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Urban Transformers

July 2008

RECORD looks at a few of the people shaping Beijing’s skyline and pioneering a new wave of building innovation

Photography By Michael Goodman

By Jennifer Richter

Yung Ho Chang
Atelier Feichang Jianzhu
Yung Ho Chang
Yung Ho Chang

Founder of China’s first private architecture firm, Atelier FCJZ, and head of the department of architecture at MIT, Yung Ho Chang is at the forefront of China’s architectural modernization. In his work, Chang tries to blend the contemporary and the traditional. Current projects include the redevelopment of the Qianmen district in Beijing (along with other architects), the recently completed SamHo Publishing building in Korea, and a teahouse in Chengdu. An installation by Chang will be on view this summer in the courtyard of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

 

Rory McGown
Arup
Rory McGown
Rory McGown

Rory McGown has been a structural engineer at Arup for 21 years, working on projects across the globe. Currently he leads Arup’s Beijing office, and works on such projects as CCTV, the Shenzhen Stock Exchange Building, and Beijing’s Xicui Zero Energy Media Wall. Reflecting on Arup’s involvement in Beijing’s development, McGown remarks, “While the Olympics have been a catalyst for unprecedented growth, this growth will continue for some time to come. Arup’s role will be to continue to push the bar in engineering design skills, quality, and appropriateness.”

Michael Kwok
Arup
Michael Kwok
Michael Kwok

Involved in the structural design of Terminal 3 at Beijing Capital International Airport, the National Stadium, and CCTV, among others, Michael Kwok has played an important role in implementing many of Beijing’s progressive designs. Kwok joined Arup in 1986 as a design engineer and is now general manager and a director of Arup’s Shanghai and Beijing offices. He is a registered structural engineer in the People’s Republic of China and has worked on projects in Hong Kong and London.

 

 

Ole Scheeren
Office for Metropolitan Architecture
Ole Scheeren
Ole Scheeren

Ole Scheeren runs the Office for Metropolitan Architecture’s Beijing office and is the partner in charge of CCTV’s new building. He is responsible for OMA’s work throughout Asia, including the Singapore Scotts Tower and an upcoming Prada Epicenter in Shanghai.

He joined OMA and Rem Koolhaas in 1995, becoming a partner in 2002. Scheeren first traveled to Beijing in 1994 and describes the city today as “an amazing place to live.” He says it is not only “quite livable, but it is in the process of becoming one of the most important cities in the world.”

 

 

Li Hu
Steven Holl Architects
Li Hu
Li Hu

Li Hu has been with Steven Holl Architects for eight years, becoming a partner in 2005 and head of the firm’s Beijing office in 2006. Today, he lives and works in both Beijing and New York, running such major projects as the Linked Hybrid housing complex in Beijing, the Museum of Art and Architecture in Nanjing, and China Vanke’s new headquarters in Shenzhen. In 2002, Hu worked with Holl and Yung Ho Chang in launching the bilingual architectural journal 32:Beijing/New York.

Brian Timmoney
Foster + Partners
Michael Kwok
Brian Timmoney

Brian Timmoney grew up in London and joined Foster + Partners in 1990. He moved to Hong Kong in 1992, returned to London in 1997, then headed to Malaysia in 1999 to spend four years working on the Petronas University of Technology. Timmoney is now partner and chief representative of Foster + Partners’ Beijing office. Recent work includes the Ping An International Finance Centre, the Huadu Mixed-Use Development in Guangzhou, and an office tower in Kuala Lumpur.

 

 

 

Zhu Pei (right) Wu Tong (left)
Studio Pei-Zhu
Zhu Pei (right) Wu Tong (left)
Zhu Pei (right) Wu Tong (left)

Zhu Pei and Wu Tong have designed a number of influential projects in Beijing, including the Blur Hotel (Hotel Kapok), the Beijing Publishing House, and Digital Beijing. The firm was featured in record’s Design Vanguard in December 2007. Zhu trained in both the United States and China, while Wu earned a degree from Tsinghua University. Zhu was one of the original partners of Urbanus before establishing his own firm in 2005. The firm expects to break ground this year on its first commission abroad, an art pavilion in Abu Dhabi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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