Building technology has certainly evolved over the last couple of decades but it seems that architectural design has exploded only perhaps in the last five or so years; taking advantage of these newer materials and construction techniques. People like Zaha Hadid, and the maniac-geniuses at MAD have certainly grabbed center-stage with not only outrageous attention-grabbing designs, but designs grounded in traditional forms; they are not just weird; but beautiful weird. And recall that Zaha Hadid also does interior design and furniture design:
I think of these people as art-cetechts as much as architects. Their buildings are just really big design projects you can go inside.
There are plenty of cool projects to look at in this genre, but I used a starting point of Googling “Weird Chinese Architecture” taking inspiration from various media articles claiming dear-leader Xi Jinping made an October 16th speech calling for an end to “weird architecture” appearing as part of the Chinese construction boom of late. Here’s one that I suppose could be considered weird – it’s still in the conceptual stage but I kind of like it:
This one was targeted specifically as “weird” and has been nicknamed Big Pants. It is by Rem Koolhaas the Dutch architect Time Magazine named as one of the top 100 influential people of our time. I’m not that into it; but I don’t think it looks horrible either.
And people all over the internet are having a ball with this partially completed building:
Which will actually look more like this when it’s finished:
Also from the fine Dutch site, Dezeen
Best part is that it is the new headquarters for the Chinese state
mouthpiece newspaper, The People’s Daily. Perfect. Naturally the authorities have done all they can to suppress the images, but to no avail. I’m laughing at them all the way out in Arizona! Doesn’t look too bad in it’s completed form though. Handsome building actually.
And current Chinese Architecture is taking heat for some designs that are in my opinion downright cheesy. I mean, why do designers think making buildings look like other stuff is so cool? What possessed someone to design a building that looks like a teapot:
Or a building that is suppose to look like a coin? How is this cool? I mean if they were part of a theme-park or some setting where evoking such trite imagery would fit, perhaps I would understand. But in municipality? Hmmm. Tasteless.
These forms are contrived – the sort of thing that might look good on a piece of paper, but simply do not do justice to their surroundings.
Now when it comes to pure ambition, there’s this:
The Phoenix Towers (Chinese: 凤凰塔; pinyin: Fènghuángtǎ) are proposed supertall skyscrapers planned for construction in Wuhan, China. At 1 kilometre (3,300 ft) high, the towers will be the tallest structure in the world when completed. The towers are being designed by Chetwoods Architects. Completion is planned for 2018 at a cost of GB£1.2 billion.
We shall see.
But in any case, there is a lot of cool construction and development going on in China.