Articles on China’s building boom often highlight the property bubble, megalomaniac planners, governmental corruption and private graft, substandard building practices and the destruction of the nation’s cultural heritage.
In Mark #51, we interviewed four Chinese architects on four aspects of China’s building practices to reveal the mechanisms at the foundation of this unedifying image. Li Hu offers his thoughts on architecture, Liu Yuyang on urban planning, Li Xiaodong on aesthetics and Liu Jiakun on construction processes. What can we learn from their experience?
Then we make a short stop in the Netherlands and visit the renovated love-it-or-hate-it TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht, orchestrated by Herman Hertzberger and take a guided tour of Neuteling Riedijk’s Eemhuis cultural centre in Amersfoort. Our reporters shed a spotlight on social notworking at Rem Koolhaas’ Venice Biennale before marvelling at the glacial forms of Zaha Hadid’s Innovation Tower in Hong Kong. Moving on to Argentina, we look at the latest creations from the up-and-coming duo Adamo-Faiden Architects before reviewing an immaculately crisp retirement complex for Portugese bankers by Guedes Cruz Architects.
Photographer and writer Sergio Pirrone invites us to contemplate the loss of structural derring-do in contemporary Japanese architecture. Perhaps technical innovation simply moved continents, for Odile Decq serves up an audacious exercise in steel trusses and cantilevers in a Lyon office building in France whilst MBA/S completes a crystalline Stuttgart residence out of insulating concrete, a first in Germany. After this whirlwind world-tour we wind down with Aaron Betsky who explains the evocative power of books and films.