New Chinese architecture lifestyle
The book ‘Beauty and the East’ by the Gestalten publishing house discovers China’s most outstanding architectural projects, from nature-integrated museums to pod hotels that recover ancient rural buildings.
New Chinese architects and interior designers have found their own architectural language that has little to do with the constructive brutalism of past decades. This inspiration previously sought in the west has been replaced by a contemporary reading of their own ancient traditions, which has led them to develop a new and surprising architecture, now admired from the other side of the world.
These projects are captured visually in the book Beauty and the East by the Gestalten publishing house. Throughout its 320 pages, printed in full colour and bound with stitches, ‘Chinese talent is presented, giving shape to an aesthetic linked to heritage and the surroundings.’
Rural libraries, cultural centres and urban landscapes are reflected in this book, whose foreword has been given by the Pritzker Architecture Prize winner Wang Shu, from Amateur Architecture Studio. An expert in bringing together tradition and modernity in a balanced and environmentally friendly manner.
From the ‘playful’ architecture of X + Living, Li Xiang’s Shanghai-based studio includes both giant flowers and Maurits Corellis Escher-style stairs, or a comprehensive rural environment revitalisation plan developed by the architect Xu Tiantian, from DnA Design and Architecture. The latter has designed a bamboo pavilion on a tea plantation and a tofu factory on a river slope.
There is also room in Beauty and the East for first-class museums. This is the case with the UCCA Dune Art Museum, which is strikingly integrated into nature by the OPEN Architecture studio, with its curvilinear spaces hidden beneath the surface — partly evoking the primitive art galleries of the caves — or the Ningbo Historical Museum, which occupies a huge landscaped square with fountains and trees in the city’s Yinzhou Park. A contemporary building designed by Wang Shu and Lu Wenyu, founders of Amateur Architecture Studio, which draws attention due the discordant size of its windows, but also because it has been built with waste materials from local demolitions, such as clay and terracotta tiles and grey stone in the area.
Renowned professionals share space with a new (and creative) generation of Chinese architects in the book, where you can find cutting-edge designs of architecture studies whose international projection is already a reality. Among them, the exclusive pod hotel for 20 people by Atelier tao + c in the woods of Tonglu, Zhejiang province, or the offices designed by LUO Studio in the village of Yuanheguan, in the mountains of Wudang.
PORCELANOSA Group in China
The presence of the PORCELANOSA Group in the People’s Republic of China is not new, as, in addition to having a large number of distributors for years, it established its first project office there in 2012. Today, its Shanghai showroom (Unit 204, No 457 Jumen Road, Bridge 8, Phase IV, Huangpu District; Tel. +86 21 61397952; firstname.lastname@example.org) is a benchmark for Chinese architects and interior designers; and, with the recent opening of the new showroom dedicated to XTONE® and XLight® by Urbatek in the city of Taizhou (Zhejiang), designed by the Wang Peng architecture studio of Peng & Partners Studio, the Spanish business group continues its expansion in China.
These are some of the PORCELANOSA Group projects in the country:
- G&K Architecture Design Consultancy Limited designed a luxury real estate centre in ShenYang, in which Sanlei Interior Design and designers Miller Mi, Tian Huaping and Li Mingyue incorporated Porcelanosa’s premium ceramic collections into the spaces. Thus, in LiaOnningYango Peace 101, we find the Contour Natural and White collection in the main rooms and the Contour Natural by Porcelanosa model in the lobby.
- Designer Rocío Martínez Amoedo created the interior design of The Optimist restaurant in Hong Kong, with botanical and naturalistic motifs on the walls and Porcelanosa’s Antique Silver and Dover Spiga Caliza hydraulic-inspired tiles in floor and wall coverings.
- Butech’s technical office and the Peddle Thorp Architects studio collaborated to create the KRION® Solid Surface façade of the Shenzhen Zhongzhou shopping centre, designed by architect Zhao Guo Xing, who received recognition for this project at the VIII PORCELANOSA Group Architecture and Interior Design Awards.