(Shanghai 2010 World Expo - April 2014 | MovingCities Instagram)
Making architecture in China is not easy; occupying it is even more difficult. In recent years, amazing stories have appeared in various media about China’s shoddy construction culture, copycat designs, empty icons, and building projects apparently doomed to remain unfinished forever. These are projects designed not only by local amateurs but also by global dealers in iconic architecture. The bad detailing of Zaha Hadid’s Guangzhou Opera House, the lacuna that is Herzog & de Meuron’s Bird’s Nest, and the ongoing almost-finished status of Rem Koolhaas’s CCTV headquarters could give the impression that China has been constructing mainly empty shells over the past few years.
China also seems to be building too much, as exemplified by the overly discussed ghost city of Ordos 鄂尔多斯 (and the phantom villas of the Ordos 100 project) or, for that matter, any suburb of any large Chinese city. It’s often hard to find architectural pearls in China’s gigantic opaque pool of building blandness while scouting for Mark magazine. Hard but not impossible, as evidenced by the many Chinese projects that have appeared in the first 50 issues of the magazine.
Wondering how some of these buildings are holding up today, now that the media clamour aroused by their initial publication has died down, I ventured out in Shanghai 上海 to revisit three of them: the Himalayas Centre by Arata Isozaki (Mark 38), the 2010 Shanghai World Expo site (Mark 27) and the Giant Interactive Group’s headquarters by Morphosis (Mark 30).
(via Movingcities Thanks Bert for sharing it!)