The new guard of Chinese architects is drawing the future of the country

Isabelle Campone

By Isabelle Campone30 juin 2022

Site rehabilitations, stopping giant towers, and infrastructure sustainability are new priorities for the young generation of Chinese architects. While international architecture superstars still sign projects in China, the new Chinese guard now wants to take over.

The winding opera house "Harbin Opera House", located in the northern city of Harbin, occupies a building area of about 850,000 square feet on a total area of 444 acres (DR)

The radical transformation that has begun in China for the past thirty years has led to an unprecedented boom in urban and architectural development. When the Pritzker Prize honored the Chinese architect Wang Shu in 2012, a first for the institution, this was a way of showcasing the challenges faced by massive urbanization in the country. “Urbanization, as everywhere else in the world, must happen in harmony with local culture and needs. We hope, said the committee, that the many opportunities of urban planification and architecture will consider both the unique heritage of this country and its future needs in terms of sustainability.”



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Urbanization, as everywhere else in the world, must happen in harmony with local culture and needs

announcement of the pritzker Prize committee

China has indeed become an immense worksite and architecture firms have multiplied. Their sky-scrappers have redefined the Beijing and Shanghai skylines. The CCTV tower by Rem Koolhaas and the Olympic stadium by Herzog and Meuron have become symbols of Chinese architectural modernity. This year alone, another building by the Dutch architect will be inaugurated in Hangzhou, a stadium built by the Zaha Hadid firm in Xi’An, a library by Snøhetta in Beijing and towers in Shenzen by Foster + Partners.

Great Chinese architecture firms

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