CAIP Mapping

CAIP Mapping

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Trompe l'oeil in Shanghai Changes its face for EXPO2010

Previously, CAIP introduce the tempo l'oeil in Shanghai. The facade of the abandoned building is covered by printed windows, which can be considered as a parody of architecture. In fact, obviously, no one cares about architecture and its representation. The only theme of the abandoned building is supposed to be propoganda of politics since it is just next to the secret political conference place - Ma Le villa on Shanxi Rd of Shanghai and it is a good eye-catched place both from ground or from the inner ring highway. As expected, the facade is now changed into 海宝(Haibao, literally means baby of the sea), the mascot of EXPO2010 in only one night.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

China Pavilion for EXPO2010

He Jingtang, China Pavilion, Shanghai EXPO 2010
China Pavilion of Shanghai EXPO 2010 was released a while ago, titled "Crown of the East", designed by a senior Chinese architect He Jingtang, but now there are some interesting discussions about it on abbs, the world biggest architectural forum, of course in China.

The main issue is about: Where is the idea from? Is it representative of China after all? Many posters dig out the Japanese pavilion for EXPO '92, Sevilla, Spain, designed Tadao Ando. So, where are the both inspired from? Is His inspiration from Ando? Or is Ando's from Tang dynasty (618-907 A.D.) in China?

What we are interested in that no matter the architect He or the debaters on abbs, swamped in opticality again.

Todao Ando, Japanese pavilion for EXPO '92, Sevilla, Spain

[via abbs]

Comment by Yan known as ID Bendangwuren on ABBS

The competition of the pavilion undoubtly results in a typical Chinese way. As a citizen, maybe we could just think this as clownery and have fun.
For me, the most important focus is not about which real project did Mr He Jingtang copy from. Actually, he might willing to think about what is the tradition of China to be represented as the Government asked for. He also want to escape from the symbolic way of representing Chinese culture. By merging contemporary material and way of constructiong, he did this. (Although the name is Crown of the East, the original idea is to build a morden appearance of Dou Gong (corbel bracket). Ironically, the abstraction of traditional wood structure of China leads to an Japanese sytle inevitably. Wow, maybe Mr He himself didnt aware of that. Isn't true that Japanese people copied Chinese stuffs long long time ago, then made them into more abstract and practical way, which is now widely known as JANPANESE STYLE? Like karate is a typical Japanese kongfu which is copied from Chinese kongfu by simplifing all the looking-good techniques.

Till now, could we say that when we Chinese want to explain our tradition in modern western way (since we are also in modernizing by the western techonology and culture), we suddenly find that our neighbor Japan has already done that in very mature and successful way, plus, this has been known widely as Japanese tradition for the world. Thus, could we still boost this as our tradition by only symbolize the traditional Chinese style? What is the real tradition we had before, and what is we still have now? The issue becomes is the image of old China is the tradition or is the way of represetation means the traditional thinking of China, can we go out of just showing the image of tradition in western way? Neither the way nor the result is known as Chinese tradition. In this sense, do we still have tradition or could we find our new tradition?

It's kind of funny that recently, Chinese government control the public media to show hostility to Japan just the opposite to what they said 20 years ago. The primary goal is to divert domestic social complainment to outside of the country. Thousands of brainwashed Chinese young people expectedly become anti-Japanese generation. It is sacastic that the Chinese pavilion is now in clearly Japanese style. Hard to say what kind of public condemnation could be.

After all, it is still a very bad design. However, from another point of view. The project could be an very good irony. It not only shows the metaphorical meaning of Chinese society (Crown could mean we are still under the imperial power of the biggest communist partry), but also emerge social participation of Chinese sytle critisism, it might be a good chance to make "better city better life" in era of postcommunism.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Keyboard architecture in Shanghai

It is a keyboard like building in Shanghai. It looks like a professional technician school, in digital media technology.


[via Augapfel & dhfz]

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The world's biggest ferris wheel in Beijing

"If tourism officials have their way, visitors to Beijing in 2009 will not only have to climb the Great Wall of China, but also the Great Wheel, says Ben Blanchard of Reuters.

At 208 metres tall, the Great Wheel will be the world's largest ferris wheel — higher and bigger than both the London Eye and the Singapore Flyer which opens in March next year.

Our eyes were drawn to these lines in the Reuters report:
The giant ferris wheel will have 48 air conditioned observation capsules, each of which can carry up to 40 passengers,...

Air-conditioned capsules? Without the a/c, we're not sure how many tourists would want to ride in the Wheel. The smog in Beijing literally takes your breath away.
...and on a good day even the Great Wall is expected to be visible in the mountains to Beijing's north.

On a bad day, we assume NOTHING will be visible." -- Shanghaiist

[via shanghaiist and yahoo]

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

5 sqm (50 sqft) luxury house

A white-collar worker, in Xiamen厦门, have worked for 8 years, earning much more than the average, however with his saving he only can afford 5 square-meter (50 square-foot) apartment. Thus, a young man, Lv Guohua吕国华, built his own 5 square-meter “luxury house豪宅”. After the construction was complete, this “the spokesman of Chinese housing slave中国房奴第一代言人” spent his first “golden week (week long Chinese National days)”.

“It is so pathetic to spend life in such 5 sqm”, some visitor says. But someone claims, “I feel so happy about him, because I’ve been working for so many year and I don’t even have such 5 sqm.”

It is a 2-story house of 3.2 m high. Mr. Lv could not stand straight at the 2nd floor because it’s only 1.3m high and Lv is 1.73m high. This little house situates in front of a big shopping mall and between 30-story residential towers in Canghai district of City Xiamen, Fujian Province.

[via south daily]

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Shanghai Gets Its Own Slice of English Countryside

Shanghai's city planners are carrying out an ambitious scheme to relieve population pressure: They are resettling 500,000 people in nine new towns in the suburbs. Each is built in a distinctive style, including an Italian town with canals based on Venice and a German town designed by Albert Speer, the son of Hitler's favorite architect.

Thames Town is one of these new settlements. It features cobbled streets, half-timbered Tudor houses, Edwardian townhouses, and a covered market with a clock tower and weather vane on top. Thames Town looks like an English country town. And that was the whole idea, to re-create Middle England in the Middle Kingdom.

Paul Rice, of the British company Atkins, was the lead architect for Thames Town. He says the developers of the community wanted a complete, functioning English town, with its own schools, shops, and residential and recreational areas.

Shanghai has a tradition of English, French and German architecture in the concession settlements of central Shanghai, Rice notes.

And the clients saw nothing strange about re-creating those types of settlements on the outskirts of Shanghai.

But when it comes down to it, in China, it's always about the bottom line.
Developer James Ho says the main consideration in building Thames Town was a commercial one.

"Beautiful buildings are always welcomed by customers. … If the building's style is different from others, it will have its own market. It will be easy to make money, to add profit," he says.
Thames Town even has its own church, complete with stained-glass windows and a towering spire. It's mainly being used now as a backdrop for wedding photographs.

Recently, a young couple, Yang Jinghui and Zi Haiying, posed for wedding photographs on the lawn in front of Thames Town church.

They say they love Thames Town, but although they have good jobs working for large Western companies, they don't think they'll ever be able to afford to live here.

One of the lucky few is a Mrs. Lu, who lives in a quarter-million-dollar villa.

"I like it because it's like a foreign country here," she says.

In fact, some have denounced the satellite town scheme as a form of self-colonization. Another criticism is that Thames Town is yet another example of China's copycat fever — a pale imitation at best.

In particular, two buildings have sparked controversy. There's a squarish, white, three-story building with a sign that reads "Rock Point Inn." It's next to a smaller, white building called "Cob Gate Fish Bar."

The problem is that these establishments do actually exist, and they've been copied wholesale from the British town of Lyme Regis. Their discovery in Thames Town sparked near hysteria in the British press, which carried interviews with the landlady of the pub and fish 'n' chips shop in colorfully titled pieces such as "Chinese Takeaway" and "How the Chinese Stole My Chippy."
Paul Rice from the architect Atkins denies any wrongdoing. He says the client saw the names of the buildings as "decorative," and that when tenants move into the buildings, they will change the names.

But even as Thames Town was declared open in a lavish ceremony, it seems far from achieving its original objective. With its empty streets and unrented shops, it's more like a ghost town. And with homes priced out of the market for many, Shanghai's plans for its satellite towns are placing gimmicky foreign settlements above the real needs of its own people.

---by Louisa Lim

Thames Town may look exactly like an English country village, but it's actually 25 miles southwest of Shanghai. It's one of nine new towns Shanghai planners hope will relieve population pressures in the city center.
The town's market square even has its own statue of Winston Churchill.

Yang Jinghui and Zi Haiying pose for wedding photographs in front of Thames Town's church.
Even Thames Town's security guards have special touches to their uniforms that seem designed to evoke English pageantry.
[via npr]

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Elevator in Cliff, Zhangjiajie

"This controversial 326 metre high elevator takes you up the side of one of the many enormous cliffs in zhangjiajie, china - the lower 1/3 running from a cavern through the rock, the top 2/3 rising outside to the summit - and is the highest and heaviest outdoor elevator in the world. the elevator has an uncertain future due to the potential harm caused to the surrounding landscape."

[via deputydog]

Monday, October 8, 2007

Venice in Macau

The $2.4 billion Venetian Macao Resort Hotel is finally open for business on Macau's Cotai at end of August 2007. Las Vegas Sands claims the 10.5 million square foot (1 million square meters) Venetian — twice the size of the Las Vegas original — is the largest building in Asia.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Tianzi Hotel in Beijing

Tianzi (Son of the Heaven) Hotel was built around 2000 or 2001 in Yanjiao developing district (燕郊开发区) of Beijing, which won Guinness World Records of the world biggest image building in 2001. It is 41.6m high with the forms of three traditional Chinese gods (福禄寿, Happiess, Fortune and Longevity). This hotel is 10 stories high. The stardard room is smaller than normal ones, and ninth floor provides president suite. There is even an Peach-shape suite.

[via xinhuanet and many others]

Monday, September 24, 2007

21st centry Railway station

Isn't that funny this is a railway station? And it is more fun and ironically called 21st centry railway station. It could be considered as a new sample of "white-house-like" buildings in China. It is obvious that this kind of "architectural revolution" has spread into almost all kinds of urban facilities not only the governmental offices.
[via abbs]

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Villa Piano

"The "Piano House" is just finished recently in new district of Huainan City, Anhui Province. The building shapes of a pair of scaled piano and violin. The program is to exhibit the planning model of the new district."
--xinhua net

[via xinhuanet & abbs]

Up-side-down Villa Savoye

Villa Savoye at Helan Shan贺兰山, Ningxia Province
This project is done by Song Yongping, along with other 11 artists designing 12 houses at Helan Shan, which is called Helan Shanfang贺兰山房, organized by Lv Peng, a "uropian artisitic critic".
Le Corbusier, Villa Savoye , France (1929)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Tian'anmens in China

Xiayi, Henan Province 河南夏邑曹集乡
Linfen, Shanxi Province 山西临汾
Zhongxian, Chongqing City 重庆市忠县黄金镇 Huaxi Village, Jiangsu Province 江苏华西村

We know the Chinese likes to copy Western architecture, but they also copy their own buildings. Tian'anmen of Beijing is copied many times throughout China, which could happen the most among all Chinese buildings.

[source Xinhuanet]

Another "whitehouse-like" governmental building in Anhui Province

This governmental building is in Yingquan District of Fuyang, Anhui Province安徽阜阳颍泉区, which costs tens of million Chinese Yuan. It is "Western-style". The average annual income of local people is 2000 Yuan.

A very interesting thing is that the Chinese always misunderstands that Capitol as White House. If you check it around, you will never find such description that "Capitol-like" buildings, but always "Whitehouse-like", which are very different basically. However, few Chinese notices it at all.

Eiffel Tower in China

Not surprisingly, another famous building is copied in China. Sina reports that the "First" Eiffel Tower in Tianducheng Residential District in Lipingxingqiao Town of Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province will be completed the construction later October 2007. The scale is 1:3 as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. The tower is divided for 8 sections, each of which has eight-seeing platforms with the connection by tilted elevators. The tower is 108 meters high. "Then, the landmark of the French stylish small town, with the combination of tourism and residency, will erected in North Hangzhou."

[source Sina China]

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

New Landmark of Hangzhou

New conference center of Hangzhou is now finished (sphere one). the building like moon opposite to it is the new opera house in silver. These two governmental public buildings defines the new landmark of Hangzhou city by the Qiantang river bank. They are just a typical type of defining Chinese public space in a place where no one could ever think of hanging out there.

[source: abbs]

Monday, August 27, 2007

Simulacra, Hengdian

Forbidden City, Beijing
Forbidden City, Hengdian World Studio, Zhejiang Province (the mountains are kind of a giveaway)
Another view of the Forbidden City, Beijing
and the ersatz Forbidden City, Hengdian World Studio, Zhejiang Province

"NPR reports:
In just 10 years, Hengdian [World Studio] has transformed itself from a poverty-stricken farming village to a collection of replica palaces, temples and historical streets, open to film crews, often for free."

"These aren't just replicas, they're full-size reproductions. It's an amazing and terrifying verisimilitude. Even more so because China's very real history is being projected onto the structures themselves -- really just facades and empty shells -- outside the context of the in-film world.
In China - where old buildings are torn down in the blink of an eye - many visitors say they haven't come for the movie glamour, but to learn about their country's past - from the fake buildings."

more images

[source: life without buildings & Wiki]

Sunday, August 5, 2007

1,000 Person World’s Largest Restroom

"The World’s Largest Restroom is in Chong Qing, China and oddly enough, is made from all recycled waste and materials.
Some urinals are uniquely shaped, including ones inside open crocodile mouths and several that are topped by the bust of a woman resembling the Virgin Mary.
As seen below the design of the restroom is quite unique with an Egyptian theme and elaborate decoration.

It can support as many as 1,000 people using the restroom at the same time. Additionally it offers radio and TV to entertain users of this mammoth restroom.
Soon the bathroom will apply for a Guinness World Record.

Video and AP story can be found here and more pictures here."


Monday, July 9, 2007

Erechtheion in Zhengzhou

There is an "Erechtheion Temple" in West Economical Developing District of Zhengzhou, which was built around 1994 while now it's abandoned. Its program is uncertain and could be for entertainment, such as a club, a public bath house, etc. It's reported that it's from Erechtheion's "orignal" drawings.
Erechtheion Temple in Greece
[source: caip & photoseek]