Issue 109-110
IX-XII 2004

Growth Unlimited


Luis Fernández-Galiano
China Boom

Un mundo nuevo 
A New World

Peter G. Rowe
La modernización de China Modernization in China
Zheng Shiling
Ciudad y arquitectura en transformación Chinese City and Architecture in Flux
Juan Carlos Sancho
Tres ideas sobre una experiencia Three Ideas on our Experience

Legión extranjera 
Foreign Legion

Paul Andreu
Gran Teatro Nacional, Pekín Grand National Theater, Beijing
Centro de artes orientales, Shanghai Oriental Arts Center, Shanghai
Centro deportivo, Guangzhou Sports Center, Guangzhou
Burckhardt & Partner
Pabellón polideportivo Wukesong, Pekín Wukesong Multipurpose Sports Hall, Beijing
David Chipperfield
Conjunto residencial, Hangzhou Residential Complex, Hangzhou
Museo de la cultura Liangzhu, Liangzhu Liangzhu Culture Museum, Liangzhu
Norman Foster
Aeropuerto internacional, Pekín International Airport, Beijing
Zaha Hadid
Museo Guggenheim, Taichung Guggenheim Museum, Taichung
Herzog & de Meuron
Estadio nacional, Pekín National Stadium, Beijing
Edificio TPT, Pekín Three Partnership Tower, Beijing
Campus universitario, Pekín University Campus, Beijing
Escuela de comunicación audiovisual, Qingdao School of Creative Media, Qingdao
Marc Mimram
Puente Bengbu, Tianjing Bengbu Bridge, Tianjing
Complejo residencial, Liuzhou Housing Complex, Liuzhou
Torres Solo, Shenyang Solo Towers, Shenyang
Office dA
Casa de entrada, Tongxian Gatehouse, Tongxian
Centro de arte, Tongxian Art Center, Tongxian
OMA/Rem Koolhaas
Sede de la CCTV, Pekín CCTV Headquarters, Beijing
Casa del Libro, Pekín Beijing Books Building, Beijing
Antoine Predock
Museo del Palacio Nacional, Taibo National Palace Museum, Taibo
PTW Architects
Centro nacional de natación, Pekín National Swimming Center, Beijing
Sancho & Madridejos
Iglesia y centro cívico, Qingpu Church and Civic Center, Qingpu
Foro de las Artes, Shanghai Art Forum, Shanghai
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Torre Jinao, Nanjing Jinao Tower, Nanjing
Ciudad universitaria, Shanghai University City, Shanghai
Von Gerkan & Marg
Museo Nacional de China, Pekín National Museum of China, Beijing
Museo Shanghai-Pudong, Shanghai Shanghai-Pudong Museum, Shanghai
Riken Yamamoto
Complejo mixto Jian Wai, Pekín Jian Wai Soho Complex, Beijing

Profetas en su tierra 
Home Architects

Yung Ho Chang
Instituto de biotecnología, Chongqing Bio-Tech Institute, Chongqing
Xiaohua Fei
Aseos públicos, Shenzhen Public Toilets, Shenzhen
Liu Jiakun
Museo de escultura Luyeyuan, Xinmin Luyeyuan Sculpture Museum, Xinmin
Xiaodong Li
Escuela y centro comunitario Yuhu, Lijiang Yuhu Elementary School and Community Center, Lijiang
Qingyun Ma
Museo Urbano, NingboUrban Museum, Ningbo
Lu Wang
Museo local, TiantaiLocal Museum, Tiantai

Muralla abierta 
Open Wall

Proyecto residencial Tianjin, Tanggu
Tianjin Housing Project, Tanggu

Riken YamamotoCasa horadada Hollow House
Motumu Uno Casa garaje Hybrid-Car House
Ryue Nishizawa Casa extendida One-Story House
Atelier Bow-Wow Casa patio inglés Burrowed Courtyard House
Kazuhiro Kojima Casa dividida Divided House

Comuna de la Gran Muralla, Shui Guan
Commune by the Great Wall, Shui Guan

Gary Chang Hotel-casa maleta Suitcase House Hotel
Shigeru Ban Casa-mueble de bambú Bamboo Furniture House
Cui Kai Casa para ver y ser vista ‘See and Seen’ House
Rocco Yim Casa-patio deformada Distorted Courtyard House
Chien Hsueh-Yi Casa aeropuerto Airport House
Antonio Ochoa Casa en voladizo Cantilevered House
Kengo Kuma Casa-muro de bambú Bamboo Wall House
Kanika R’kul Casa compartida Shared House
Kay Ngee Tan Casas gemelas Twin Houses
Nobuaki Furuya Casa en el bosque Forest House
Yung Ho Chang Casa escindida Split House
Seung H-Sang Casa Club Club House

CIPEA: muestra internacional de arquitectura, Nanjing
CIPEA: China International Practical Exhibition of Architecture, Nanjing

Steven Holl Museo de arte moderno y arquitectura Modern Art and Architecture Museum
Liu Jiakun Centro social Community Center
Zhou Kai Casa eremita Hermit House
Qingyun Ma Casa Guan-Ye Guan-Ye House
Sejima & Nishizawa Círculo de interacción Circle of Interaction
Mathias Klotz Casa nenúfar Pond Lily House
Njiric & Njiric Construcción para mil manos Construction for One Thousand Hands
David Adjaye Caja de luz Light Box
Mansilla & Tuñón Casa Fo-shou Fo-shou House
Sean Godsell Sombras de bambú Bamboo Shadows
Odile Decq Casa Pegaso Flying Horse House
Matti Sanaksenaho Casa barco Boat House

Luis M. Mansilla
Sobre lo inmediato: notas de viaje On Immediacy: travel sketches


Luis Fernández-Galiano
China boom


A ‘Pacific’ century, an Asian century or a Chinese century? On the threshold between the 20th and the 21st century, the transit from the Atlantic to the Pacific is forecasted by all; the move from America to Asia is noticed by many; and the replacement of the United States by China is feared by some: the awakening of the dragon provokes both wonder and distrust. After the reforms of Deng Xiaoping in 1978, in the last 25 years China has grown at a rate of 9 percent; in this period, its GNP has tripled, and the percentage of population living in cities has doubled, exceeding 40%. Fueled by exports, and backed by the postotalitarian protectionism of a single-party government, the stunning growth of China has not yet created global companies – the Sony or Hyundai that led the Japanese or Korean booms – but its large oil firms (PetroChina, Sinopec, CNOOC) try to find in several continents the energy needed by the world’s second importer; its technological companies (from Lenovo, that has purchased a division of IBM, to Huawei, that has created in Shenzhen a Silicon Valley-style campus, Doric Disney designs included) make up for scarce innovation with low labor costs; and its new breed of fancy millionaires, who build chateaux or buy French cosmetic brands, spearhead a large consumerist middle class, supplying a strong domestic demand that adds to the thrust of foreign markets.

China’s unequal growth does not appear to be a large risk: the differences in income are similar to those of the US, and the contrast between the wealthy coast and the rural inland – where most upheavals have started, from Boxers to communists – is blurred as the development of Shanghai extends upriver along the Yangtze corridor, and as Hong Kong’s dynamism expands in concentric waves over the superregion of Guangdong, from that Pearl River Delta known as ‘the factory of the world’. More dangerous seem to be the weakness of the financial system, the persistence of administrative corruption and the scarcity of energy resources, the supply of which is being secured by heavy investments on the military, something that upsets its neighbors – Japan and Taiwan most of all, but also Korea and another awakening giant, India –, its competitors, and even the US, that urges its European allies to maintain the arms ban on China. On top of all this, in a country that has reached 1,300 million inhabitants in 2005, is the demographic scenario created by the single child policy and the accelerated ageing of the population, with an increasing number of 4+2+1 families, where now there are four grandparents and two parents satisfying the needs of a little emperor, but where in just 30 years a single adult will have to take care of six retirees.

This huge economic and social transformation has expressed itself via an unprecedented urban explosion, shaped by titanic public works – large dams and suspended bridges, elevated highways and submarine tunnels – and with the foreseeable devastating impact on the environment and cultural heritage. The building frenzy that has attracted so many foreign architects to China – initially for technically complex or symbolically significant works, like some of the skyscrapers of Shanghai or the olympic projects in Beijing, but now more often for urban plans or conventional commercial developments – receives, according to The Economist, the added boost of a real-estate bubble that feeds on hot money placing its bets on the yuan’s revaluation. This process has turned some districts of Shanghai such as Pudong or Puxi into the most sought-after office areas in the world, and has caused in cities like Beijing an increasing decay of its architectural legacy, which barely respects World Heritage sites (The Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, the Ming Imperial Tombs and the Temple of Heaven), besieged already by a unanimous tide of trivial constructions. The Chinese boom is a success story, and the speed of its change can only inspire admiration; but the same radical mutation which heralds an eastern century is bound to shock the west.