Neri&Hu Design: Defining modern Chinese architecture and spaces

Global perspective: By offering architects in China a design platform, Lyndon Neri (left, with life and work partner Rossana Hu) is hoping that 'we can give the best of what China can offer, from a design point of view, back to the world'. - ANDREW ROWAT

Eschewing China’s copycat culture and her bolder-and-flashier building mantra, a Shanghai design atelier is asserting a modern design language with its award-winning oeuvre.

Ostensibly, the architecture scene in today’s China is a paradox. Foreign architect-designed iconic structures and new cities, some exact copies of European towns, are popping up alongside developer-driven ugly behemoths, all at a frantic pace. But amid the chaos, a clique of talented and adroit Chinese designers, armed with impressive portfolios, are paving the way to morph China into a creative architectural force. Awarding the 2012 Pritzker Prize (the Nobel Prize equivalent for architecture) to Chinese architect Wang Shu was also a much-needed boost.

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