The Chinese tycoon Cai Jiang has enlisted 100 of the world’s most promising emerging architects to design a villa each for his new real estate development in Inner Mongolia, in the desert near the city of Ordos, some 400 miles west of Beijing. As part of a larger effort to establish an independent urban district on the outskirts of Ordos, he also has plans to build cultural venues and administrative buildings designed by celebrated architects.
Jiang assembled an impressive group of advisors to help realize his goals. Jacques Herzog, a partner in Switzerland-based Herzog & de Meuron, consulted in the selection of the 100 young architects. Ai Wei Wei, an artist and principal of Beijing-based FAKE Design, oversaw the master plan and the project’s conceptual framework. And Xu Tiantian, of the firm DnA Beijing, designed an art museum, which opened in 2007.