The work of Amateur Architecture Studio with its focus on reconnecting to ancient techniques that are environmentally, socially, and culturally sustainable is featured at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice. The internationally acclaimed architects Wang Shu and Lu Wenyu are leveraging their standing within architecture to influence political decisions that have seen the traditional villages of China almost fully dismantled and replaced by mediocre replicas over the past twenty years.
Amateur Architecture Studio accepted a commission to design the Fuyang Museum, on the condition that priority had to be given to preserving the remaining rural villages. The team undertook in-depth research on site to examine manual construction techniques that had been abandoned; even though these traditional approaches were able to deliver good quality and delicate structures that were perfectly integrated with nature. Knowledge learned from construction in rural areas is then applied to the design of the Fuyang Museum. “Right now, there is a test building on the site. At the same time, the experiment results are shared everywhere in the villages in order to preserve them,” says Wang Shu.
Wang Shu and Ly Wenyu received a LafargeHolcim Acknowledgement prize in 2005 for another project that embedded their careful focus on the accuracy of feeling more than the perfection of construction. In their series of Five scattered houses, they translated a historical house typology for a series of modern dwellings. The project in the center of the Yinzhou New Town, Ningbo District, (250km south of Shanghai), was praised by the independent LafargeHolcim Awards jury for addressing the need to establish a dialog between rural and urban environments.
Preservation is about more than mere resistance: traditional villages and old buildings have always been a valid and forceful source of knowledge. “We think Chinese villages represent the most important value in modern Chinese cities with their more natural and traditional way of living and working,” explains Wang Shu, the Pritzker prize laureate of 2012.
The work of Wang Shu and Lu Wenyu is on display at the Arsenale until November 27, 2016, as part of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice. The 5th LafargeHolcim Awards competition is open for entries until March 21, 2017 at:See more
Internationally-acclaimed architect Wang Shu, a former Holcim Awards prize-winner, has been selected as the Pritzker Prize Laureate for 2012. The Pritzker Prize is recognized as one of the highest honors in the world of architecture. This year’s prize hand-over will take place in Beijing on May 25. As cited by the Pritzker Prize jury, Wang Shu’s work is able to transcend the dichotomy between architecture anchored in tradition and architecture looking only toward the future to produce works that are timeless, deeply rooted in context and yet universal.
The Pritzker Architecture Prize was established by the Hyatt Foundation in 1979 to each year honor a living architect whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision, and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture. It has often been described as “architecture’s most prestigious award” or as “the Nobel of architecture.”
Typical of this unifying approach, the Five Scattered Houses, Ningbo, China project led by Wang Shu won a Holcim Awards Acknowledgement prize in 2005. The series of five structures that reinterpret the traditional building culture were commissioned in 2004 and completed by 2008 in a 25 hectare park in the center of the Yinzhou New Town, Ningbo District. The project manifested an innovative translation of a traditional house typology into a modern dwelling. By promoting the use of indigenous materials and traditional craftsmanship, the work takes an ethically acute stance to the environment as well as its inhabitants.See more
The series of five structures that reinterpret the traditional building culture were commissioned in 2004 and completed by 2008 in a 25 hectare park in the center of the Yinzhou New Town, Ningbo District. The series of five structures were completed by 2008 in a 25 hectare park in the center of the Yinzhou New Town, Ningbo District, 250km south of Shanghai.
The project was commissioned with the following objectives:
The project was able to deploy low-cost natural resources, reactivate the manufacture of low-tech/handmade structures, and the use of recycled materials. By promoting the use of local materials and traditional craftsmanship, the buildings have a smaller impact on the environment, and are more energy efficient. In this sense, a balance is struck between nature and human occupation. The project experienced a degree of unsatisfactory construction practice and funding shortfalls. Some of the structures are currently unoccupied.
The park also features the Ningbo Historic Museum, also designed by Wang Shu of Amateur Architecture Studio, which also created Xiangshan Campus and Vertical Apartment at Hangzhou, Wenzheng Library at Suzhou, and Sanhe House at Nanjing. The Ningbo Historic Museum was designed with nature and specifically mountains in mind, as it is part of Chinese tradition. The building is constructed using fragments of older demolished buildings to make up the walls of this new one, collected from destruction sites all over the region, is in fact an old technique called wa pan, developed by local farmers to cope with natural disasters.See more
USD 220,000 in prize money was presented to the best submissions from Asia Pacific in the Holcim Awards competition for sustainable construction projects. The competition run by the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction in collaboration with five of the world’s leading technical universities aims to promote sustainable approaches to the built environment.Full media release – Holcim Awards 2005 for Asia Pacific » 更多详情 (Chinese) »
With a compelling case made for reinterpreting the concept of harmony between human occupation and nature, this project manifests an innovative translation of a traditional house typology into a modern dwelling.
With a compelling case made for reinterpreting the concept of harmony between human occupation and nature, this project manifests an innovative translation of a traditional house typology into a modern dwelling. By promoting the use of indigenous materials and traditional craftsmanship, the work takes an ethically acute stance to the environment as well as its inhabitants. Successfully addressed is the need to establish dialogue between rural and urban environments.See more
From southern China, this entry makes a compelling case for reinterpreting the traditional building culture. An innovative translation of a historical house typology to a series of modern dwellings is proposed for the city center. Ecologically, the project is merited for its sensitive deployment of low-cost natural resources, reactivating the manufacture of low-tech, handmade structures, and the use of recycled materials. By promoting the use of local materials and traditional craftsmanship, the buildings require less maintenance, have a smaller impact on the environment, and are more energy efficient. In this sense, a balance is struck between nature and human occupation.Download project entry poster (PDF, 6.09 MB) »
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