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Australian Architecture Exhibition in China

Chinese Photographic Show at Gallery 49: Australian Architectural Excellence

12 May 2010

Australian Architecture Exhibition

Heroic architecture delivered with pragmatism

A photographic exhibition celebrating the creativity and innovation of Australian architecture in China opens in Beijing next week. Four major projects by Denton Corker Marshall feature among the select work of seven architectural practices.

Imagine Architecture: Australian Architectural Excellence in China is presented as part of the Australian Sustainable Building and Design week. It is also a component of Imagine Australia – The Year of Australian Culture in China 2010-2011.

Denton Corker Marshall’s extensive experience of working in China began in the 1980s with the new Australian Embassy in Beijing, and now extends from major residential developments – more than 50,000 apartments in 16 cities – to significant office, retail, hotel and commercial projects.

The firm’s China work has been described as revealing a “rich and accommodative modernism” which allows them to work with the various challenges for foreign architects in contemporary China. Where local architects may benefit from having absorbed the essence of their cities over time, the observations of outsiders can introduce new interpretations to a place.

It’s a sentiment affirmed by Director Adrian FitzGerald who relishes the opportunities China offers to work at a scale and speed unparalleled anywhere in the industrialised world.

“Equally, the scale and speed introduce particular challenges. Our expertise is in designing solutions that fit local conditions and the means of our clients, and in ensuring intent and detail are not lost during construction. Ours is heroic architecture delivered with pragmatism,” Mr FitzGerald said.

Euro-City Plaza, a major mixed-use urban renewal on Nanning’s main boulevard, illustrates Denton Corker Marshall’s influence on the development of a Chinese urban typology which reinforces existing streets and creates new courtyards and plazas as public areas. Incorporating sensual qualities into its formal style, the design lifts the prominently placed residential/SOHO towers development into a grander statement appropriate to its urban setting.

Alongside the Australian Embassy and Euro-City Plaza in Denton Corker Marshall’s contribution to the exhibition are Zhongkun Tower and In-Time Lotte Shopping Centre in Beijing.

Located on a prime site in the Wangfujing retail precinct, the sensuous draped skin of the In-Time Lotte Shopping Centre performs as a rippling glass curtain. It is both reflective and transparent, revealing the building’s interior activity to the street. The very distinctive building is contemporary, vibrant and exciting.

The Imagine Architecture exhibition is jointly presented by Austrade, Australian Chamber of Commerce in Beijing, the Australian Institute of Architects and the Beijing Institute of Architectural Design.

Sharing the spotlight on major built projects where Australian architects have contributed significantly to the conceptual design are seven architectural practices: Denton Corker Marshall, Johnson Pilton Walker, PTW, Paul Pholeros, Lab, Wood Marsh and Cox.

Imagine Architecture: A Photographic Exhibition of Australian Architectural Excellence in China

21 May 2010 – 1 June 2010
Gallery 49, 1949 ‘The Hidden City’ Complex
Gong Ti Bei (just behind Pacific Centre Place)

Vanke Center, Shenzhen, China

Location: China

Linked Hybrid, Beijing
Linked Hybrid
picture from the architects

Shenzhen Buildings
Shenzhen 4 in 1 Towers
picture © MVRDV

Exhibitions – chronological list

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