北京 BEIJING: Kerry Hsun


Cover courtesy Zhenfu Zhao - Han Wang AAI MONSTER LAB
ISBN 978-84-121480-7-7



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Zhao Zhenfu & Wang Han

Tianfu "Stage"

Chengdu Merchants Urban Planning Exhibition Hall in the New District of Tianfu

Keywords: stage, folding, frame, curtain, sharing

Monster Lab, the new creative studio of AAI International Architecture, won a national design competition for the Chengdu Merchants Urban Planning Exhibition Hall in the New District of Tianfu. As the first exhibition hall and demonstrative project to be built in Tianfu, the project will bear witness to the new area’s progression from empty fields to an economically prosperous urban district, characterized by new skyscrapers and a culturally diverse populace.

Through "refining traditional achievements and expressing future excellence", we hope that this building, with its mission of showcasing the district’s timeline, will be compatible with Chengdu's cultural past and speak to the future possibilities of urban development here.

The concept of "stage" came from the fact that in today's China, new cities are springing up everywhere, with each one advertised as being at the forefront of urban planning concepts. But where is the root of these new cities? We decided to find the answer in the ancient city.

Zhenfu Zhao - Han Wang AAI MONSTER LAB
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Dragon Lake Public Art Center
The crown of the city

As an important component of Zhengdong New District’s public amenities, the Dragon Lake Public Art Center will be used to showcase urban planning initiatives and exhibitions in the short term, and as a public art center in the long run. Its program will allow for easy access to works of art of the highest excellence, as well hosting lively and engaging activities for all visitors. Taken together with the surrounding public spaces, the Center will provide the city with a waterfront area rich with vitality – and will allow visitors to climb up and enjoy an overall view of the new development, engage with each other, and truly make their waterfront experience a memorable one.


Upon first setting foot on the site, we were impressed by the fact that there are no tall buildings in the surrounding area - even the financial island complex across the water is not excessively large. The local residents are indeed fortunate that such a wide public green space on the waterfront is available. The architecture we create here must be sensitive and friendly to the existing environment, and should show respect to the surroundings in terms of its ultimate size and form.

The challenge for the architecture is to be seamlessly incorporated into the larger landscape context of the park, but to also become a recognizable landmark in the area - as per the wishes of the client. A preliminary analysis and design intuition lead us to conclude that the building would not be a pure example of either architecture or landscape, but rather a product of the combined action of the two "forces". We wanted to integrate the Art Center into the surroundings to a degree that it seems to have grown directly from the site, and is organically part of the overall environment.

Min Wang
Designed by Studio A+
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La maison Xun
Cultures coexist in Hutong

Located within a quadrangle courtyard in Beilucaoyuan Hutong in Beijing, La maison Xun, a Chinese style restaurant, has been put into operation quietly. Unlike other popular high-end restaurants today, it boasts its comfortable modern art and antique architectural pattern.

Designer Liu Daohua insists on respecting both history and nature. He brought people back to the tranquility in the memory of old Beijing residents in today's bewildering aesthetics.
Different spaces assume different forms and meanings. For La maison Xun, its design core lies in the introspective experience in aesthetics and art and also the intuitive sense of times. It allows you to feel the natural tranquility of the city in the life atmosphere of the ancient Hutong.

Entering into the quadrangle courtyard through the red gate, you can see Chinese traditional art elements such as gray tiles, wooden eaves, black walls, and ancient trees, which will bring people into those elegant years.

"This restaurant is not just a top-level or high-end club, but also a landscape that can restore the nostalgic mood of Beijing." said Liu Daohua.

With simple and symbolic red and black, "Pupu Bear", designed by Zhang Zhanzhan, integrates with the simple space of the quadrangle courtyard and conveys natural power and pleasure through its cute and silent animal image, so that guests can forget the noise of the city, feel the return of the mind, embrace warmth emotionally, and look forward to the future.

Liu Daohua I LDH Architects
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Tianyou Experimental Primary School and Kindergarten, Suzhou

BAU was selected through invited competition to design a combined 24-class kindergarten and 48-class primary school on the rapidly urbanizing fringe of Suzhou New District.

classrooms and the in-between
Cutting edge education models explore a more interactive, collaborative, inquisitive, student-centred, teaching-learning environment. Consequently the goal of the contemporary school building is to blur the line between formal teaching in classrooms and the informal learning of the in-between spaces. With smart spatial design, informal teaching can inhabit the informal learning spaces, and vice versa. This new approach to education requires the entire school to become a teaching-learning environment.

small site, lots of program
Previous BAU school projects have lead to outcomes of buildings as figures on a ground of open space. With this project (a primary school and a kindergarten on a smaller site) the figure ground plan can be perceived as the reverse – open space as figures in a ground of building – more Circus Maximus or Piazza Navona than Levittown or Oak Park.

James Brearley
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Grand Banks, Shanghai

Standing in front of the restored Brunner Mond Building, the ethereal and distant vision of transitioning away from the abstract became concrete. This is our stage, where a prologue to the new story of Grand Banks is presented.

In 1921, Brunner Mond, a foreign bank engaged in the soap business, bought the land on the south side intersection of Sichuan, and Fuzhou Road. This land later became the headquarters of Brunner Mond in China. The Building was created in a neoclassical style, with characteristic three horizontal columns in its facade. These columns along with the bronze cast iron gate, imitation stone facade, French windows, and lost sculpture of Atlanta, all pay homage to the golden age of Shanghai, when East encountered West.

Since then, the former foreign bank has changed owners and undergone many rounds of repair and renovation giving us today’s Brunner Building, completed in 2019. By continually referencing the building’s archives and images of different historical periods, the two-year project aimed to revitalize the historical building, enhancing its overall appearance through repairing and restoring damaged carvings in accordance with the heritage regulations of minimum intervention, reversibility and integrity. “The greatest charm of the architectural complex in the Bund”, Chris Shao shares in his own words, “is that alongside the historical weights they possessed, these old buildings are also waiting for the inscription of contemporary souls and meanings”. In the old neighborhood, where the atmosphere of metropolis intertwines with civil life, and history meets humanistic spirits, Grand Banks is born.

Chris Shao
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