A living network that promotes and supports the small businesses and community initiatives that are crucial to the well-being of our neighborhoods.
Congratulations to Mr. Wang Shu (and his Amateur Architecture Studio) for receiving the Pritzker Prize 2012 in Architecture. I was at first surprised that Mr. Wang got the prize. First of all because all his built work are located within China; and secondly because his name was still pretty much under the radar even amongst architecture circles.
I first came across Mr. Wang’s work in 2008, at ‘Refabricating City’, Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi- City Biennale of Urbanism/ Architecture at the Central Police Station Compound. His exhibition was entitled ‘Thinking by Hands: An Experiment on the Reconstruction of Living Places in Collapsing Traditional Cities’. His exhibit showcased models of some of the buildings at the New Academy of Art in Hangzhou, China. I thought his exhibit was one of the highlights of the 2008 Biennale.
Soon after a bunch of friends and I decided to make a trip to Hangzhou and Suzhou (and neighboring regions) and we visited the New Academy of Art in Hangzhou, as well as the Jinhua Architecture Park. Seeing the buildings in person was more impressive than seeing the architecture models at the biennale, for me largely because of the recycled or salvaged bricks and tiles. These recycled bricks and tiles give an organic and weathered quality to the otherwise modernist forms that Wang employs. The juxtaposition of the new forms against the salvaged bricks give Wang’s work a unique character. This design decision is also ecologically sound, as it makes use of discarded materials that would otherwise be destined for landfill.
Wang has done some interesting work in the Hangzhou region. If you are nearby, and if you appreciate contemporary architecture, you should check them out.
Also check out New York Times article: For First Time, Architect in China wins Top Prize