Human Rights Skyscraper in Beijing

Human Rights Skyscraper

This is a concept for a new skyscraper development in Beijing. It’s not intended for construction – it’s just the idea itself that is intended to challenge attitudes towards property and people in China.

Take a closer look at it and you’ll see that it’s just a structure within which are built actual houses.

Though private property doesn’t really exist in China (and buying a property only ensures its use for 70 years), the designers of this structure feel that land use needs to be reexamined in China, as a private home is a basic human right. Their proposal to bring every person a place to live takes into account the country’s exploding population and need for dense development, and thus is oriented vertically. Inspired by the Chinese character 田 the traditional siheyuan residence and ancient Chinese urban planning, these designers have dreamed up a giant reinforced concrete structure that serves more as infrastructure than a building. It is “land” for housing, instead of the housing itself – a 3-D checkerboard that houses units within each cell. The structure is the same length as the Forbidden City, and is located directly to the east of it.”

(Read more at Human Rights Skyscraper in Beijing – eVolo | Architecture Magazine.)

The building boring a hole through public opinion in China

There’s an interesting video report over at the BBC News site about a new building rising up over the Guangzhou skyline:

The new Guangdong Plastics Exchange building, in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, is polarising public opinion even before construction has been completed.

Some say the hole in its centre means it resembles an ancient Chinese coin, making the building a symbol of material wealth.

But others think it looks like an ancient jade disc, a mark of moral quality in Chinese society.

Well worth watching for some of the opinions of local residents on modern architecture and the perceived role of westerners.


Chinese developers demolish home of revered architects


Beijing Neighbourhood

The Guardian carries a report of some recent demolition work in Beijing, this time of the former home of one of the people who campaigned against the destruction of the city’s historic architecture.

Their appreciation of China’s ancient buildings and their devotion to preserving its heritage made them two of the country’s most revered architects.

But now the home in Beijing where Liang Sicheng and his wife Lin Huiyin once worked lies in rubble – having fallen prey to the development they feared would destroy their city’s ancient streets.

Liang Cheng

The demolition has horrified heritage experts. Liang is known as the father of modern Chinese architecture, and much of his and Lin’s most important work was carried out while they were living in the courtyard house in Beizongbu Hutong in the 1930s.

It was knocked down by developers over the lunar New Year, despite the fact it is rare for labourers to work during the festival, raising suspicions that the company hoped to avoid publicity.


(Read more at Chinese developers demolish home of revered architects | World news |

Liang Cheng. Photograph: Al Fenn/Time & Life Pictures/Getty