replica of Venice, with 200 European-style castles, Gondolas and four kilometre-long canals, Xinhua reported.

The colossal construction project, dubbed the “Venice of the East” by local media, is the city’s ambitious move to boost tourism in the area. Boasting that it was the closest thing China had to Venice, Xinhua said the look and the amount of water in the canals were equal to the Italian city.

The announcement of China’s Venice came just days after President Xi Jinping criticized foreign-looking architecture at a Beijing symposium on the arts. Most online comments regarding the Venetian replica asked, “Why does domestic Chinese architecture always copy their foreign counterparts and lack unique, Asian characteristics?”

Judging by the photos of the site shown in the Xinhua report, the Venetian copy looks deserted just two days after its opening, with one, lone Gondola cruising the middle of the shallow canal.

Photos: CFP



[Photos] APEC Leaders Treated To Opulent Accommodations in Beijing

Posted: 10/21/2014 9:00 am

apec summit huairou buildingsResidents of China’s capital can expect the requisite traffic jams next month as the APEC summit descends on the city. Dignitaries and VIPs will be ushered around the city behind tinted windows, clogging up the ring roads even more than normal. Beijingers have even been told they may be given a work holiday during the summit, which runs from November 5 to 11, to help reduce the strain on the city’s infrastructure.

After the VIPs hop out of their fancy cars, they will have some incredible accommodations. Located at Lake Yanqi in the Huairou district of Beijing, these venues look luxurious and regal, befitting any world leader.

apec summit huairou buildingsHowever, that’s not to say that netizens are impressed. On the contrary,many take exception to not only the summit but the buildings built to host it:

Are they going to use these buildings once, and then never use them again?

Will they spray water everywhere in order to get rid of the smog [picknose.emoji]??

In short: simply ruthless [byebye.emoji]


Here are a few other venue photos:

apec summit huairou buildingsapec summit huairou buildingsapec summit huairou buildingsPhotos: China Daily


[Photos] Shenzhen Set To Build Massive City In The Sky

Posted: 09/18/2014 9:26 am

cloud citizen architectural shenzhen contestMeet Cloud Citizen: the architectural dream Shenzhen never knew it wanted until it won first prize in an international design contest.

Dreamed up by CR-Design and Chalmers University of Technology, Cloud Citizen would be ”one interconnected system of functions and public plazas in the sky” comprised 18.3 million square feet in floor space and featuring all kinds of buzzwords like living modules, rolling green space, and rainwater basins, reports Citylab. It would also be the second tallest building in the world.

cloud citizen architectural shenzhen contest

The Shenzhen Center for Public Art said the “execution scheme for this project will need further consideration and shall be implemented after approval by the statutory procedures,” which may lead to the building of this behemoth, or not.

The designers of Cloud Citizen outlined their vision:

As an integral part of the urban ecosystem, the proposal also has the ability to harvest rainwater and produce power from the sun, wind, and algae. In addition, it stores carbon and filters particles from the air while housing sanctuaries for wild plants and food-production modules. By implementing these mechanisms, the architects were able to place shelters throughout the exterior terraces in order to place visitors, residents, and workers in close proximity to nature, leisure, and healthier lifestyles.

cloud citizen architectural shenzhen contestcloud citizen architectural shenzhen contestcloud citizen architectural shenzhen contest

[h/t Shanghaiist]

Photos: Photolab


[Photos] Brand New Train Station Roof in Hebei “Leaks Like a Waterfall”

Posted: 08/29/2014 2:27 pm

shijiazhuang train station leaky roof 01Chinese modern architecture can be counted upon to be grand, austere, and usually resembling some kind of kitchen utensil. And if the brand-new Shijiazhuang Railway Station is an indication of a trend, Chinese buildings are also built to be leaky.

READ: Shenzhen’s brand new airport already leaking

In the case of the Shijiazhuang Railway Station, “leaky” may not quite capture what is happening. Netizens posted pictures last night showing a torrent of water spraying from the railway station ceiling, covering a large section of the passenger hall.

shijiazhuang train station leaky roof 01

To be fair, a record rainfall hit Shijiazhuang at that time. The rain was so severe it flooded roads and delayed flights and trains. And yet, if you were a resident of the capitial of Hebei that night, you wouldn’t be able to find shelter from the storm at its brand new train station.

Here are some more pictures:

shijiazhuang train station leaky roof 01shijiazhuang train station leaky roof 01shijiazhuang train station leaky roofshijiazhuang train station leaky roof 01shijiazhuang train station leaky roofshijiazhuang train station leaky roof 01

Instilling a respect for the natural environment, the leaky Shijiazhuang Railway Station has inspired a hashtag on Weibo named after the Water Curtain Cave in Shanxi Province. While it appears to be an appropriate enough name, the visual similarities are there as well.

shuiliandong water curtain cave


Photos: Dongguan Times, Sina Hebei, 761


Meet Shenzhen’s Newest Tallest Building: The Peace Finance Center

Posted: 07/16/2014 9:01 am

shenzhen tallest buildingThe new Peace Finance Center, which is still under construction, is now the tallest building in Shenzhen, at 448.3 meters high. The Peace Finance Center has taken the honor away from the previous title holder, the KingKey Financial Center, whose one hundred floors measures 441.8 meters in height.

The main structure of the Peace Finance Building will stand at 588 meters tall, but with a planned attachment to be added later on, the complete height will be 660 meters.

The Peace Finance Center will have 115 floors with another five stories underground. It is slated to be completed in 2016.

Photo: Sina


[Photos] Tencent’s New Guangzhou Offices Are 100% Awesome

Posted: 06/25/2014 1:29 pm

tencent guangzhou officeCheck out the new Guangzhou offices of internet behemoth Tencent, borne from six buildings that were once part of an old textile factory.

The new offices of the Shenzhen-based maker of the popular WeChat app are shown in a pictorial published in Business Insider. Eight-hundred Tencent employees will be enjoying things like a two-story slide to pop downstairs and a wall made out of plants.

We don’t see any Segways that are ubiquitous on high-tech campuses, but we’re still very impressed with this modern design that is practical, elegant, and doesn’t look like a kitchen instrument or a pair of pants.

tencent guangzhou officetencent guangzhou officetencent guangzhou officetencent guangzhou officetencent guangzhou officetencent guangzhou office

Photos: Business Insider


Guangzhou destroys two heritage buildings from the 1940s, despite protests

Posted: 06/14/2013 10:00 am

Two buildings on Guangzhou’s Shishu Road which represent a rare form of architecture were leveled on the morning of June 11 in spite of locals having written to the government to protest, Xinhua reports. Both were built during the Republic of China period in the 1940s.

The demolition crew in action, courtesy of Xinhua

The buildings were said by experts to represent a form of architecture that mixed the ancient with the modern and is extremely rare. The type of architecture was even described as being as important to China’s cultural heritage as the panda.

Historically significant buildings being demolished in the name of development is, of course, nothing new.

Philip Pan described the process in his 2008 book, Out of Mao’s Shadow:

In reality, though, local officials often approved projects and sold land-use rights to developers without going through the trouble of buying or seizing them from homeowners first. Officials then conspired with developers to pressure owners to give up their land. Developers often hired thugs to intimidate residents while police looked the other way. And local authorities sometimes cut off water, electricity, or heat to the holdouts. If necessary, the government intervened on behalf of developers and ordered a forced eviction on questionable legal grounds. Altogether, between 1991 and 2003, more than half a million families in Beijing were evicted by developers.

This has given rise to the coinage of the term “chaina,” which sounds like the English word “China” but means “Where should we demolish next?”


New US consulate in Guangzhou is given a sculpture, nobody sure what it is

Posted: 03/26/2013 3:22 pm

The United States consulate in Guangzhou is one of the busiest in China. It’s responsible for handling visa enquiries for people all over the southern part of the country, stretching down to Hainan Island.

In short, the needs of the consulate have outgrown its current digs, so it will soon move into a brand new facility in Zhujiang New Town. The consulate is expected to have a grand opening ceremony later this year.

A US artist named Joel Shapiro has created a sculpture that has been donated to the consulate to mark the occasion.  Shapiro, who’s 71 years old, is apparently well-known in the world of abstract art, according to the Wall Street Journal. And as with the genre, much is left up to individual interpretation.

Enter, this:

That blue sculpture to the left is the one designed by Shapiro. What is it, exactly? Some say it looks like a flying man, others wonder if it’s a bird, we think it kind of looks like a guy about to stand up from a chair?!

Shapiro says people are welcome to interpret the design “any way they’d like to, as long as it stimulates the imagination.”

In China last week, Mr. Shapiro oversaw installation of the 22-foot-tall outdoor, bright-blue metal work. The bright-blue Guangzhou work is made of six parts bolted together. Why blue? “I like blue,” Mr. Shapiro said, wearing a blue button-down shirt. But he also explained that the hue “gives the piece a solidity, and it doesn’t reflect light. It amplifies the mass of the piece.” He chose a durable matte paint used by the U.S. military for covert operations.

The sculpture, the result of a seven-year process, was made in a foundry north of New York City. Mr. Shapiro donated the piece to the consulate at the behest of the nonprofit Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies, which paid for the fabrication of the sculpture and has given work by over 200 artists to American outposts in more than 140 countries. In 1999, FAPE arranged for the artist to donate a 40-foot-high bronze sculpture for the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa.

Guangzhou is fast becoming a bit of a hotbed for architecture. The new blue consulate sculpture sits beside the Guangzhou Opera House, which has also received international acclaim.

Any guesses on what the blue sculpture is supposed to be?

Let us know what you think in the comments.


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