Challenges and Opportunities for Architects in 2021

Challenges and Opportunities for Architects in 2021

Looking back to 2020, the global pandemic had placed new rules on society, which have been a catalyst to rethink much of what we take for granted in the architecture industry. From macro to micro, these changes could shape our lives for years to come. Though we can’t say exactly what 2021 will be like, we can summarize the current trends we’ve been on for the past year, and foresee a range of challenges and opportunities architects may face.

Reshape Office Buildings

It is not necessary to address this anymore, since most of us are teleworking for the past year, and large office buildings and skyscrapers have been deserted, especially in central business districts. This provokes another question: Are these buildings still necessary?

There is a tendency of a shift away from large city offices, and some architects are re-evaluating the need for these spacious and expensive offices. At the same time, the absence of these offices could be detrimental to surrounding businesses, especially to small businesses. Bars, cafés, and stores cannot offer an escape anymore. All of these trends may lead architects to reallocate their buildings and rethink the space design.

New Domestic Space Design

Quarantine makes all nonessential workers more intimately acquainted with the confines of their homes. Spending so long in one place might require an environment that can change more freely so that people don’t get bored. For architects, it is a soul-searching exercise, especially for interior designers. Confronting the limits of domestic space has made architects rethink how to better design space for future homes, with decent privacy and handy flexibility. Meanwhile, people will really take it into account as they assess their homes in the future.

Public Space Design

The only space people can use is private space or public space, there is nothing in between. Just as we’ve confronted the limits of our own homes, we’re also aware of every flaw of public space. Restaurants, bars, cafés, and hotels, these kinds of businesses that have to close during quarantine are making up our routine of social life. Social distancing is no longer a “request”, but our “new normal”. It is important for architects to think about how these spaces can be kept safe during moments like the COVID-19 pandemic, with the function to maintain social distancing while allowing people to be outdoors.

Reuse & Prefabricated Modular Construction – Particularly in Healthcare Industry

So far, the pandemic’s impact on urbanism has shown up in small changes that can be implemented faster than a new building or zoning plan. The best example is the conversion of something random into a temporary hospital. In February 2020, two 1,000-bed and 1,500-bed hospitals were built in Wuhan as part of China’s sweeping efforts to fight the COVID-19. Huoshenshan Hospital and Leishenshan Hospital were built by construction crews who worked around the clock in 14 days on the vacant lot by a lake. The same happens to New York’s Javits center, which has been converted into a 2,900-bed hospital. A number of facilities have been converted into medical facilities since the start of the pandemic. The quick and flexible nature of reuse and prefabricated modular construction could be the new trend of the medical industry that architects should be aware of. In April 2020, eVolo Magazine has announced the winners of the 2020 Skyscraper Competition. If you check this blog here, you will find more detailed information about the Prefabricated Epidemic Babel designed by Chinese architects. (

For architects, behind every building lies a purpose and an amazing story of spark, endeavor, and perseverance. In a post-pandemic world, flexibility probably is one of the most important lessons we’ve learned. This is not only a question about space but about society. There are challenges for architects, but opportunities as well. They lie in creating more flexible spaces for coexistence and leisure, in realizing the importance of change, and in building a new world for human beings.

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Why 3D Rendering is Vital for Architecture Design?

Why 3D Rendering is Vital for Architecture Design?

3D rendering, seemingly trivial, actually plays an important role in architecture design. Except for marketing as most people know, there are also other benefits that go beyond it, such as previewing the project before it starts, invoking creativity, as well as facilitating management. Keep reading this article, we will introduce you to how 3D rendering reforms the exterior architectural design.

3D Rendering Optimize the Process of Marketing

In the advertising era, 3D architectural visualization is all around us. They can be found on the billboard of the bus station, in the video on YouTube, or in the magazine. This is because 3D rendering is an effective tool for marketing. By bringing out the best side of the building, 3D renderings easily catch potential clients’ eyes and trigger their desire to purchase or invest. It works especially in the architecture field since it is difficult to present to the investors, especially those who are non-specialists. For instance, the blueprint is too technical or the drawing is too tedious to understand. But now, with the help of 3D rendering, the clients who lack of knowledge design are able to appreciate the beauty of the project. Nothing can bring potential clients closer to the project than 100% real rendering pictures.

3D Rendering Opens People’s Mind

Usually, more than one design option will be offered to decision-makers, and that is where the 3D rendering comes into play. By visualizing the result of the project, new ideas pop out: how to improve the design even further? Are there any potential issues that haven’t been spotted yet? Does the exterior material of the building look good under the sunlight? By look at the yet-to-build project in the actual surrounding, 3D rendering kickstarts designers’ creativity and allow them to think out of the box. And when any changes are needed, designers also can use rendering technology to improve the design immediately.

3D Rendering Facilitates the Project Management

The success of a project largely rests with the project management, which requires an enormous investment of time and effort from start to finish. However, the application of 3D rendering can sharply reduce the considerable cost of management. It works in two ways. The first is coordination. In the 3D rendering stage, a construction project will be presented from multiple angles both inside and out. In this way, the designer can check the design from the rendering and fix the problem before it actually happens during the construction phase. The second is preparation. By presenting the rendering, it keeps the people involve in this project move on the same page and help them well prepare for the next step.

3D Rendering is Cost-Effective

Even though 3D rendering can do so much as mentioned above, the fee is quite reasonable. Comparing to the possible expend on changing the design during the construction phase, adjusting the design by using 3D rendering prior to construction obviously is much cheaper. It prevents many costly situations from happening. If the investors don’t like the design, the designer can flexibly upgrade the design or offering many feasible solutions before large money invests into the construction. In other words, 3D rendering helps to prevent other potential costs in a more affordable way.


As we have mentioned, 3D visualization is a great tool that sets your project apart from the competitors. Not to mention its positive effect on marketing, inspiration, and management. If you’re also passionate about visualizing your architectural design, please contact us. We will thoroughly commit to the success of your project from start to finish.



International Competition of Landscape Design for the Core Area of Lihu New Town

International Competition of Landscape Design for the Core Area of Lihu New Town

Project background

 In recent years, Lishui Town has focused on high-quality development, actively embraced the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, seized the “dual-zone drive” development opportunity, accelerated the development of urban and rural integration, and strived to build Lishui into a more beautiful environment, stronger industry, and better governance. The urban and rural areas of Nanhai District, which have better quality and a higher sense of well-being of the people, are fully integrated and developed as a benchmark town and the most beautiful Lingnan water village in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

 In order to achieve the integration of urban and rural areas in Lishui Town, Lishui Town took advantage of its situation, adapted measures to local conditions, used the geographical features of the Lishui River for planning and construction, rationally used resources and costs, take the deeply integrated “Industry-City-Humanity-Culture” as development concept to build a Lihu New Town. The goal is to build a demonstration zone of the green healthcare industry in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, a fashionable water capital of the Guangzhou-Foshan metropolitan area, the RBD core area, and a high-end resource gathering area for Lingnan Guangfu cultural industries.

 In order to further promote the implementation of Lihu New Town, build the core landscape demonstration area of Lihu New Town, plan and construct Lihu Central Park, central axis city living room, central waterfront and other projects with high standards, implement “high standard planning”, and accelerate orderly construction of the project, the ” International Competition of Landscape Design for the Core Area of Lihu New Town ” is launched, openly solicit design proposals with international perspectives, high level, and high standards, to provide a basis for subsequent project construction, thus to achieve the purpose of “Let high standard design lead the construction and development of Lihu New Town”.

Main design tasks (the final requirements are subject to the “Competition Technical Documents “)

The overall work content of this project includes: I, the overall planning and design of the overall landscape of 5.6 square kilometers of Lihu New Town; II, the core area of Lihu New Town (Lihu Central Park, central waterfront (including waterfront road landscape), the landscape design of the central axis city living room (including the roads around the central axis); III, the integrated design of 5 landscape bridges connecting Lihu Central Park, Dalang Bay, and Funan Bay. Among them, the total investment in the construction and installation of landscape engineering in the core area of Lihu New Town is about RMB355 million, and the total investment in the construction and installation of 5 landscape bridges is about RMB101.51 million. The specific work content and requirements are as follows:

1.Main work content and requirement in the competition stage

Main work content in the competition stage

The core area of Lihu New Town includes the Lihu Central Park, the central axis city living room, the central waterfront and the 5 landscape bridges connecting the 3 islands with integrated high-standard design, including square garden construction, greening configuration, site furnishings and the city furniture, waterfront design, lighting design, sign system, supporting houses, landscape bridges, roads (road section, greening, sidewalk layout), etc. The design depth is conceptual design. The design area of the core area is about 34 hectares, of which the central park is about 5.8 hectares, the central axis city living room (including the roads around the central axis) is about 12.2 hectares, and the central waterfront belt (including waterfront roads) is about 16 hectares.

Follow-up work after competition

On the basis of the deliverable of the conceptual scheme competition,  the selected unit shall absorb the advantages of other competition schemes, and adjust and develop the competition design scheme based on opinions from expert review, competition organizer and relevant department, and complete following work:

Overall planning and design of the overall landscape of 5.6 square kilometers of Lihu New Town (including coordinated planning of development land and public space, traffic analysis, pedestrian and bicycle route planning, convenience facility design, lighting design and brand building, open space planning, main streets Landscape design, and the overall planning of the two islands in Funan Bay and Dalang Bay);

Schematic design and preliminary design (including budgetary estimate) work for the Lihu Central Park, the central waterfront (including waterfront road landscape) and the two landscape bridges connecting the central island (central park). The final deliverables need to meet the requirements of “ Regulations of Design Document Preparation Depth for Municipal Public Works (2013 edition)” for landscape engineering and bridge engineering, as well as the relevant regulations of Guangdong Province and Foshan City;

The scheme of the central axis city living room and the other 3 landscape bridges shall reach the depth of schematic design. The final deliverable needs to meet the depth requirement of schematic design document preparation for landscape and bridge as stated in the “Regulations of Design Document Preparation Depth for Municipal Public Works” (2013 edition), as well as relevant regulations of Guangdong Province and Foshan City.

Competition rules

The competition work is divided into two stages: the first stage is pre-qualification; the second stage is design competition.

The first stage —— pre-qualification

Open competition is to be adopted for this competition, openly accept applications from home and abroad design units (including consortium, the same below) that meet the qualification requirements for participation.

The qualification evaluation committee evaluates the pre-qualification application documents submitted by the applicants, and shortlists Three formal participants for the second stage of design competition.

The three formal participants units shortlisted will receive invitation letters from the competition organizer.

The second stage——- design competition

The three formal participants shall carry out design work in accordance with the requirements of the “Competition Technical Documents” subsequently issued, and submit the formal design deliverable on time. Each unit shall submit only one design scheme. The design scheme submitted by a design unit other than the formal participating units will not be accepted.

The scheme evaluation committee will evaluate all the submitted design schemes, and determine the ranking of each entry scheme by registered voting. The No.1 scheme is the winning scheme for this competition, and the winning scheme unit shall complete the subsequent scheme development work. If the No.1 scheme is hard to achieve the purpose of this competition, the winning scheme can be vacant.

If the selected scheme unit cannot fulfill the contract or abandon the selection, the participation deposit will not be refunded. The competition organizer may choose another winning scheme as the selected scheme or vacant in accordance with the “Competition Technical Documents “, the review opinion of the expert committee and relevant administrative departments’ opinion.

Requirements for Qualifications

There must be a legally registered and valid business license or business certificate; must be qualified as an independent legal person. Design units that have the following relationships may not participate at the same time:  The legal representatives of two or more legal persons are of the same person;  The parent company, wholly-owned subsidiary and its holding company.

Design unit from mainland China must have one of the following qualifications: ①Comprehensive Grade A qualification for engineering design; ②At the same time, it must possess Grade A qualification for landscape design and Grade A or above qualification for design of municipal industry (bridge engineering).

 Note: The above qualification requirements in ② can be done in the form of a consortium, and each member of the consortium must have at least one of the qualifications in ②.

Design units from foreign countries, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan regions must be fairly well-known in the world, and they must form a consortium with design units from mainland China with the qualifications in above (2);

The participating applicants (independent or consortium) must have similar experience and undertaken cases of urban landscape design and landscape bridge design. This competition accepts participation in form of consortium, with no more than 3 members. The consortium must submit a consortium agreement, and the main member of the consortium should be defined in the agreement. After the members of the consortium have signed the Consortium Agreement, they can no longer participate in its own name, nor can they form a new consortium or participate in other consortium, otherwise their qualifications of participation will be invalid.

 The competition schedule

  1. Nov.12th,- Nov.23rd, 2020: Announcement will be issued to accept the design unit to submit prequalification application documents.
  2.  Late-November,2020: Evaluate the pre-qualification application documents and confirm the formal participant
  3. .  Dec.4th, 2020-Jan.27th,2021: Participating units start to work on the design scheme, and the competition design cycle is about 55 calendar days
  4. The press conference and site survey is scheduled for Dec.10th, 2020.
  5. The interim report meeting is scheduled for late-December,2020.
  6. The expert evaluation meeting is scheduled for Jan.29th, 2021.
  7. The competition organizer reserves the right to adjust the competition schedule. As affected by the Covid-19 epidemic, the competition organizer may duly adjust the dates and the ways to the specific meeting time as may be necessary, at that time, the notice issued by the competition organizer shall prevail.

Competition fee

Cost compensation fee

The No.1 participant will receive a cost compensation fee of RMB800,000 (RMB, including tax, the same below) paid by the competition organizer.

The No.2 participant will receive a cost compensation fee of RMB600,000  paid by the competition organizer.

The No.3 participant will receive a cost compensation fee of RMB500,000  paid by the competition organizer.

Note: Participants whose competition scheme is reviewed as invalid by the evaluation committee will not receive the relevant competition fees.

Winning design fee

Participants selected as the winning scheme will receive a lump sum price of RMB8.26 million for the winning design paid by the competition organizer.

The announcement is published on AIMIR’s website now. If you want to more following details regarding to this competition, please feel free to contact AIMIR. What’s more, you’re more than welcome to touch base with us if you need architectural visualization.

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