Drawing on a series of conversations and site visits to six recent groundbreaking projects, architecture writer Catherine Shaw describes how Beijing-based OPEN Architecture is reinventing and responding to China s complex and fast-changing cultural landscape with projects that mark a new era for contemporary Chinese cultural architecture. OPEN Architecture was founded in New York in 2003 by Li Hu and Huang Wenjing, while their Beijing office opened in 2008. From a contemporary art gallery buried beneath a sand dune to a sculptural open-air theatre in a remote mountain valley near the Great Wall, co-founders Li Hu and Huang Wenjing re-evaluate conventional Western assumptions about culture and design as they base each pioneering project on the needs and plea-sures of humanity within the context of diverse terrains and climates. In doing so, they not only consider how cultural architecture looks, but how it works. Projects are presented with commentary and contextual information as well as new analyses and archival material, including outstanding colour photography, plans and drawings, and exploratory sketches. This book provides a fresh perspective on contemporary cultural architecture and place making, hig-lighting the architects sources of inspiration, their challenges, and their construction methods, showing how each impactful project responds to China s distinctive context.
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