City squares miss urban life: expert – China Daily

Tan Yingzi of China Daily reports

While more and more Chinese cities are following Dalian’s example and building large city squares, urban planning experts warned Thursday that local governments must stop simply copying the Western style and look for more practical construction and local flavor.

read the full article at the SOURCE: China Daily – City squares miss urban life: expert

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UNStudio presents Raffles City, Hangzhou

RCH_080724_K04_LONG_FACADEUNStudio’s mixed-use Raffles City development is located near the Qiangtan River in Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province, located 180 kilometres southwest of Shanghai. With a city population of 1.69 million, Hangzhou is one of the most renowned and prosperous cities in China and is well known for its beautiful natural scenery, particularly in the West Lake area.

According to Ben van Berkel, “The philosophy behind the Raffles City concept is to integrate mixed use in an urban context, but in such a way as to give this concept a twist; by focussing on where the urban context meets the landscape of the city. In the design of the towers the urban element of the project twists towards the landscape, whilst the landscape aspect, in turn, twists towards the urban context, thereby effecting the incorporation and consolidation of these separate elements in one formal gesture.”

Raffles City Hangzhou is due for realisation in 2012. After four years of planning and construction, it will reach a height of 60 stories, presenting views both to and from the Qiantang River and West Lake areas. Raffles City Hangzhou will provide a total floor area of almost 300,000 square metres.

UNStudio’s Raffles City in Hangzhou will be CapitaLand’s sixth Raffles City, following those in Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu and Bahrain. UNStudio’s Raffles City Hangzhou incorporates retail, offices, housing and hotel facilities and marks the site of a cultural landscape within the Quianjiang New Town Area.

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SOURCE: UNStudio

IMAGES SOURCE: UNStudio

West Kowloon Cultural District concept consultants named

The West Kowloon Cultural district was a design competition won by a team led by Foster & Partners was announced in February 2002. The winning design was shelved in 2006 over concerns of funding and development. Since then three advisory groups have been in charge of the project. EOI tenders were called in late 2008 for a Conceptual Plan and on Monday after reviewing the 40 submissions the below was announced by Hong Kong Government.

Cultural district concept consultants named

Three consultants – Foster + Partners Limited, Office for Metropolitan Architecture and Rocco Design Architects Limited – have been selected to help prepare the West Kowloon Cultural District concept plan. Mott MacDonald Hong Kong Limited has been named the project consultant.

Announcing this at the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority Consultation Panel second meeting today, Chief Secretary Henry Tang said the selection process was fair and open, but vigorous.

SOURCE: News.gov.hk
You can watch the design presentations by Lord Foster, Rem Koolhaas & Rocco Yim at West Kowloon Cultural District Authority

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Rebuilding cities – Down To Earth magazine

Down To Earth magazine has published a great article by Yogesh Saaji & Jonathan Smulian (Wallace Roberts and Todd) about the urban renewal in Indian cities:

Contrasts in living standards in India make it imperative that urban planning ensures equitable distribution of employment avenues, housing and basic infrastructure. Affordable transport systems facilitating convenient access from homes to workplaces are as critical as educational, commercial, and recreational opportunities.

read the full article at the SOURCE: Down To Earth magazine – Rebuilding cities
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The National Stadium Beijing wins RIBA Lubetkin Prize 2009

The RIBA Lubetkin Prize 2009 winner is The National Stadium Beijing by Herzog & de Meuron with China Architectural Design & Research Group and Arup Sport for National Stadium Company.

The National Stadium in Beijing – nicknamed ‘the bird’s nest’ – by Herzog & de Meuron, with the China Architectural Design and research Group, Arup Sport and Ove Arup and Partners Hong Kong, and artist Ai Wei Wei, has scooped the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) prestigious Lubetkin Prize for the most outstanding work of architecture outside the European Union by an RIBA member.

The presentation of the RIBA’s Lubetkin Prize will took place at a ceremony on the 14th July at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Whitehall, sponsored by Cosentino and in partnership with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI). Winners of 2009 RIBA International Awards will also receive their awards at the ceremony.

SOURCE: RIBA

Flickr Image Source: Ed-meister

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