China is no stranger to great architecture. Within the last decade, the country has emerged as the globe’s largest construction market, and as a result, many noteworthy modern projects have been built. The winners’ gallery of last year’s A+Awards, the world’s largest awards program for architecture and building-products, form indisputable proof of China’s rise: An incredible 26 projects across the country were recognized in a plethora of categories. With the 8th Annual A+Awards now open for entries, it is anticipated that many Chinese firms will once again take the spotlight through new and innovative works.
Showcased below, last year’s Chinese A+Award winners form a celebration of contemporary design ideas throughout the country. From hospitality and sports projects to commercial pop-ups, offices and education spaces, these projects represent an incredible diversity of design approaches and construction methods. Built across a range of scales, they bring an incredible array of contemporary architectural concepts to life. As you consider which of your latest projects to submit for this year’s program, get inspired by China’s best modern architecture:
For the event of the Jinji Lake Biennial, New York-based studio MARC FORNES / THEVERYMANY installed a large-scale outdoor pavilion on the elevated plaza of the Suzhou Center. Its undulating enclosure interrupts the usual traffic as an unexpected, emergent environment.
The bookstore’s design takes the idea of “a book falling from the sky” as the starting point of the story, and the architectural form is taken from book. Through this metaphor, the team hoped that people can walk into the building to read themselves, and to complete a journey of self-discovery in a peaceful environment.
Tibet is considered to be a holy place close to the sky, with the Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple being pilgrims’ destinations. The team’s basic design concept of “Heavenly Road” is consistent with the most unique natural and cultural genes in Tibet. The concept of “heavenly road” is embodied at three levels.
Designed to be a shopping mall as a playground, ‘Play Stack’ is a kid’s themed mall with piled up boxes containing playful elements. Terraced volumes, connecting staircases and a large roof deck are threaded into a continuous exterior ‘play scape’ path.
Located in a grove in the campus of BJFU, the “pavilion of clouds” is a bamboo structure built for 2018 “Bamboo Garden Festival”, and the project was commissioned by the faculty of BJFU. Covering an area of approximately 120 square meters, the pavilion serves as a hub for information during the festival and turns into a flexible place for recreation and gathering when the event is over.
Inspired by the ancient Anji Bridge in Zhaoxian, China, this bridge adopts the structure of a single arch to bear the load. The 3D printing concrete system is independently developed by Professor Xu Weiguo’s team. It integrates technologies such as digital architectural design, printing path generation, operation control system, printing tool, concrete material, etc.
The 123+ kindergarten is located in a newly built shopping center. It adopts the Montessori method of education, which views the child as one who is naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared learning environment.
The Dongsi 5Lmeet was an abandoned soy sauce factory surrounded by the old gray-tiled buildings. It is not far from the historical Duan Qirui Prime Minister’s Office, and next door is a residential development that’s been there for decades. 5Lmeet was made to be an innovative space in an old community.
As Louis Vuitton’s flagship store in Beijing China, this high end retail store features a storefront section that was completely renovated with custom kiln formed glass. 32 panels of various sizes, totaling over 1000 square feet of glass, were formed, safety tempered, and installed. The custom design was produced using a special “Freeform Series” production process, which creates deep 3D patterned glass.
Exhibition Center of Longquan National Archaeological Park of China by OfficeOffCourse, Longquan, Lishui, China
Architecture +Glass, Popular Choice Winner, 2019
Cultural-Gallery, Popular Choice Winner, 2019
Historically, Longquan celadon is a type of green-glazed Chinese ceramic, known as celadon or green ware, produced from about AD950-AD1550. The national Archaeological Park is built to preserve the Longquan historical kiln conservation sites in Dayao village.
Situated in Beijing’s tallest residential structure, the X-House is a showcase business and residential space for an international entrepreneur. Designed to accommodate business meetings, banquets, guests, and other functions, the space features a 1000-bottle wine cellar, tasting room, and spa bathrooms.
Chishui Danxia World Natural Heritage Visitor Center by West-line Studio, Chishui, Zunyi, China
Architecture +Stone, Popular Choice Winner, 2019
This tourist center welcomes visitors to the Danxia World Natural Heritage Site in Chishui region, a popular tourist attraction. The project includes the basic facilities for tourists and is located at the entrance of the scenic area in a V-shaped canyon.
Shenzhen Energy HQ is a complex high-rise building comprising office spaces and public functions. The building is based on an efficient and well-designed floor plan, enclosed by a skin specifically optimized and modified to reduce solar heat gain.
“The Shadow Garden” of World Horticulture Expo in Yangzhou by OfficeOffCourse, Yangzhou, China
Architecture +Landscape, Popular Choice Winner, 2019
The Shadow Garden is one of the five satellite pavilions located in the first completed phase of 2021 World Horticulture Expo site in Yangzhou. Based on the scheme, this expo reflects the beauty of local landscape and plants as well as its programmatic requirement which is an educational place. The design aims to generate a new relationship between landscape and architecture.
The village lounge in Shangcun turned the ruined courtyard into a public space, providing leisure, multi-used community space for both local residents and tourists.
As the main lead into the Shopping Boulevard, the bridge represents the architect’s hope of providing youngsters with emotional support. It is thus referred to as “the Fortune Bridge”.
Bozhou Stadium abstracts the inverted trapezoidal form from Han Dynasty architecture and utilizes it as the basic geometric form of the building. It also uses the square pool along the shape as the “base” to ground the building form and emphasize the purity of the building. Inspired by the local armor of the warriors of the Han Dynasty, the architectural skin simulates the folding of the armor’s surface with a continuous triangular folding surface.
In Vanke Park, the outer frame, column and cornice of the main building are all designed with an oblique section. The horizontal lines of the floor intersect with the inclined planes between the columns, which increases the requirement for construction accuracy. The square main building is surrounded by water on three sides, and the columns of the outer frame fall on the water.
The Yunmen Mountain all-seasons Resort is located at the Qilu Mountain Region. Although the local city of Qingzhou is famous for its history and vernacular architecture, visitors can immediately feel the presence of the vast nature when immersed in the mountains. Hence, the design concept is based on integration into the mountains and nature, rather than cultural expression or history.
Traditional school planning in modern Chinese cities usually provides students and children with an adult-scale campus environment at an excessively early stage. Facing these phenomenon, the architects aimed to subversively break these conventions in school planning and offer children with space of their own scale and age in which they could enjoy living and studying.
The hotel is located in the center of Hengdian City, the “Chinese Hollywood.” The site is surrounded by three sides by mountains which are also forested. The design concept is building the image of the contemporary private residence through the arrangement of courtyards which are based on the space of the local famous private residence called Lu Residence, or “the Folk Forbidden City”.
WAY Studio recently completed the “Aye by Meeting Someone” restaurant in Beijing to explore spatial performance and provide a transient surreal experience to visitors. The spherical entrance, the infamous rabbit hole, crashes into the wall and creates ripples on the exterior façade. Designed with computational scripting, the façade has become a juxtaposition between technology and craftsmanship, linking modernity with tradition.
M50 Art Hotel Project is located in Pingle, Sichuan. Pingle Ancient Town is planned to be a music theme town. Therefore, the starting point of this project was around “Music”. In this project, MUDA- Architects strived to explore and activate local culture genes, and to create a landmark building that can inherit the historical context and also is forward-looking.
Boat Rooms on the Fuchun River by The Design Institute Of Landscape & Architecture China Academy Of Art , Hangzhou, China
Hospitality-Hotels & Resorts, Popular Choice Winner, 2019
These boat rooms “float” on the west bank of a lake where the resort covers a large area. The concept and shape of the “boat room” take its root in a local social custom from Fuchun.
Located in Beijing’s central business district, Dongshang is a contemporary Japanese restaurant and bar with a wide selection of sake and Japanese whisky. The vision of the client was to create a Japanese-style venue, while also representing the elements of Chinese culture, as well as featuring natural materials.
Aspect Studios set out to create a destination that provides a unique response to the public realm of the city and a place that acknowledges the importance of socially orientated space for people. To do this the team drew upon contemporary Wuhan lifestyle and the traditional local mythology of the ‘Phoenix’. The design is structured with a series of diverse spaces, nodes and experiences connected and unified by a fluid gesture and movement.
To be in the running for an iconic A+Awards trophy, publication in “The World’s Best Architecture” book by Phaidon, and a wealth of global publicity on Architizer, make sure your firm enters the 8th Annual A+Awards before the Final Entry Deadline on March 27th, 2020.