Copycat Tower Bridge in China sparks controversy

March 2, 2017 by  
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China is infamous for copying famous architecture from other countries – according to The New York Times the country boasts 10 White Houses, a couple of Great Sphinxes, four Arcs de Triomphe, and at minimum one Eiffel Tower. Now in the city of Suzhou, a Tower Bridge based on London’s iconic landmark is drawing attention, although the New York Times says it’s unclear why the bridge , which was completed in 2012, has suddenly been garnering international notice. Images of Suzhou’s Tower Bridge have drawn awe – one news outlet described the Chinese bridge as even more magnificent than the original. Suzhou’s bridge certainly is much larger; it accommodates a five-lane highway and flaunts four towers instead of two. Pedestrian walkways and observation platforms allow people to enjoy the views and architecture of the bridge. Related: China officially bans ‘weird’ architecture But not everyone is enamored with the Chinese Tower Bridge. Suzhou, which has been called the Venice of the East, has its own architectural traditions, such as whitewashed courtyard houses and ancient gardens. Some of China’s most beautiful traditional architecture can be found in the city. Li Yingwu, president of Beijing-based firm OAD Group , called Suzhou’s Tower Bridge plagiarism. He said, “I was really surprised that it got built in Suzhou, because it has preserved its culture really well. It shows that local officials lack confidence in their own culture. They don’t understand that architecture essentially is about culture. It’s not merely an object.” One news outlet, JSChina.com.cn , even suggested the copycat bridge would hinder promotion of the country’s traditional culture. Suzhou has 56 other copycat bridges, according to The New York Times, imitating international bridges like Australia’s Sydney Harbor Bridge or Paris’ Alexandre III Bridge. Architect Cheng Taining of the Chinese Academy of Engineering told Beijing News in 2015 some officials believe foreign-style structures bestow status on an area, making it look more modern or sophisticated. Via ArchDaily and The New York Times Images via CCTV Facebook

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Rammed earth Palenque Cultural Tambillo is designed to celebrate Afro-ecuadorean arts

December 8, 2016 by  
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Caá Porá , Siete86 and Ingeniera Alternativa designed a cultural center in the UNESCO heritage province of Esmeraldas to celebrate Afroecuadorean culture, marimba music, and traditional dance. Proposed for Tambillo, Ecuador, the center, named Palenque Cultural Tambillo , would give the community a dedicated place to express their heritage, pass down their musical traditions to their children, and share their culture with tourists. The design comprises a collection of buildings built using local techniques, as well as ecologically friendly materials and energy efficient principles to keep operating costs at a minimum. https://vimeo.com/172954061 The Afroecuadorean town of Tambillo is located in the “region of the marimba,” a type of percussionist folk music that UNESCO has described as an intangible heritage of humanity. Unfortunately, those celebrated traditions are at risk due to intra-generational learning gaps and insufficient rehearsal and performance facilities. Palenque Cultural Tambillo was created to help continue those artistic traditions and was designed through a series of participatory research and design workshops with the Tambillo community in October 2015. Related: UNESCO announces winning design for the Bamiyan Cultural Center in Afghanistan The final design comprises the performance center, located in the main building, and a cluster of smaller buildings for workshops and classrooms. The performance center would feature a dance floor made from packed sand and opens on one side to the mangroves for natural ventilation , light, and to acknowledge the important role the environment plays in culture. The building frames would be made from locally harvested wood and topped with palm thatch roofs. All walls would be made from rammed earth with crushed oyster shells and clamshells. It’s unclear if the project has been funded or will be built. + Palenque Cultural Tambillo Via ArchDaily

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Rammed earth Palenque Cultural Tambillo is designed to celebrate Afro-ecuadorean arts

Why people are at the root of healthy forests

August 30, 2016 by  
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Sponsored: A guiding principle of the Sustainable Forestry Principles is to respect the culture and rights of indigenous people.

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Why people are at the root of healthy forests

Natural resource investing gets a federal jump-start

August 30, 2016 by  
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Could public-private coordination be the next frontier in sustainable investing?

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Natural resource investing gets a federal jump-start

Architects Newspaper sneaks a peek at the National Museum of African American History and Culture

August 17, 2016 by  
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Over at Architect’s Newspaper we spotted new photographs of Washington D.C’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC)—and they’re fantastic. Photographer Darren Bradley captured dramatic snaps of the striking museum, which comprises a three-tiered structure inspired by Yoruban art from West Africa, a region where over half of the entire slave trade took place during the 18th century. The facade is clad in 3,600 bronze-painted aluminum panels inspired by the design produced by African American slaves. Click the link to see all the images and to whet your appetite for the NMAAHC opening on September 24, 2016.

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Architects Newspaper sneaks a peek at the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Mountain-shaped Ama’r Children’s Culture House in Copenhagen has no beginning or end

April 11, 2016 by  
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Mountain-shaped Ama’r Children’s Culture House in Copenhagen has no beginning or end

Nøjkærhus welcome center blends old forest guard stations with modern Nordic design

August 27, 2015 by  
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Norwegian students build a contemporary wooden sauna on the sea

June 25, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Norwegian students build a contemporary wooden sauna on the sea Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Art and Culture Production Centre , design/build , Kleivan , larch , Lofotan , Oslo School of Architecture and Design , sauna , Scarcity ad Creativity Studio , student project , The Bands , the bands student project , traditional Norwegian architecture

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Norwegian students build a contemporary wooden sauna on the sea

Gorgeous Timber Cultural Institute Modeled After Cree Longhouses in Quebec

September 29, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Gorgeous Timber Cultural Institute Modeled After Cree Longhouses in Quebec Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “natural materials” , Aanischaaukamikw Cree Cultural Institute , Cree Culture , Cree people , Cree vernacular , eco design , green design , LEED-seeking , locally sourced wood , Ouje-Bougoumou , quebec , Rubin and Rotman Architects , sustainable design , vernacular architecture

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Gorgeous Timber Cultural Institute Modeled After Cree Longhouses in Quebec

Steven Holl Unveils Solar-Powered Geothermal ‘Art Islands’ for China’s Qingdao Culture and Art Center

November 1, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Steven Holl Unveils Solar-Powered Geothermal ‘Art Islands’ for China’s Qingdao Culture and Art Center Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: China architectural competition , China museums , museum complex Qingdao , Qingdao Culture and Art Center , Qingdao museum , Steven Hall , Steven Hall Architects , Steven Hall China , sustainable buildings China        

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Steven Holl Unveils Solar-Powered Geothermal ‘Art Islands’ for China’s Qingdao Culture and Art Center

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