The Condition of Chinese Architecture








Nowadays reality, portrait of a country


Inured to Demolition Architecture of the Tabula Rasa City-Making Process Growth 24/7, Economic Experimental miracle The Condition of Chinese Architecture


Absorbing modernity


The first contacts 1582-1840 Self-Strengthening 1840-1910 Searching for history 1912-1949 One nation and one architecture 1949-1978 From Postmodern to World stage 1978-2008 Avant-garde, critical and post-critical




Chang Yong Ho, Atelier FCJZ Liu Jiakun, Jiakun Architects Ma Yansong, MAD architects

Liu Xiaodu, URBANUS Aurchitecture and Design Zhang Lei, AZL Atelier LU Wenyu, Amateur Architecture Liu Yuyang, Atelier ALYA Rocco Yim, Rocco Design Architects Limited Zhang Bin, Atelier Z+ Li Xiaodong, Li Xiaodong Atelier Zhu Pei, Studio Pei-Zhu Li Hu, OPEN Architecture CHEN Yifeng, Atelier Deshaus Qi Xin, Qixin Architects Xu Tiantian, DNA Architecture Zhang Ke, Zao/Standardarchitecture




Do what is taught Peasant construction workers Pushed by practice Visual impact Immaterial legacy Absorbing cultures




Credits References


China accounts for only 1 per cent of the world's total architects, but produces 10 per cent of the world's buildings and uses 33 per cent of the world's reinforced concrete. How does this condition affect architecture?


Translated for the first time into English, The Condition of Chinese Architecture is the result of a five-year immersive investigation by TCA Think Tank into this paradigm. The research presented in this publication provides an insider's perspective to decode what is occurring in the midst of Asia's most recent construction boom, the extent of its global impact and the circumstances in which its actors must operate.


This book rejects the standard approaches to studying this condition, in which sweeping conclusions are cast from big data and a fetishisation of statistics including the growth, size and quantity of projects; the speed of their production and demolition; and the relationship between a project and its context (or, in many cases, its non-context). Instead, Pier Alessio Rizzardi and Zhang Hankun trace a line from the significance of building culture in Chinese history and identity, dissecting how the longstanding influence of Western movements from Baroque to Soviet architecture, megastructural modernism and the latest generation of avant-garde and post-critical global movements meld together to form this current state.


In addition to interviewing key voices of contemporary Chinese architecture including such icons as Chang Yong Ho, Liu Jiakun, Ma Yansong, Liu Xiaodu, LU Wenyu, Zhang Ke, Li Xiaodong, Li Hu, Chen Yifeng, Zhu Pei, Zhang Lei, Qi Xin, Rocco Yim, Zhang Bin, Liu Yuyang and Xu Tiantian the authors weave together the entire spectrum of individuals involved in this condition, from construction workers to developers, curators, critics and artists. The result is a groundbreaking, cumulative reckoning of the history and future of Chinese architecture that is teased out through layers of personal accounts and crossdisciplinary research drawing on architectural history, design and aesthetics, technology, philosophy, politics and society.






Pier Alessio Rizzardi

Zhang Hankun



Rory Stott

Charlie Xue

Li Xiangning

Harry Den Hartog


First published in 2017 by

Artifice books on architecture

308 Essex Road


N1 3AX


160 pages












15 x 2.2 x 21 cm




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