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  • West Bund 2013

    Biannual of Architecture and Contemporary Arts
    Shanghai, October-November, 2013

    Text: András Borsos

    West Bund Pvilion, Shanghai, 2013, architects: Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, photo: shl.dk

    A Sanghaji West Bund Biennálé pavilonja, 2013, tervezők: Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, fotó: shl.dk

    The banks of River Huangpu is a most characteristic part of Shanghai inhabited by 24 millions of people, including the Bund complex, an iconic development of the inner city built in the early 20th century, the quarter named Pudong with its 21st-century skyscrapers and the area of the 2010 EXPO. This waterfront ensemble also integrates West Bund / Shanghai Corniche, the former rust-zone the development of which began in 2009 with its riverside promenade and cultural establishments. Curators of the Biennale focussed on spatial formation, art productions and concepts referring to the future. The programmes and exhibitions were organized by the Shanghai-based Tongji University and the Chinese Art Academy. The programme concentrated primarily on architecture intertwined with contemporary fine arts, theatre and multimedia starring international celebrities (e.g. Holl, Pei, Chipperfield), but the material predominantly presenting Chinese architects surveyed contemporary architectural trends and theories, the most recent reactions to 21st century issues (urbanisation, sustainability, globalism, cultural heritage) besides illustrating practical ways of enforcing interests typical of China nowadays.

    Chinese–Finnish Centre
    Tongji University, Shanghai

    The Chinese–Finnish Centre in Shanghai is a convincing example of how a small country like Hungary can most efficiently achieve success and fame by an image easy to identify. The Finnish have achieved this via design and communication proving that co-operation in education and culture guarantees economic success. The institute is managed by the Helsinki-based Aalto University which had already partnered with the Stanford University (USA) and by the Tongji University training 50,000 students, amongst them would-be architects. They have dreamed of an institution which follows the change of paradigm based on an open world. The objective of the centre is to be an engine of international experience exchange and developments so as to earn worldwide recognition for both universities. Finnish and Chinese professionals not only provided expertise of product design and design in general, but also exemplary models of intercultural co-existence and responsible thinking.