People struggle through floodwaters in Jakarta’s central business district on January 17, 2013 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Thousands of Indonesians were displaced and the capital was covered in many key areas in over a meter of water after days of heavy rain.
[Credit : Ed Wray/Getty Images]
the condition of chinese architecture by pier alessio rizzardi via designboom
italian-born, internationally experienced young architect pier alessio rizzardi illustrates a comprehensive picture of the current state of architecture with respect to the chinese platform.
the face of the chinese city is characterized by demolition. ‘only 10% of the historical buildings in china have survived to this day,’ explains recent
pritzker prize winner wang shu. with the almost total destruction of historical quarters of cities, the asian society must constantly face the concept
of a tabula rasa. architects must be much more efficient than their western counterparts in order to work. the volume of reinforced concrete used in
china is 33% of the world’s total amount; the number of chinese architects is 1/100 of the total number. the turnover on the other hand is a contrasting
1/10 of the world average. in other words, one percent of architects has to design 33% of the world’s buildings for one-tenth of the profit.
this creates the theoretical condition of the chinese architect, imposing the reduction of both design and construction time. the project is with limitless possibilities, it becomes a mechanical or industrial process of production and no time is taken to think about the soulful aspects that define architecture. the speed of execution and the will to characterize the site generate examples such as the one city-nine ghost towns or all the satellite towns built in the european style. everything that comes from abroad is considered innovation and freedom, a goal to aim for. china wants to experience life in the western way, regardless of it being a copy of the european model. importing western styles creates a hybrid of both cultures.
Today urban areas — ranging from Times Square to a small town in India — cover perhaps 3 to 5% of global land. But Seto and her co-authors calculate that between now and 2030, urban areas will expand by more than 463,000 sq. mi. (1.2 million sq. km). That’s equal to 20,000 U.S. football fields being paved over every day for the first few decades of this century. By then, a little less than 10% of the planet’s land cover could be urban. “There’s going to be a huge impact on biodiversity hotspots and on carbon emissions in those urban areas,” says Seto.
The bulk of that great urban expansion will be in Asia — where more than 75% of the increase in urban cover is projected to occur — and in Africa, where urban land cover will be 590% above the 2000 level of 16,000 sq. mi.
Homeowners Luo Baogen and his wife refused to allow the government to demolish their home in Wenling, Zhejiang province, China, claiming the relocation compensation offered would not be enough to cover the cost of rebuilding. So, adjacent neighboring homes were dismantled, and, bizarrely, the road was built around the intact home, leaving it as an island in a river of new asphalt.