Architecture in China
Everyone knows that the urban development that invested China brought an acceleration that, in only twenty years, saw the construction of what Europe achieved over the course of a century, all to the detriment of the quality of buildings and urban spaces, and with widespread environmental consequences. On the other hand, this situation offered an occasion for almost total freedom of expression and important experiments with architectural language and innovative construction. To date, this climate of great euphoria appears to be changing and making way for new cultural ideas and architectural trends. The essays and projects presented in this issue were selected to document this new approach to architecture in China. They offer a comparison of the work of international offices, foreign and well-known, such as Zaha Hadid and MVRDV, and Chinese, for example, Vector Architects and MAD Architects, with that of Chinese offices working primarily in China, who bring a new sensitivity and approach to the design and transformation of the territory. A growing number of architects, by joining the lesson of the Modern Movement, learned above all in the West, with an ecological conscience, are rediscovering local elements, forms, materials and building practices, distilled into a measured and essential language, based on tectonics and relations with contexts. Through design, this group explores the most authentic meanings of architectural practice, intended as the bearer of cultural and symbolic values bound up with the relationship between man and his environment. Most of these architects, like Amateur Architecture Studio, TAO, Cui Kai and Rural Urban Framework do not work in large cities but in more external and still rural areas and villages. They do not adopt the principle of the tabula rasa but instead look for ways to operate in continuity with the existing.