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.