Chinese New Year of OX, symbolizes hard-work, intelligence and pioneering spirit – all in all, an auspicious set of attributes that echoes the groundbreaking work demonstrated by Chinese architecture and design in the modern world. In this blog, AIMIR has collected the 5 most incredible projects from the past 24 months that are remarkable examples of the very unique modern Chinese architecture.
1. BingDing Wood Kiln Renovation (景德镇丙丁柴窑) – the Material from Itself
Architects: AZL architects
Area: 1800 m²
Jingdezhen, the Porcelain Capital of China, is also known as the origin of the Porcelain Capital, finds this amazing wood kiln in a tranquil forest by mountains. BingDing Wood kiln is named after the local’s preference of using the Chinese “Horsetail” red pine wood as a form of fuel and has been the symbol of this industry for nearly 2,000 years. What really amazing is, besides the fair-faced concrete, the main material of the kiln is the kiln bricks from itself!
Concrete formwork is not fixed by the ordinary mounting bolt in the construction of the concrete structure in BingDing Wood kiln but rather supported by the steel structures outside the concrete form for casting. Everything is just as natural as it is. This is the beauty of Bingding.
2. Xi’an Taibai Wushanju Art Hotel (西安太白巫山居艺术民宿) – Poetic, Artistic and Philosophical Balance
Architects: IAPA PTY. LTD.
Area: 14500 m²
Photographs: TAN XIAO-STUDIO TEN
Taibai Wushanju Art Hotel is close to the ancient city of Xi’an and is located at the foot of Taibai Mountain. If you have heard of or been to Qinling, you’ll know it as the dragon vein of China since ancient times. This art hotel is a multi-function that consists of resort hotels, open spaces for leisure, and exhibitions. The design evokes the urban planning of Lifang system (a strict linear system in architecture) from Tang and Song dynasties.
There is a Chinese saying “Reach for the moon, advance as if there is no mountain”. Inspired by this saying, Xi’an – Wushanju Art Hotel is a project with architectural ideas. The idea is to create a sentimental design work that integrates aesthetics, poetry, humanities, and life philosophy in order to find a peaceful place under the foot of Taibai Mountain, to return to a peaceful lifestyle, to balance art and life in an oriental fashion, and find a way to co-exist with more and less, light and heavy, black and white.
3. Putuo Mountain New Passenger Transportation Center (普陀山正山门客运中心) – the Traditional Law of ‘Five Layers’
Area: 10782 m²
Photographs: Qiang Zhao, Tao Hong
The world is ‘flat’ because of globalization. For architecture, advanced construction approaches and optimal materials have been introduced. However, loss of identity is a crucial issue at the same time. Check this terminal in Putuo Island! Its design reincorporates local context and cultural elements, making a great balance between internationalization and localization.
This multi-function place integrates dock area, ticket office, tourist distribution square, ship waiting area, and other functions. From south to north, the design lifted from the long corridor above the sea to the gently pitched roof and finally reaches distant mountains. Using the ‘five layers’ of traditional Chinese architectural system – bracket, bay, courtyard, building and city – to reduce the overall size, this terminal was built with modular units which tell a strong story of traditional Chinese architecture language.
4. 50%Cloud Artists Lounge Restaurant (半朵云艺术家会客厅) – Inspired by Nature
Interior Designers: CCD
Area: 550 m²
This restaurant is situated in a building named ‘50%Cloud’, which follows the design languages of red brick architectural complexes designed by Luo Xu while at the same time subtly incorporating Art Deco Style to maintain its own unique identity. Without a single steel bar or nail, this ‘utopia’ built on red soil is completely composed of local red bricks and blends into nature. The building looks like a mega art installation and half of a cloud that undulates in the sky. It features solid facades, curved contours, and volumes set at staggering heights.
The unique design of the building entrance is inspired by the terrace in Yunnan Province, and CCD ingeniously took advantage of the architectural form and gave it a new look. The interior space extends the natural curves of the exteriors, characterized by large-span arches and lofty ceilings. Round openings are carved out on roofs, in order to let natural daylight filter in. Natural light sources throughout the building are evenly distributed, and people in it can feel the interplay of daylight and cloud shadows.
5. Xiangxi ICH Renovation (首创湘西非遗工作站) – ‘Chuandou System’, a through truss structure from 2,200 years ago.
Architects: DAGA Architects
Area: 677 m²
Photographs: Ruiqi Yan, Chiyang Chen
Lu Ban, born 507 BC, is revered as the god of carpentry and masonry in Chinese folk religion. His personality is assumed by the master carpenter involved in the construction of houses among the Dong. The ancient city of Ganzhou, as the window of Xiangxi’s culture, has assembled 24 Intangible Cultural Heritages from Xiangxi area. This renovation project is to better reserve this cultural place while showing the world this Lu Ban carpentry and masonry with its unique culture language.
The fantastic structure of the old building is called ‘Chuandoushi’ or ‘Chuandou System’. It became a complete construction system in Han dynasty (about 2,200 years ago). The in-depth merit of this ancient system is its material-saving while maintaining high completion of the whole building. This renovation has kept the historical structure, and on top of it, a distinctive factor – the red lantern box – was added.
How is this Chinese architecture tour? Every country has a unique architecture style and sense. Vast in the territory, China has various architectural styles and designs to show the world. We believe China has always been on the list of countries that surprise the world with its traditional but futuristic architecture. There are loads of fabulous projects to be shared. If you are interested in any of these projects below, please comment or sign up for our newsletter. [email protected]