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环球时报英文版/Building recognition  

2012-02-29 10:45:00|  分类: 建筑评论 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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环球时报英文版/Building recognition - 方振宁 - 方振宁
Building recognition
Global Times | February 28, 2012 20:53 
By Wei Xi
  
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Building recognition

 



 Wang Shu
 
When Wang Shu was announced as the winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize in the US Monday, the news not only surprised the world but also thrilled Chinese, who'd considered the "Nobel Prize of architecture" to be out of reach. Wang is the first Chinese architect to be awarded this prestigious prize, which has been handed out annually since 1979.

 

An apt choice

The architect, born in 1963, is a professor at China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, where his architecture practice is based. Last year he became the first Chinese architect to be selected as the Kenzo Tange Visiting Professor at Harvard Graduate School of Design in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Wang's notable designs include the library at Wenzheng College, which is part of Suzhou University, Ningbo Contemporary Art Museum, Ningbo History Museum, and parts of the Xiangshan campus of China Academy of Art. 

The Pritzker jury praised the Ningbo History Museum as "an urban icon, a well-tuned repository for history and a setting where the visitor comes first." 

In announcing the prize winner, Thomas J. Pritzker, chairman of the Hyatt Foundation, which sponsors the prize, said: "[It] represents a significant step in acknowledging the role that China will play in the development of architectural ideals. In addition, over the coming decades China's success at urbanization will be important to China and to the world. China's unprecedented opportunities for urban planning and design will want to be in harmony with both its long and unique traditions of the past and its future needs for sustainable development."

  

 Holistic design


Fang Zhenning, an architecture and art critic, agreed with Pritzker. "The key is that Wang harmoniously combines both traditional and modern elements with the environment." 

Fang took the Xiangshan campus of China Academy of Art, one of Wang's recent works, as an example, saying that the campus blends so well with the local countryside that it's hard to tell where the campus ends.

"You can walk a few steps and find a farmer driving his ducks, and then a few steps later, a group of students playing with their cell phones in a corner," Fang told the Global Times. 

Although it's not the first time Wang has received an international prize, winning the Pritzker Prize was still "a big surprise" for him. 

"I am tremendously honored to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize. I suddenly realized that I've done many things over the last decade. It proves that earnest hard work and persistence lead to positive outcomes," he replied upon learning the news. 

Fang further explained that like many others who study architecture, Wang began by learning from the excellent works of Western masters. 

"But after he got his doctoral degree at Tongji University in Shanghai and moved to Hangzhou, he began to reject Western methods and developed his own style of infusing traditional Chinese art into architecture," said Fang. "He does not like the haste with which most current architectural projects in China are conceived and built, nor does he applaud the pace of urbanization."

Artistic vision 

In an interview with National Public Radio in the US Monday, Wang said he works like a traditional Chinese painter. Every time he accepts a commission, he studies the city and its surrounding landscape, drawing inspiration from them in his final design. This style has made him a somewhat unique, and lonely, architect.

"The people who are doing this are still a small group," he told reporters in a press conference yesterday. "The main problem is a lack of consideration. Chinese cities have developed so quickly over the past two decades, but few people stop long enough to think about the damage this has caused to our traditional culture."

The formal ceremony in which Wang will receive a $100,000 grant and a bronze medallion will be held in Beijing on May 25.


http://www.globaltimes.cn/NEWS/tabid/99/ID/697824/Building-recognition.aspx
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