Zhu Pei brings modern Chinese architecture to Berlin

By Angus Mcneice in Berlin | China Daily | Updated: 2017-04-13 07:12

Zhu Pei brings modern Chinese architecture to Berlin

Zhu Pei Chinese architect. [Photo/China Daily]

Named one of the "five greatest architects under 50" by the Huffington Post, Zhu Pei is credited with offering solutions to the challenges of ongoing urbanization in China.

An exhibition of five works currently under construction by Zhu is underway at Berlin's Aedes Architecture Forum through May 18, offering the European design community an insight into the work process of one of China's leading contemporary architects.

"Chinese architects are increasingly becoming the ambassadors of Chinese culture and art," Li Gang, from the cultural department at the Chinese embassy in Berlin, says.

The exhibition showcases models and sketches of Zhu's plans for the Yang Liping Performing Arts Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art, both in Dali, Yunnan province, the Shijingshan Cultural Center in Beijing, the Shou County Culture and Art Center in Anhui province and the Museum of Imperial Kiln in Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province.

Aedes curator Eduard Kogel says Zhu's work process is distinctive as he rarely uses computer modeling, instead, he relies on ink paintings and uses clay and plastic foam models to bring his ideas to life. Zhu also generally arrives at a site without a form in mind, allowing the landscape and culture of the area to inform his design.

"I don't know any other architect who works in this way," Kogel says.

"He develops his ideas out of the context of the area and its people, as well as the surrounding. This is necessary because we are challenged everywhere around the world by urban sprawl and the problems that come with that, like mobility, traffic and pollution. So you have to find solutions that integrate nature and sustainability.

"Zhu Pei does this. He finds solutions that are based on the environment and then brings them into artificial architectural forms."

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