Contract - April 2012 - (Page 80)

Wang Shu: An Inspired Selection for Pritzker For 34 years, beginning with philip Johnson and progressing through an honor roll of stars and mavericks, an international jury has awarded the pritzker architecture prize to an outstanding architect. the jury selected wang Shu of China as the pritzker architecture prize laureate for 2012. wang, the first Chinese citizen to win the prize, will receive the award in a ceremony in beijing on may 25. It’s an inspired choice. wang is an idealist who strives to bridge past and present, reinterpreting traditional forms and techniques to create humane and timeless buildings. It sends a powerful message to the Chinese government and profit-crazed developers: respect the past and don’t destroy it. wang, who was born in 1963 on the remote northwestern frontier, stands apart from his contemporaries by choosing to live and work in the old imperial city of hangzhou rather than beijing or Shanghai. he divides his time between teaching architecture at the China academy of art and crafting buildings with a staff of 10. he and his wife Lu wenyu head amateur architecture Studio, a name that expresses their love of research, design, and the process of construction. their credits include an expansive new campus for the art academy, a cluster of residential towers, a restored street in hangzhou, as well as the impressive ningbo history museum (right) in the port city of ningbo. In all these projects, wang collaborated with the construction workers, encouraging them to exploit their skills. For seven years before he established his studio, he restored several old buildings in hangzhou, working alongside humble artisans in the mud and dust. all those mementos of the past have since been demolished, but they gave wang a profound understanding of traditional techniques and materials. that expertise enriches the campus and the museum, both of which employ recycled bricks and tiles in an expressive way. “In China, society has changed, along with the system of construction, and now they merely copy traditional buildings,” says wang. “we need to develop a fresh approach to tradition and build in harmony with nature. that feeds into a widespread desire to become a more creative nation, now we’ve begun to achieve material prosperity.” no country has both greater potential and problems than China, as it strives for global leadership while preserving its identity. by example, wang can inspire other young architects to help shape his country’s future. —MICHAEL WEBB 80 apRIl 2012 photography: Zhu ChenZhou (top), Lv hengZhong (bottom two) pRITZKER pRIZE wang Shu has been named the winner of the 2012 pritzker architecture prize. he designed the ningbo history museum in ningbo, China (exterior and interior, below) with a nod to traditional building techniques and materials.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Contract - April 2012

Contract - April 2012
Industry News
Product Focus: What Goes Around Comes Around
Product Focus: Graphic Statements
Product Briefs: Hospitality, Indoors and Out
Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto
Union Jacks
ESPA at the Istanbul Edition
Nobu Beijing
St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort
Practice: ASID Profiles the Design Industry
Designers Select: Rugs and Carpet
Ad Index
Pritzker Prize

Contract - April 2012