Chinese architecture is the latest topic to be explored in this year’s TEDx TED Talks, a collaboration between the renowned TED talk-making platform and the University of Cambridge.
The world’s best-known Chinese architect has been working with TEDx for over two years, but the talks are the first to be broadcast from the city-state, which is also home to many of the world’s most well-known architects.
With a population of some 1.2 billion, Beijing has become the most populated city in the world and a magnet for ambitious young professionals.
In the last few years, the city has also seen a boom in the construction industry, which has attracted international investment.
In a wide-ranging talk, the renowned architect – whose last TEDx talk was in 2012 – revealed that the city’s architecture was unique in that it was built from scratch and that it did not have the “standardised” infrastructure of other cities.
“I feel that a lot of cities, for instance London, have the standardised infrastructure, like roads, which are designed by the likes of Frank Gehry, that is all built around a central station, which means that they can’t scale up to the next city and the next, and so it is not the same as other cities,” he said.
“So we were not building a standardised system of infrastructure.
In Beijing, we built a different system, and that is a different approach, a more individual approach to architecture.”
We used traditional Chinese architecture to construct this system of a central building, and the central building is a huge structure, it is a monumental structure, so it requires a certain type of infrastructure.
“Building a skyscraperIn his talk, which also took place in the city, Zhang Zhiyong, a professor of urban studies at the university, said that in China, “there is no standardised architecture”.”
There are some buildings that are quite standardised, but they are usually in the form of one-storey blocks, so they are not big enough to have a big city like London or New York or Paris or Tokyo, where they can have skyscrapers.
“He added that the standardisation was achieved by “sustaining the standard of the building itself”, in a way that would prevent it from being “designed to serve as a model of an entire city”.”
The basic idea of the Chinese architect is to build a skyscraper that is taller than the surrounding buildings and bigger than the city,” he added.
Zhang told Al Jazeera that the best architecture in Beijing was “built from scratch” in a unique way, which was to “build from the ground up”.”
We are not building the same type of buildings in the same way in Beijing as we are in New York, or Paris, or Tokyo.
In New York they have to have skyscraper-like buildings and in Paris they have skyscropers,” he explained.”
But in Beijing, the design and the materials are different, it’s not a building that is built from the bottom up.
“Zhang also explained that China has an “open architecture” philosophy, where the city is open to the world.”
The talk was broadcast on February 10, 2017.”
I believe that the open architecture is one of the reasons that China is the most beautiful country in the whole world, and also the most modern country in this region.”
The talk was broadcast on February 10, 2017.