China has some pretty amazing and impressive buildings so from an architectural point of view there’s a lot to talk about in this regard. We’ve selected 10 structures that stands out for all the right reasons and we’ll have a closer look at each one to learn more about it. Check them all out down below.
The Bund Finance Centre
The Bund Finance Centre is located in Shanghai and was completed in 2017 by Foster + Partners and Heatherwick Studio. It’s a project meant to revitalize this part of the city and to create a connection between the old town and the new financial district. At the core of the structure stands a flexible and versatile space which combines exhibition and event halls and also includes a performance venue.
Finding a suitable architectural aesthetic for the centre was challenging. It had to relate to its surroundings and to blend the old and the new in pleasant and natural way. The prominent location created a great opportunity for the architects to take this project to the next level and to turn it into a landmark for the Shanghai waterfront region.
The Tianjin Binhai Library
The Tianjin Binhai Library was completed in 2017 and is the result of the collaboration between MVRDV and Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute. It’s an impressive 33,700 m2 cultural centre which looks even more outstanding once you step inside. At the center of the structure there’s a huge luminous sphere with an auditorium inside. Around it there’s a series of bookshelves that cascade and form ripples, featuring soft curves and creating a very organic decor.
The library was designed and built in only 3 years and holds 1,2 million books. It’s located in the cultural centre of the Binhai district in Tianjin, outside Beijing. It’s right next to a park and is one of five cultural buildings all connected by a corridor covered with a glass canopy. It’s a very impressive structure with a very spacious airy vibe inside. It has an all-white interior with bookshelves that double as benches as well as staircases.
The Gymnasium of New Campus of Tianjin University
This project was completed in 2015 by Atelier Li Xinggang and is located in Nankai Qu. The gymnasium is part of the Tianjin University campus. It includes an indoor sports center and a natatorium connected by a large arch bridge. Inside there’s a variety of dedicated zones organized and connected by public spaces. This creates an efficient and practical layout and adds a nice symmetry to the overall design.
The overall design and structure of the gymnasium use repetitive elements with a focus on a clean and simple geometry. Each individual space has its own unique identity and they all share in common this sort of modern-industrial aesthetic. The roof and the exterior walls feature a series of barrel arches and conical structures which give the gymnasium a lot of character.
The Bishan Cultural and Art Center
Located in Bishan Qu, Chongqing, the cultural and art center is a project completed in 2016 by Tanghua Architect & Associates. The design is inspired by the region’s history. To be more exact, the name Bishan translates as “jade mountain” signifying that the mountains in this region used to yield jade-like stones, or so it’s believed. The Bishan Cultural and Art Center gives this notion an abstract material representation.
From an architectural point of view, the project is closely linked to nature, the history of the city and the culture, featuring buildings with faceted gem-like structures designed to create a visual and artistic representation of all the elements mentioned before. The exterior shell is draped with glass, with the main building featuring grey grilles which offer protection against the sun.
The Dongziguan Affordable Housing project
This was a project developed by the local government in the Fuyang District of Hangzhou. It’s goal was to improve living conditions for relocalized farmers. The first step was to conduct meetings with the families and gather information about their living habits and needs. Architecture studio GAD planned a layout based on the farmers’ most common requirements and aimed to create an eclectic aesthetic which combines traditional and modern elements.
The buildings are organized around a central courtyard, following the traditional local typology. The structures are gathered into clusters and reference the traditional local architecture but give it a contemporary interpretation. The design is intended to preserve the vernacular morphology of rural settlements and to preserve the living style of the locals. Ultimately, the project aims to offer high-quality, low-budget housing for the farmers in order to ultimately improve their quality of life.
There are also some pretty amazing houses in China, this one being a great example. The Captain’s House was renovated in 2017 by Vector Architects and is located on the Southeast end of Huangqi Peninsula in Fujian Province. It’s a wonderful seaside retreat with a very distinctive design. Its unique architectural identity has been preserved throughout the renovation process, the focus being on making the structure safe and addressed any water leakage issues which had surfaced over more than 20 years of use.
The renovation also turned into an extension as a new third floor was added to the existing structure. The new section is quite different from the rest of the house although it does fit in quite well. The dome-shaped volume has vaulted ceilings and opens up to the views, featuring large glazed surfaces which welcome the outdoors in.
Huangshan Mountain Village
Huangshan Mountain Village is a quaint retreat developed by MAD Architects near the ancient villages of Hongcun and Xidi in China’s Anhui province. This region is known for its beautiful granite peaks and has some of the most beautiful mountains in China and in the world. This is a UNESCO Heritage Site for which the architects had a daring masterplan designed to turn it into a major tourist attraction.
They designed and built a series of individual buildings with different heights and aesthetics create a sort of modern little village. Architecture and nature create a wonderful symbiosis and complement each other beautifully. These structures serve as quiet and relaxing retreats. Each apartment inside has a large balcony with a panoramic view over the surrounding landscape. Also, they feature organic lines which mimic the topography of the site and the mountain terrain.
The Fuzhou Forest Walkway
This is the Fuzhou Forest Walkway, an elevated steel pedestrian walkway which spans over 6.3 kilometers and covers around 19 kilometers along its path. It has a winding shape and it serves as an urban connector network meant to provide easy access to the indigenous hinterland situated north- east of Minjiang. It gives pedestrians the opportunity to be closer to nature and to escape the city without having to travel too far.
There are 10 entrances leading into the walkway network in total. Each entrance is unique. There’s also a series of rest shelters, viewing decks, observation towers, teahouses and washrooms spread throughout the walkway network. Moreover, there’s wi-fi connectivity, touch screen information boards and visitor traffic monitors. This network is the first of its kind. This was a project by Look Architects.
The LOOP Gallery
The Loop is a sales gallery for the Shun Shan Fu residential development which is comprised of a series of luxurious houses and villas. The gallery was designed by studio LWK + PARTNERS and features two showrooms which are connected by a bridge dubbed the Skywalk. The bridge has a glass bottom and is shaped like a crescent.
The gallery embraces nature in a very unique and special way. It features a steel frame with undulating lines and loops which give it a dynamic and very sculptural appearance. The glass bridge is not just beautiful but also very convenient for admiring the panoramic views over the surrounding landscape. The project was very challenging given the reduced accessibility to the site and various limitations. The steel frame solved a lot of the concerns and proved to be a very efficient choice.
The Library of Central University of Finance and Economics
The Central University of Finance and Economics located in Changping Qu has a huge library which was designed and built by the China Architecture Design & Research Group in 2016. The main entrance leads to the central hall where all the different levels meet and which gives a sense of just how complex this entire structure is. This central area is surrounded by bookshelf walls on three sides, with one side open to the reading area.
There’s plenty of natural light coming through the south side of the building and the decor inside is bright and airy. The glass curtain wall diffuses the light and reveals a beautiful view, linking the reading area to the outdoors and creating a very relaxing and serene ambiance inside. Overall, the library is quite complex but manages to maintain a simple vibe which ultimately helps it become more welcoming and inviting. At the same time, this simplicity helps maintain an efficient and user-friendly layout with a sense of familiarity.