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Old April 7th, 2013, 04:21 PM   #501
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Hefei Wanda Mall, Hefei / 合肥, Capital of Anhui Province, Central China


from archdaily.com





Quote:

hitects: HYHW Architects
Location: Hefei, Anhui, China
Design Team: HYHW, KKL Partnership Architects, Anhui Provincial Architecture Design and Research Institute Co. Ltd, China Academy of Building Research
Area: 25,000 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Courtesy of HYHW Architects


Hefei Swan Lake Wanda Plaza is located in Hefei civil service district. It is a city complex containing a mall, supermarket, external shopping street, 4 office towers and a hotel.

To make a unified facade, within the project budget and schedule, we use triangle patterns to cover the huge volume of the mall, creating variety by using different colors and scales of triangle aluminum. In places, double layered printed glass is used to create a dynamic pattern as your perspective changes. A triangular sculptural form at the side of the building highlights the entrance to the inner shopping street. Warm colored terracotta panels create a more approachable and comfortable space to be in. Pedestrian bridges connect upper levels of the street at different angles to create a network of paths to improve foot flow and encourage movement at different levels.

The skin of the four office buildings above the shopping podium is glazed, using a glass and aluminum curtain wall system to emphasize the outline of the structure. The top of the towers is exaggerated to make them appear higher than they actually are.

The façade of the three-star hotel employs more solid walls and horizontal sun shading to make a distinction from the office building.

The lighting design highlights the triangular elements of the building to create a lively, habitable space in the evening for late night shopping.




















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Old April 7th, 2013, 04:37 PM   #502
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A Porcelain Culture Park in Jingdezhen, Jingdezhen / 景德镇, Jiangxi Province, Central China






From archdaily.com



Quote:

Architects: Tongheshanzhi Landscape Design Co
Location: Jingdezhen, Jiangxi, China
Design Team: Bo Jiang, Chao Wang, Jie Sun, Xin Xu, Yan Wei, Yuan Zhang, Bo Li, Chenfei Wang, Dongke Li
Year: 2012
Photographs: Courtesy of Tongheshanzhi Landscape Design Co





We were commissioned to plan and design the development of Porcelain Culture Park in Jingdezhen, the origin of porcelain. Although the park built for several years, it still have a long trip to being a National five star level scenic. The prime problem of all is how to highlight Porcelain Culture, in the meantime, complement the function of park and develop the form.

The first impression we had of the site was the outstanding handicraft art and the traditional building of kiln. However, it has been outmoded for modern tourism, lacking of interaction. We do love tradition, yet, it would be better in contemporary mode. The plan principle is transforming the old park by local material and modern technique.

How to arrange the turbid circulation of the former entrance by minimum construct is another challenge. We design a series of “frame” display windows to separating vehicle and pedestrian which claimed by the client, also improved the view of entrance place. Fragment of porcelain massy used as part of structure, telling the tourism some story lasted for hundreds years.

The fence facing to the main street of Jingdezhen designed as the elevation of traditional kiln building, and the height depends on the terrain. The other function of the wall is revetment.

l the materials directly take from local, such as porcelain, brick of kiln. Planting design according to season so that different parts of the park bloom at different times using Local plants, camellias, osmanthus and maple.

Also the new tag system express Porcelain Culture by traditional signature, bamboo slip and porcelain.














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Old April 7th, 2013, 04:43 PM   #503
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Xiangxiangxiang Container Hotel, Changzhi City / 长治市, Shanxi Province, Northern China






from archdaily.com


Quote:

Architects: Tongheshanzhi Landscape Design Co
Location: Changzhi City, Shanxi, China
Design Team: Jiang Bo, MO keli, SUN Jie
Constructor: Dalian, CIMC
Area: 5,000 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Courtesy of Tongheshanzhi Landscape Design Co


Xiangxiangxiang boutique container hotel is the very first boutique hotel which reformed from container in China. The location of the hotel is on the southwest of the Tianxia Duchenghuang tourism area, totally cover area is about 5000sqm. The hotel is belonging to the important block of servicing reception in Tianxia Duchenghuang tourism area, it was also one of the two incense themed praying projects for the 3rd “China Praying festival”.(The other project is the 11m high Chinese incense landscape which location is just before Chenghuang Palace.)

Xiangxiangxiang boutique contaienr hotel has three unique features:

1 Incense: it represents the themed image and the distinguishing service of the hotel. For one thing, lodger can feel the praying atmosphere from every details of the hotel (just like the arrangement of the rooms, the ornament of interior, etc.), for another, the hotel also provides to lodgers customer made “incense experience” service (according to preference or requirements of the lodgers; incense themed food; traditional incense rites, etc.). 2 Container: the whole hotel is transformed from containers, with eco-water paint, which reflects the design idea of “less burden on the nature”, also supplies lodgers a special feeling of space and version. 3 Town: means countryside, the plan of the hotel followed the traditional form of folk house in Shanxi, and designed a series spaces of incense exercise, like “Xunxiangjing” “Pinxiangtang”, where acting as sprite and culture center of the old Chinese villages, such as ancestral temple、stage, etc. Such designs made the tradition culture of incense and modern container structure more local, more rational.

All the functional spaces are made of 35 containers, in which 17 20-chi containers and 18 40-chi containers. The containers are used for courtyard room、courtyard suit room、independence suit、lobby、Shixiangzhai restaurant、compartment、Pinxiangtang and Xunxiangjing landscape, etc. Every room prepares customer made incense stove、incense tools and incense for musing in the atmosphere of incense. The names of rooms are nominated for the character of incense. Also the house number plates are made of manual carving ebony. The remarkable outlook of container、the comfortable design of new Chinese style interior and furniture、the blessing and incense themed ornament features、the opposite scenery between courtyard and Tianxia Duchenghuang, all of these help increasing the special experience of the hotel.

Xiangxiangxiang boutique container hotel is a vanguard in the area of “container life module” new originality estate which will be attempted by the China National Development and Reform Commission and the CIMC. The model of “manufacture in factory+ install in site” which is considered as the most low-carbon building in China, however, more prominent eco-protection is that the containers are made in the only production lines in the world painting. It can provide better anticorrosion defend, also ensure lower carbon using, almost none harmful gas releasing. According to the creative angle, the hotel mixes tourism industry, culture originality estate and local features, which make it a unique style, and a deep prompt the development of this new estate.

















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我爱北京朝阳门,朝阳门外高楼起!

I love Beijing TiananMen, Rising Sun upon it.
I love Beijing ChaoyangMen, Rising Skyscrapers beyond it!


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Old April 11th, 2013, 07:26 AM   #504
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Project in Jiangning. No 300 + here, but maybe some 200+

http://www.njghj.gov.cn/ngweb/Page/D...e-112c5cc5f2f1
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Old April 11th, 2013, 07:37 AM   #505
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Singapore Eco Island Project. Not sure, maybe I posted this before...
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Old April 27th, 2013, 06:04 PM   #506
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Beijiao Sports Center / 北滘市民康体中心 Proposal, Foshan / 佛山, Guangdong Province, Southern China.

By Beijing-based Architects Decode Urbanism Office / Duo建筑


Quote:

Architects: Decode Urbanism Office
Location: Beijiao, Foshan, Guangdong, China
Designer: Jian Junkai
Project Architects: Jian Junkai, Jiang Long
Project Team: Lu Meijun, Geng Zhen, Wang Deyuan, Liu Shanshan
Ldi : China National Sports Group
Area: 47000.0 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of Decode Urbanism Office

The main purpose of Beijiao Sports Center is to serve the surrounding neighbourhoods, thus it was extremely important to design it as a multi-functional and friendly place. The typical image of traditional sports architecture is abandoned, in place for an activity space full of energy during or after sports events, both day and night. The intent of the architecture is to create a community space for activity, one that enlivens its immediate vicinities.

The general layout generates spaces in differing scales for a variety of activities, the dispensed spaces creates a permeable interface between the site and surround urban context. These spaces are of different heights and are able to host various kinds of outdoor activities.

This design introduces the concept of ecological architecture and unifies all the seperate spaces into one through a central “valley”. The “valley” at the center of the architecture lies a streamlined park, and the resulting omnidirectional activity creates vigorous spaces. A moderately sized sports field is located in one side of the “valley”, which is also utilized as an outdoor performance venue. The platform of the ‘valley’ extends outwards, becoming a roof and forming the auditorium. The ground floor of the park provides a pleasant environment for the hot days in summer. The porous geometry of the valley creates flexible spaces for different events, such as shopping, exercise, dating, performing and lecture.


















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我爱北京朝阳门,朝阳门外高楼起!

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I love Beijing ChaoyangMen, Rising Skyscrapers beyond it!


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Old May 1st, 2013, 06:56 AM   #507
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Construction worker killed by blast at Nanjing University
South China Morning Post
Wednesday, 01 May, 2013 [Updated: 05:01]


Fire fighters arrive at the site where a lab explosion occurred in Nanjing University of Science and Technology, in Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, April 30, 2013. Two people were injured and three others buried on Tuesday after the lab explosion here. The explosion took place at around 9 a.m. (0100 GMT), toppling down the lab and shattering windows of houses nearby. (Xinhua/Li Mangmang)


Fire engines park outside Nanjing University of Science and Technology, in Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, April 30, 2013. Two people were injured and three others buried on Tuesday after the lab explosion here. The explosion took place at around 9 a.m. (0100 GMT), toppling down the lab and shattering windows of houses nearby. (Xinhua/Li Mangmang)


A powerful blast in an abandoned university laboratory in Nanjing left one person dead and three injured yesterday.

The explosion destroyed the lab at the Nanjing University of Science and Technology and shattered windows in nearby homes.

The university said the explosion happened while the lab was being demolished.

One construction worker was certified dead after being taken to hospital. Another was seriously injured and two other workers suffered minor injuries.

A resident said on her microblog: "I thought it was a thunderstorm. Then I thought it was caused by housing demolition. I didn't think it was an explosion."
I thought it was a thunderstorm. Then I thought it was caused by housing demolition. I didn't think it was an explosion
Nanjing resident

University students said they suspected there was a storeroom for explosives inside the building.

They said the construction workers may have mishandled electrical wires when demolishing it, triggering the explosion.

"People are saying that the electric wires got attached to the explosives," one student said on his microblog.

"The building is very close to student hostel, and the number of casualties would be unimaginable should the explosion be more powerful."

A report by the website of the Guangming Daily, the mouthpiece of the Communist Party United Front Work Department's propaganda office, said the building belonged to a demolition company affiliated with the university.

China News Service reported that the university was rushing to complete construction projects for its 60th anniversary in September and safety concerns had been ignored.

A spokesman for the university denied explosives were stored in the building and blamed the blast on errors by the construction workers. "We do not store explosives inside the campus," he said, adding that an investigation had started.

The incident added to concerns about campus safety.

Last year, more than 200 students and teachers were evacuated from Nanjing University because of formaldehyde leak.

Xinhua, commenting about a recent spate of safety scares at universities, said: "The potential risk is beyond our imagination if there is no proper management of these substances."
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Old May 5th, 2013, 01:12 PM   #508
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HAD Office in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, NE China




By the architects themselves : Had Architects / 天宸建筑设计


from archdaily.com


Quote:
Architects: Had Architects
Location: Harbin, Heilongjiang, China
Design Team: Tang Jiajun, Wang Conglong
Area: 515 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Tang Jiajun


As the office space as an architectural design company, the interior design of HAD office space shows continuous concepts of architecture design, that is, integrating the space by the logic of “construction”, and then showing characteristics of the environment on the basis of space shaping. Designers try to reveal the most original frame of interior space, with the link of “logic”, to create a pure environment.

AD building is an addition of an overall building, but also has a relatively independence. The main fan-shaped space with a ceiling of 6 meters high, gives us an opportunity to reconstruction, finally a flexible steel mezzanine space was achieved. Steel columns and steel beams were integrally connected, independent of their original structures. Steel beams were supported by profiled steel sheets, then poured by concrete surface, forming a mezzanine floor. On the basis of the structural system, we make a new part inside the building through walls and ceiling, which highlights the characteristics of “construction”.

The fan-shaped space has a subtle relationship with the original rectangular main part, so visual guidance and spatial continuity should be emphasized. Starting from the hallway, designers tried to break the limit of the horizontal and vertical interface, and combined all types of shape in space composition. Throughout a fold line, various functional spaces were connected, and a visual index was also guided. From the background wall of the hallway, the shaping method goes through the ceiling, the reception desk, the bar, and even extending to the main space. Green and orange shuttled from ceiling to wall back and forth, so as to reinforce the sense of interior space.

The materials in this space show their original features. We use many materials to strengthen the character, such as white paint, Fluorocarbon, concrete, concrete floor paint, steel components, metal plates and others. The overall atmosphere reflects freshness of the office building, also shows artistic feelings with the use of rough materials and structures.
















__________________
我爱北京天安门,天安门上太阳升。
我爱北京朝阳门,朝阳门外高楼起!

I love Beijing TiananMen, Rising Sun upon it.
I love Beijing ChaoyangMen, Rising Skyscrapers beyond it!


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Old May 5th, 2013, 01:37 PM   #509
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CIPEA No.4 House in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, Eastern China





By local architects:AZL architects (Chief architect : Zhang Lei / 张雷)


from archdaily.com

Quote:
Architects: AZL architects
Location: Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China
Architect In Charge: Zhang Lei
Design Team: Zhang Lei, Jeffrey Cheng, Wang Wang, Wang Yi
Collaborator: Architectural Design & Planning Institute, NJU
Area: 500 sqm
Photographs: Yao Li


Situated in Laoshan Forest to the west of central Nanjing city, China International Practical Exhibition of Architecture (CIPEA) began in 2003 to bring twenty-four renowned international & domestic architects together onto one site. CIPEA consist of four public buildings and twenty small houses, in accordance with the brief, the houses should have at least five bedrooms, public spaces, and hospitality accommodations on 500 square meters.

The Number Four “Blockhouse” sits on a particularly valley site, nestling the house into the landscape. In the spirit of a pagoda, four cubic floors are stacked vertically, allowing for minimal site excavation and land use. The ground floor features living and dining spaces quietly enveloped in the surrounding forest and overlooking a stream, and a communal roof terrace rises to just above the trees. The roof merges into the landscape as another living space, complete with pool and wooden deck within the panorama of the forest. The geometric shape is sculpted from concrete and finished in a white protection surface.

The concept of Blockhouse is almost the living attitude of many Chinese: a minimal opening to the surrounding landscape is the only perforation of the richness inside the house. The horizontal break of each floor—in combination with larger unique curved apertures on each floor—frame vistas in the spirit of Chinese landscape scrolls. Prescribed views have a long tradition in Chinese art history and traditional Chinese gardens, designed to make the viewer reconsider and contemplate the landscape.






























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我爱北京天安门,天安门上太阳升。
我爱北京朝阳门,朝阳门外高楼起!

I love Beijing TiananMen, Rising Sun upon it.
I love Beijing ChaoyangMen, Rising Skyscrapers beyond it!


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Old May 12th, 2013, 12:09 PM   #510
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China Wood Sculpture Museum in Harbin / 哈尔滨, Capital of Heilongjiang Province, NE China




By Beijing-based Architects: MAD Architects

from archdaily.com

Quote:
Architects: MAD Architects
Location: Harbin, China
Director In Charge: Ma Yansong, Dang Qun
Design Team: Yu Kui, Daniel Gillen, Bas van Wylick, Diego Perez, Jordan Kanter, Huang Wei, Julian Sattler, Liu Weiwei, Tang Liu, Mao Peihong, Maria Alejandra Obregon, Nickolas Urano, Gus Chan, Shin Park, Alejandro Gonzalez Area: 12,959 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Xiazhi, Iwan Baan
Associate Engineers: The Architectural Design and Research Institute of Harbin Institute of Technology Curtain Wall
Consultant: Inhabit Group
Panel Optimization: Gehry Technologies Steel
Structure Contractor: Zhejiang Jing Gong Steel Structure Co. Ltd



Appearing so evident amidst a thriving metropolitan district of Harbin, China, spanning 200 meters in length, the China Wood Sculpture Museum sits as a locational anomaly, seemingly out of place, surrounded by a densely populated Chinese-style neighborhood and residential complexes. The museum embodies some of the foremost conceptual and formal ideals that define the work of MAD, bringing out an expression and abstraction of nature to an otherwise quotidian surrounding. The boundaries between solid and liquid are blurred throughout this 13,000 sqm building, referencing the local natural scenery and landscape.

The building’s exterior is covered by polished steel plates, mirroring the surroundings and the changing light. The solid walls ensure minimal heat loss while the breaking and twisting motion of the emerging skylights splits the surface and allows in light from the low-hanging sun of northern China; this provides sufficient natural diffused illumination to the three halls on the interior.

The museum mainly houses local wood sculptures as well as paintings depicting the ice and snow of the regional scenery. In the context of the large-scale modern urban setting, the museum itself serves as a new interpretation of nature. The surreal interaction between the museum and the city breaks through the tedium of the urban shell, revitalizing the surroundings with a new cultural feature.



























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我爱北京天安门,天安门上太阳升。
我爱北京朝阳门,朝阳门外高楼起!

I love Beijing TiananMen, Rising Sun upon it.
I love Beijing ChaoyangMen, Rising Skyscrapers beyond it!


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Old May 29th, 2013, 12:43 PM   #511
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A New Theatre at the ancient town of Wuzhen / 乌镇, Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province, Eastern China.

By Shanghai-based Architects: Artech Architects / 大元建筑


from archdaily.com

Quote:
Architects: Artech Architects
Location: Zhejiang, China
Design Architect: Kris Yao
Design Team Taipei: Kuo-Chien Shen, Winnie Wang, Wen-Li Liu, Jake Sun, Andy Chang, Kevin Lin
Design Team Shanghai: Wen-Hong Chu, Fei-Chun Ying, Nai-Wen Cheng, Chu-Yi Hsu, Qi-Shen Wu, Jane jiang, Lei Feng
Contractor: Jujiang Construction Group
Area: 21750.0 sqm
Photographs: David Chen, Fei-Chung Ying



In this romantic and surreal water village in China, the owner of the development decided that Wuzhen would be an important name in the global atlas of theater where an international theater festival would be located. In order to complete his vision, Kris Yao and his team was asked to design the Wuzhen Grand Theater.

The greatest challenge was to design a large building containing two theaters with 1200 and 600 seats back to back, with modern theater functions in this small, traditional water village in southern China. Using the culturally auspicious “twin lotus” as its metaphor, which functions perfectly with two theatres sharing one stage area, the design is composed of two oval shapes interlocking one another, one of them transparent and the opaque in form.

ue to its dual purposes of the theater festival and tourism, the functions of the theaters are multifold. Possibilities include formal stage performances, avant-garde creations, fashion shows, conventions and wedding ceremonies.

Visitors arrive at the theaters by wooden boats or on foot from an island across the bridge. The smaller theater to the right is located within the “solid’ volume, where pedal-like segments of thick reclining walls, clad in ancient super-sized brick, wrap around the foyer. The grand theater to the left, enclosed in the zigzag fan-shaped glass front with a Chinese window motif, glows in the evenings and reflects on the water, adding charm to the already misty and surreal atmosphere of this otherworldly water village.

A classic courtyard theater retrofitted to adapt for modern performances, by adding a light weight timber structure into the existing courtyard and renovate the parterre section. The stage is restructured to be a two-way stage: the audience can either enjoy the performance from the auditorium or from the boat on the opposite side.

An existing water amphitheater redesigned, where the audience arrives to by boat to this magnificent romantic setting. Sail-like tent structure provides sun-shading for the seating area; and the stage can be flexibly arranged to fit various configurations.





































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我爱北京天安门,天安门上太阳升。
我爱北京朝阳门,朝阳门外高楼起!

I love Beijing TiananMen, Rising Sun upon it.
I love Beijing ChaoyangMen, Rising Skyscrapers beyond it!


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Old May 29th, 2013, 03:07 PM   #512
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1st Wuzhen Theater Festival 2013 begins

WUZHEN, China, May 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The 1st Wuzhen Theater Festival 2013, after three years of preparation, today officially began in Xizha, Wuzhen, a small 1,300-year old historically rich town along the southern bank of the Yangtze River. Many international artists experienced in theatre festivals have been invited to join the event. The festival drew 500 million yuan (approx. $US80 million) in overall investment.

The 11-day theatrical event will present visitors to Wuzhen with six internationally renowned dramas, 12 stage plays and more than 500 street carnival performances.

Eventful Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremony will be held in Wuzhen Grand Theatre's Hongsheng Plaza . CCTV news commentator Zhang Quanling will host the ceremony, and Tongxiang mayor Sheng Yongjun will deliver the keynote speech. Robert Brustein , an American theatrical critic and honorary chairman of the festival, was full of praise for the event when he said that it is a perfect blending of culture and art with tourism. He further added that he hopes that the festival will develop into a distinguished event known not only in China but also internationally.

The founders of the festival, Chen Xianghong, Stan Lai and Huang Lei , accompanied the honorary chairman in beating the opening drum.

A Dream like A Dream and the dreamy grand theater

A Dream like A Dream by Stan Lai , a renowned Taiwanese drama director, will be the first play to be performed in the theater.

The theater, the construction of which took three years and cost 400 million yuan (approx US$65 million), is located on Yuanbao lake at the entrance of Wuzhen's Xishan scenic spot. The design of the over 54,000-square meter theater is based on the concept of twin lotus flowers on one stalk, perfectly combining two ellipses – one is virtual and the other is actual.

A reflection of the ancient town

This year's Wuzhen Theater Festival, with the theme of "reflect," aims to express a harmonious combination of Chinese and foreign arts, modern and traditional elements, life and stage, as well as performers and audience.

Chen Xianghong, one of the organizers of the festival and chairman of Culture Wuzhen Co. Ltd., said, "In my view, the symbol of this festival's theme 'reflect' is the continuous up and down undulating of a ripple on the surface of a body of water."

For more information, please contact:

Jessica He
+86-13586429285
+86-573-88731773
[email protected]
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Old May 30th, 2013, 07:20 AM   #513
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New railway station to begin operating
Updated: 2013-05-28
China Daily



Construction work on the new West Railway Station in the city of Fuzhou, Fujian province, has just finished and an inspection is underway.

The new station, located at the intersection of Wulongjiang Street and Guangxian Road, near Minhou New University Town, covers an area of 85,333 square meters, three times larger than the old one.

It will mainly serve lines between western Fujian and cities and counties surrounding Fuzhou.

The six-story main building includes a basement with parking lots the first and second floors contain a ticket hall and waiting hall, and all the other floors contain staff offices and apartments.

The waiting area has a capacity for a maximum of 2,500 passengers, and a shopping area near the waiting hall will include restaurants and shops and is expected to open soon. The station is expected to serve 25,000 people a day, and up to 40,000 during peak seasons.

Bus routes 167, 168 and 171 all stop at the station.
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Old June 15th, 2013, 05:39 AM   #514
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http://www.njghj.gov.cn/NGWeb/Page/D...3-76cb4649bfd8

New Nanjing Projects
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Old June 15th, 2013, 06:25 AM   #515
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There are some jaw-dropping buildings here. Tnx for sharing, and more please
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Old June 18th, 2013, 07:00 AM   #516
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http://news.5sw.com.cn/html/s5/a2/6275_2.html

Anyone heard of this tower in Hangzhou? Apparently this is the design they have chosen. (read it somewhere). It is within the Olympic Center on the other side of Qiantang River

More on this one....

http://www.gaoloumi.com/viewthread.p...age%3D2&page=1

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Last edited by Julito-dubai; June 18th, 2013 at 07:38 AM.
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Old June 19th, 2013, 10:42 AM   #517
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We have a thread for it But still dead, all Hangzhou supertalls are in the same situation
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1281503
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Old June 25th, 2013, 08:39 PM   #518
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Life made easier in Lhasa's old city zone

LHASA, June 22 (Xinhua) -- The 66-year-old Gunsang is eager to move into his new home in an ancient city block in Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region.

"I hope I can have access to tap water at my house soon so that I don't have to carry water from elsewhere to my home on the fourth floor," said Gunsang.

Ever since the government announced a 1.5 billion yuan (244.1 million U.S dollars) renovation project in Lhasa's old urban areas, residents there have been looking forward to a better and easier life.

The project includes upgrades for water and drainage facilities, pipelines, electrical lines and street lamps, as well as the building of heating facilities, the preservation of buildings with Tibetan architecture styles and improvements in sanitation services.

The old urban areas of Lhasa have a population of 80,000 and include the famed Barkhor Street and Jokhang Temple, a major monastery and World Cultural Heritage site.

"The renovation plan is aimed at eliminating safety hazards, protecting religious sites and making life more convenient for local residents," said Tseten, deputy head of the project's management headquarters.

He said the old city zone is a maze of narrow alleys with irregular electrical wiring that can pose a safety risk.

"When the renovation project is completed, residents of the old city zone will enjoy improved infrastructure, an exquisite environment and more spacious roads," said Tseten.

Barkhor Street was originally a dirt road and was later paved with a stone surface, said Dorje, deputy head of the Barkhor Street neighborhood committee.

The street has had several renovations since the 1980s. In 2002, a 170-million-yuan project saw the road paved with granite, as well as covered the construction of new water and electricity facilities.

To make way way for the most recent renovation project, local authorities have provided the street's vendors with a new area to hawk their wares on nearby Yutuo Road.

Ninety-one percent of the vendors said they support the renovation and are willing to relocate, said Chimed Tsering, deputy head of the Chengguan District government.

"Although my business will be slightly affectedby the renovation plan, I'm confident it will get much better as soon as I move back," said vendor Tsering Yutso.

Renovation work has already been completed for 15 buildings, including the Jokhang and Ramoche temples.

"The government and cultural relic authorities have joined hands to create a plan for the renovation and protection of these ancient buildings," said Li Liangqi, deputy head of the municipal cultural relic bureau.

Mostly built out of stone and wood, the buildings have become dilapidated over the years, with cracks on their walls and murals fading.

"We have taken the buildings' historical background, architectural tradition and cultural connotations into full consideration during the renovation," said Li.

The renovation project is scheduled to be completed by the end of June.
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Old June 26th, 2013, 09:10 AM   #519
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The challenges of urbanization
Updated: 2013-06-25 15:35
China Daily

At the closing ceremony of an urbanization training program organized by the Chinese Academy of Governance, Liu Chuncheng, a trainee and vice-mayor of Chifeng, in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, made a speech on behalf of his team.

"In the run-up to the presentation, we suffered an embarrassment. Our team's research topic was public service. Only six trainees chose to join the team. Public service is mostly related to urbanization. But the number suggested our officials had little interest in the topic," he said.

The audience, mainly made up of local officials, responded with understanding laughter and applause.

Indeed, among the four topics offered to the 38 officials from local governments, State-owned enterprises and ministries under the State Council, "public service" was the least favorite. Three other topics - investment and financing, land management and industry - met with more enthusiasm.

"Local governments think that providing public service should came after the development of the local economy. Public service should improve only after the economy is boosted," Liu said. "In terms of public service, there is also a tendency to rely on central government."

Another largely unspoken reason, according to an official sitting below the stage who declined to be identified, is the fact that ratcheting up public service is less likely to promote local officials' political performance. Investing in new zones, highways and bridges is more likely to be recognized.

The slower economic growth rate has pushed China to focus more on domestic demand. Much hope has been pinned on the urbanization program, which will reportedly cost 40 trillion yuan ($6.53 trillion) in investment in the next decade.

Premier Li Keqiang, one of the masterminds of urbanization, has reiterated the importance of pushing forward the strategy. Last May, he signed a communique with Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, on an urbanization partnership. The Chinese Academy of Governance is part of the program. It is responsible for inviting European experts in this area to give lectures to Chinese officials. Last month, it invited architects and consultants from Italy and Germany to give a lecture to them.

But, ultimately, how the grand strategy is actually implemented is largely dependent on the idea of millions of local officials at the country's provincial, municipal, county and even township levels, who live in an environment very different from that of central government officials.

There are already many reports in the Chinese media about how local officials are preparing to ramp up infrastructure and property spending in the name of urbanization.

The training program organized by the Chinese Academy of Governance, a top school to train elite officials, offered us a rare chance to focus on the important topic.

China Daily's interviews with these officials provided a sense of reassurance against concerns local governments might spoil the strategy, at least from the tone of their rhetoric.

All trained officials agreed the new urbanization drive should emphasize public service as well as investment opportunities. It should aim to improve the quality of the urbanization process and steer away from reckless urban expansion, they said.

Xiao Wensun, vice-mayor of Liuzhou, an industrial city in southwest Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, said new urbanization should focus on the settlement of migrant workers, industrial development and services matching the development of the urban area.

"We should regard urbanization in the macro system of four pillars," Xiao said, referring to urbanization, industrialization, informatization and agricultural modernization. "It is a handle to transform the economic model."

Many officials stressed the importance of developing industries to sustain urbanization, a drive that is expected to create abundant job opportunities for those emigrating to expanding cities.

But industries are not necessarily the only option to create jobs and local governments should refrain from attracting homogeneous manufacturers, said Zhou Shijie, vice-mayor of Xinxiang, a booming city in central China's Henan province.

He cited Xinxiang as an example. The government has divided its administration into four tiers: At the top is the central city and at the bottom are the new rural communities. Between are counties and townships. The central city, Xinxiang, highlights grouping development, with a core downtown area and five neighboring sub-towns, each with a designated pillar industry. The counties and townships focus on inner-oriented development, emphasizing redevelopment of the old towns. The new rural communities are designed to locate around the towns. It could save land and public utilities and offer equal public service to rural residents.

Instead of largely homogeneous manufacturing industries, cities should develop various businesses based on their specific advantages, such as tourism, commerce, logistics and specific forms of agriculture, said Zhou.

He is concerned about the current land usage system, which he said is outdated and designed in a way that has increasingly impeded urbanization. According to him, the land management regime is both "stringent" and "relaxed".

"The stringent aspect is that acquiring new land quotas involves many due procedures and takes an extremely long time, which fails to satisfy demand for rapid urbanization on a local level," Zhou said.

"The relaxed aspect is seen in a lack of differential management rules for land with different purposes of use. There is a low threshold for industrial land approval that fails to prohibit many backward industries."

Wang Jiming, vice-mayor of Ezhou, in central China's Hubei province, also stressed the importance of scientific planning and reasonable layout designs for urban areas.

"It is wrong to think the bigger the city's size, the better it is," he said. "Urban development should be modest and respect ecological sustainability."

He said many local governments prefer to build new urban areas while neglecting the maintenance of old towns. For example, the repair of damaged roads and street lamps, the upgrading of the sewerage system and the construction of parks and sports centers are often ignored.

"There is a tendency to stress construction while neglecting management. It is because construction easily demonstrates political achievement while day-to-day management does not," Wang said.

The officials said they are willing to provide more public services so they do not lag behind the physical buildup of the city. But in reality they face many obstacles. Local governments usually are not sufficiently well funded to accomplish the jobs they face and the fast turnover of migrants makes it difficult to offer appropriate services to them.

"The situation is that although the number of migrants is stable, the composition of this stable number is highly fluid," said Zhou. "We are making efforts to address their healthcare and educational demands but, in terms of housing, frankly speaking, we are not able to (tackle the problem)."

Officials who attended the class called for local government initiatives and specific policies catering to local needs.

When an official raised the issue of local initiatives, he was enthusiastically endorsed and the atmosphere turned fervent. "Local experiments should be encouraged. It does not matter that a mistake may be made. On the contrary, mistakes provide experience. What we fear is a little mistake being severely punished, making other people dare not to innovate anymore," an official said.

"China is so diverse, with huge differences within the country. How can one urbanization plan fit all?" asked Zhou.
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Old June 27th, 2013, 02:24 AM   #520
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Construction worker killed by blast at Nanjing University
South China Morning Post
Wednesday, 01 May, 2013 [Updated: 05:01]

nice firefighter trucks...
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