A symposium and exhibition in China explore ways of rethinking the countryside. Nan Xiao, Qingyun Ma, and Gary Paige at the symposium. Every year about a million people in China move from rural villages and towns to big cities. Lots of planning efforts—both good and bad—have focused on fast-growing cities, but very little work has looked at the countryside where depopulation and the changing economics of farming threaten the very existence of many villages. With that as a backdrop, the University of Southern California’s American Academy in China (AAC) and its School of Architecture addressed the urban-rural divide in
New projects by Sou Fujimoto and Hiroshi Sambuichi add to the cultural attractions on Naoshima Island. Sou Fujimoto's new waterfront pavilion. On Naoshima, the 3.15-square-mile island in Japan’s Seto Inland Sea that Tadao Ando and other architects have turned into a popular station on the art-world pilgrimage route, the projects keep coming. In March, Sou Fujimoto completed a metal-mesh pavilion on the waterfront that lures visitors and local residents to climb inside its faceted form, while Hiroshi Sambuichi has designed a community center that will serve as a venue for Bunraku, a traditional form of Japanese puppetry, when it opens
When news that Norman Foster’s design for 2 World Trade Center would be swapped in favor of a more eccentric scheme by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), speculation as to the reasons stacked up as high as the glazed volumes in the elected design.
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