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Ai Weiwei see more open website in same window

Chinese architect Ai Weiwei was detained at an airport in China in early April and is still locked up without charge. BD Online surveys the attitudes of architects working in China on the arrest.

Will Alsop:

“I think [the arrest] is very unfortunate and I am sure that sense will prevail. He is obviously a special person and needs to be contributing to the general debate and giving us things to enjoy. I don’t want to go further than that for the same reason as the rest of the architects… I am going to China next week. They might think ‘we’ll have him’ or they might not let me in.”

BD Online
Free Ai Weiwei

27.5.11 A related op-ed at archinect, asking what, if anything, the profession can do. For how long can it continue to be business as normal?

31.5.11 Guardian article#

24.05.11 in architects 

Architect / protaganist: fake


will alsop is a scab

by info on 26 May 11 ·#

What is happening in China… its a double edge sword!


by Carol on 4 June 11 ·#

page listing related:   in  China  

Melbourne in miniature see more open website in same window

A new 90 hectare suburb in Tianjin, China, is set to get a Melbourne theme. This doesn’t mean that it will be encouraged to sprawl with inadequate public transport, we ‘re talking more of a postcard version of Melbourne.

Premier Brumby has been in Shanghai talking at the Liveable Sustainable Cities of the Future Forum, a Victoria Week presentation at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.

Brumby: “Melbourne is renowned as one of the world’s most liveable cities and it is a tribute to our reputation that an entire development in Tianjin is set to be based on how our city looks and feels.”

“The developer of this proposal visited cities all over the world before deciding that they wanted to base this new suburb on the great city of Melbourne. “

“Architektonic’s design concept includes a ‘Melbourne’ street intended to be reminiscent of iconic streets such as Acland Street, Brunswick Street and Lygon Street with outdoor cafes, restaurants and retail shops designed to take the spirit of Melbourne to Tianjin.”

lygon street
Lygon St by chensiyuan

Let’s hope they like coffee and cake. According to Architektonic’s company profile ( PDF ) the Flinders Lane-based practice has also designed the World’s first Eco-AgriCity in Jiangsu and is currently planning the design of a new World first Eco-Health City.

The press release continues… “It is intended that the development would be both a major residential development in Tianjin but also attract visitors from Victoria, Australia and across the world to view its Melbourne likeness.”

That’s an odd assertion – that people from across the world would travel to a Chinese city to see something that looked like Melbourne. I guess the travellers surveyed have been into Baudrillard. China is no stranger to themed suburbs and casinos, and sometimes they can be more interesting than their distant ‘real thing’.

The suburb is part of a large area receiving a lot of Victorian attention, via AUS cluster , an alliance of over 50 government-backed design professionals working on $25B worth of urban development in China. AUS Cluster was initiated by Lab Architecture Studio in 2004.

Lab have completed the master plan for Qilin, in Tianjin, about which they say:

lab’s approach to the qilin site is to evolve and develop the framework structure from an analysis of the site’s ecological systems and an understanding of its existing conditions. rather than approaching the site as a tabula rasa, lab use the existing landscape, water courses and ecologies, inhabitation patterns and infrastructure to inform the town’s future development and shape the creation of its overall urban form.

Lab at Qilin

While it is interesting to see these local architectural firms supported by the Victorian government and masterplanning cities in China using principles gleaned from Melbourne, there is a stark difference between this and Melbourne’s own new town masterplanning , progressing within a housing developer-led framework, apparently without architectural or urban design input.

Architektonic (holding page only)
Architektonic PDF profile

via WCS 2010

22.05.10 in urban-planning weird-wonderful


page listing related:   in  China   Tianjin  

Shanghai over the topness see more open website in same window

At Boston.com are some startling pics of nation pavilions competing with one another to be the craziest thing in town, for a moment.

This pic isn’t nearly as startling, but it’s the only related one I have. It’s of a weird Shanghai 2010 open air exhibition in old town Macau in 2008. They’ve been priming their customers with cute mascots for a while.

macau 2008
P.Johns 2008

24.03.10 in architecture 


page listing related:   in  China   Shanghai   Shanghai  

Shanghai see more open website in same window

shanghai pavilion

Here’s a pic of what Wood Marsh are up to in Shanghai for the upcoming expo. The government PR article it came in on makes nary a mention of the architects, as SA PRESIDENT pointed out in Twitterland. As Stuart Harrison said on the Architects radio show on Tuesday (after a visit), this one refers strongly to Wood Marsh’s 1990s ACCA building in Melbourne.

01.12.09 Here’s a pic sent in by Stuart. Singapore’s Pavilion is on the right.
shanghai pavilion

29.11.09 in buildings 


looks nothing like acca, except for maybe the cladding/colour.
proves that some people don’t know shite from clay.
well done.

by cabbie on 1 December 09 ·#

if it is like ACCA it will have a huge mistake right above the front door.

by hairdresser on 1 December 09 ·#

If that doesn’t look anything like ACCA.. then I don’t look anything like me Mum.

by peter on 1 December 09 ·#

thats a shame….

by cabbie on 1 December 09 ·#


by cabbie on 1 December 09 ·#

PJ, r u sure about your dad?

by hairdresser on 1 December 09 ·#

… the next Ayers Rock. Can Australia do anything on the world stage without embarrassing itself?

by luke on 4 December 09 ·#

nup….softfistication is a forte….

by cabbie on 5 December 09 ·#

don’t mind it hacktually.
reckon the WMs r the right people 4 the job.
ACMI felt lame – but ayers rock with a disco inside has grown on me over time.

by hairdresser on 5 December 09 ·#

…. I guess it makes a change from the permanent disco on top of the rock

by luke on 5 December 09 ·#

yeah put the disco inside it….brilliant idea…
core ten is the new black hd….
took a fare down to the great ocean road…
the marshalls have got some more freeway stuff on the new by-pass….pretty good…
although they could lose the lollie strips…

by cabbie on 5 December 09 ·#

the aqua toilet block on the right looks kind of interesting

by luke on 7 December 09 ·#

i notice they don’t fly the koori flag in the render.
only the hooniun jack. unusual these days not to have em both.

by hairdresser on 9 December 09 ·#

you’re not in nz now hd

by luke on 11 December 09 ·#

australia is modern version of northern island – or as Barry Humpries says,
‘Australia is the Brisbane of the world.’

by luke on 11 December 09 ·#

could be worse. think of being perth of the planet.

by hairdresser on 12 December 09 ·#

It’s almost there.

by peter on 4 February 10 ·#

turdlike tubes sticking out the sides r unfortunate.
wonder when they realised it was coming out as a shit sandwich instead of hairs rock?

by hairdresser on 4 February 10 ·#

page listing related:   in  China   Shanghai   Shanghai  

China's highs and lows see more open website in same window

Nice at the top, but not down on the ground.



26.10.09 in sustainability 


page listing related:   in  China  

nether regions see more open website in same window

Was Rem being honest / cheeky / stupid when he collaged naked women in lewd positions around his Beijing TV buildings, highlighting certain similarities between the building and the nether regions. The locals have woken up to it and aren’t happy.

Xiao Mo: Mr. He Qing proposed that the main building and the annex should both be blown up because they are a great shame for the Chinese people and cannot be allowed to exist. I basically agree, for I cannot think of any reason not to blow them up.

DANWEI (content warning)

21.08.09 in buildings weird-wonderful


page listing related:   in  China   Beijing   Beijing  

Inside Beijing's Big Box of Blue Bubbles see more open website in same window

A detailed technological (and geometrical review) of PTW’s Beijing Water Cube.

14.08.08 in reviews 

Architect / protaganist: PTW


page listing related:   in  China   Beijing   Beijing  

Ai Weiwei see more

Herzog and de Meuron’s Chinese collaborator was recently interviewed by ICON magazine, he’s a provocative sort…
You’re saying you’re not interested in the physical result of your work?
Exactly. It’s like a murder – when it’s over, I need a fresh body to kill. I’m not interested in dead bodies.

iconeye 03.08

He has also become outspoken about security surrounding the games… “I don’t criticise the stadium. I criticise the government’s use of the Olympics for propaganda. I am disappointed that the system is not able to turn this historical event into political reform.”

Guardian UK 02.08.08

Here’s an Aljazeera video about Ai Wei Wei from August 2007.

07.08.08 in profiles video-clips

Architect / protaganist: fake


Der Spiegel finds Ai Wei Wei in a Munchen hospital with a cerebral haemorrhage which he says is due to a thumping last month by police in China. SPIEGEL 16.9.9

by peter on 21 September 09 ·#

page listing related:   in  China  

Beijing update see more

wikipedia public domain image of Herzog and de Meuron's Olympic Stadium

Christopher Hawthorne visits Beijing prior to the Olympics and sees great architecture that isn’t too hot viewed close up, and misses the hectares of hutongs that have been cleared for this grand exercise in state building – totalitarian style.

The powerful strangeness of the city’s new icons is exaggerated by the way they are placed on huge, freshly cleared pieces of land, creating an urban-planning version of the condition cultural critic George W.S. Trow called “the context of no context.”
LA Times 03.08.08

While we’re on the topic, here’s a worrying still of Pierre de Meuron from a new movie about Herzog and de Meuron and Ai Wei Wei’s Bird’s Nest. Don’t jump.

pierre de meuron

And here is a link to the film’s trailer

03.08.08 in urban-planning 


page listing related:   in  China   Beijing  
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