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Li Hu insists that he finds time to relax on Sundays, but upon hearing of everything he is involved in, you might wonder how true that statement is. He began his studies at Tsinghua University in Beijing and completed his M.Arch. at Rice University in Houston in 1998. After time spent in Princeton, N.J., he began work with Steven Holl Architects, where he is a project architect today. During his time there, Li Hu has not only colaunched an architectural journal, but he has also started an architectural firm.

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Eco_Tube
Any Suburban Environment, 2004
OPEN architecture’s research on flexible suburban office alternatives has led to this environmentally conscious plan. Floating adaptable sections can accommodate various functions of a work space.

Mass Customizable House/Housing
Any Urban Environment, 2002
A housing system that can be organized, planned, and developed by its cooperative residents. Each unit is able to be customized to adapt to the resident's needs.

Water Tank Transformer
New York City, 2000
Often overlooked city rooftops can easily be turned into temporary, colorful event space. These inflatable spandex kits use existing water tanks supports as frames.

32 Beijing/New York
Published three times a year, the bilingual publication is used as a platform for critical and theoretical exchange on architecture and other social issues.

Shenzen No. 2 Senior Activity Center
Shenzen, 2003
The winning design for a hybrid recreational-cultural complex for seniors. The multi-layered construct takes into consideration both its natural and urban surroundings. Click here for more coverage of this project.

Nanjing Art and Architecture Museum
Steven Holl Architect, Nanjing, China, 2005
Steven Holl Architects’ winning design features a hovering translucent form, a tea house, and a curator’s residence.

2002 New Town
Steven Holl Architect, Nanning, China
For this project almost 9000 units of housing are planned. The town will include schools, shops, a hotel, recreational facilities, as well as an anthropology museum and a rebuilt Buddhist temple.

At Steven Holl Architects, Li Hu has been involved in several high-profile projects and competitions. Many projects have been U.S.-based, but recently several have him working in his homeland of China, currently on projects in Nanjing and Beijing. "Our Nanjing projects are Holl's first in China," says Li Hu. "The Art and Architecture Museum in Nanjing will be the first contemporary museum built in China."

In a fateful meeting between Li Hu, architect Yungho Chang, and Steven Holl, the three realized a need for a new type of architectural publication. Made in New York, printed in Beijing, and encompassing issues worldwide, the bilingual publication 32:Beijing/New York does not attempt to answer questions. Instead, the journal acts as an open forum. "Each issue purposely does not have a theme," explains Li Hu. "Instead of compartmentalizing our ideas, our aim is to ask questions about urgent political and sociological issues concerning architecture, not answer them." The impressive roster of past contributing writers includes Kenneth Frampton, Lebbeus Woods, and Michael Bell. With the fourth issue coming out soon, Li Hu notes, "Our circle of contributors is expanding as is our circulation."

Along with his wife, architect Wenijing Huang, Li Hu formed OPEN architecture studio in 2002. "OPEN's manifesto is to make architecture more accessible to more people," explains Li Hu. "We explore ways to build a platform for open collaboration among architects, end users, and developers." In 2003, OPEN won a competition for the Shenzen Senior Activity Center in China. Li Hu is now conducting research on suburban homes and offices for an ecological project using a tubular design that he hopes to implement there. The architect explains that China is "rapidly importing ideas from America, and especially has a fascination with American suburban life."

By Randi Greenberg

 


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