Architecture Around the World Part 2 – Modern Chinese Architecture

By February 27, 2024General information
Modern chinese city with skyscrapers and glass structures | Featured image for the Modern Chinese Architecture Blog by Clements Clarke Architects.

When one imagines Chinese architecture, they might imagine the China they have seen in pictures or in movies. But modern Chinese architecture has long since evolved beyond the pagodas and wooden structures that once dominated this wonderous country. While these traditional elements still play a large part in China’s design, they are blended with contemporary techniques to create stunning and cutting-edge structures known today. Whether it is commercial buildings or residential properties, Chinese architecture has a lot to offer.

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Modern Chinese Architecture Characteristics

When discussing modern Chinese architecture, it is important to characterise what the term contains. The phrase refers to everything built in China since the 1800s and features a vast variety of styles and design elements. While the classic Chinese look of sweeping roofs and colourful ornamentation still holds a special place in China’s history, the Opium Wars of the 1840’s saw more Western designs become incorporated into the country’s structural makeup.

While some criticise Chinese architecture for lacking a unique cultural identity due to this Western influence, the country is gradually building a style of its own courtesy of each successive wave of young architects who add their own spin on modern design. Rather than focusing on specific colours or intricacies, the major modern Chinese architecture characteristics involve an emphasis on buildings that display great depth and height.

Symmetry is a major factor as Chinese designers create buildings that border on futuristic. Glass windows are a key part of this sleek design and feature prominently across the faces of buildings to create a clean look. These designs take the form of extravagant skyscrapers that dominate the horizon and showcase a focus on excess. Some architects emphasise this massive scale by constructing these behemoths in large open spaces, resulting in monoliths that are some of the largest buildings in the world.

The Faces of Modern Chinese Architecture

While modern architecture in China stretches back to the mid-1800s, there are several architects that are helping to move the country’s design forward today. These visionaries exist at the forefront of the industry, helping to shape modern Chinese architecture characteristics through the work they produce.

Ma Yansong

As the founder of MAD Architects, Ma Yansong is dedicated to creating advanced designs that harness technology and bring the future forward. Overseeing offices all over the world, Yansong is best known for his work in his native China, where he has cultivated a career focused on residential, office, and museum architecture. His work is influenced by the philosophy of “Shanshui City”, which seeks to create a balance between humanity and nature.

Gong Dong

Creating work that evokes a sense of maturity mixed with an exotic touch, Gong Dong is one of the most active architects in China. Best known for his work on the Seashore trilogy of structures in Beidaihe District, all of Dong’s work showcases his commitment to creating something new and different with each successive design. Intrigued by the concept of light and how to capture it through modern Chinese architecture, Dong is inspiring the next generation through work that exceeds boundaries and limitations.

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With over 40 years of experience, we provide architectural services that deliver outstanding designs and breathtaking properties. Whether you are looking to build a new home or a commercial building, get in touch through our online form or give us a call on 07 3852 3944.

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