Two libraries in remote locations on different continents demonstrate the impact of small projects on communities in need. Both buildings contribute to the civic realm and create spaces that encourage users to engage with the architecture—and have fun. Photo courtesy Olivier Ottevaere & John Lin The architects used an existing public plaza and retaining wall as key elements in their design. The Pinch Yunnan Province, ChinaOlivier Ottevaere & John Lin Devastated by a major earthquake in September 2012, the Chinese village of Shuanghe in the southwestern province of Yunnan suffered neglect and then misguided governmental attention. After living in tents
A cultural foundation brings designers to Dhaka and announces a new institute for architecture, landscapes, and settlements. A view of the old city of Dhaka near the Buriganga River. Political unrest and sporadic violence on highways and roads in Bangladesh provided the backdrop to a three-day architectural conference in the country’s capital, Dhaka, in mid-January. Organized by the Bengal Foundation, a private trust dedicated to promoting the arts in Bangladesh, the event brought together speakers such as Fumihiko Maki, William J.R. Curtis, and Ken Yeang to examine how notions of “place” and “presence” shape the built environment. Other participants included
China's president wants to put a stop to strange buildings. Does MAD Architects' Sheraton Huzhou Hot Springs Resort, completed in 2012, fit Chinese President Xi Jinping's definition of weird architecture? Kooky buildings or innovative architecture? Playground for extreme forms or testing ground for new ideas? The remarkable results of China’s recent construction boom have been viewed in various—often contradictory—ways. Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed his own judgment on the matter at an arts symposium in Beijing in October, when he called for the end of “weird architecture.” While his definition of weird, alternatively translated as “strange” and “bizarre,” has not
In much of their work, Unchung Na, 36, and Sorae Yoo, 32, the husband and wife who founded NAMELESS Architecture in 2010, challenge themselves to express contradictions in architecture: take heavy stones and stack them so they appear almost weightless; design a building that seems both closed and open, at once strong and weak.