torsdag 7. oktober 2021

The husband-and-wife duo redefining cultural architecture in China

With China experiencing a museum boom, and cities of all sizes building cultural venues at unprecedented speed, there is something refreshingly modest about Li Hu and Huang Wenjing's approach to architecture. The husband-and-wife duo, founders of Beijing-based practice Open Architecture, are responsible for some of the last decade's most thought-provoking Chinese arts destinations. Best known for transforming a series of aviation fuel tanks into a popular riverside gallery in Shanghai, the pair's understated theaters and performance spaces offer a welcome dose of subtlety in a country with skylines all too often blighted by bold statements.

"It's about making a dialogue between us, as humanity, and nature," Li said in a video interview. The couple's latest project is a case in point. Nestled in a valley northeast of Beijing, a stone's throw from the Great Wall, the boulder-like Chapel of Sound looks as if it were carved from the landscape itself. The architects added local rocks to the concrete and mimicked sedimentary layers to help assimilate the structure with its surroundings.