You may not have heard of it before if you’re not in architecture circles, but the Architizer A+Awards is kind of a big deal. Sometimes referred to as “the Oscars of architecture,” it’s one of the industry’s premier awards programs and they recently announced the winners of their 8th annual awards, featuring some 194 projects and products around the world.
And hey, China had quite a few slots on that list. Despite some high-profile missteps (hello pants tower), the country continues to be a real architects’ playground for both international and domestic firms, producing some genuinely spectacular landmarks.
Below are some of the highlights from the China A+Awards winners.
14 Stand-Out China Entries on the World Architecture Festival 2019 Awards Shortlist
Leeza SOHO / Zaha Hadid Architects
Another masterpiece in the Chinese capital from the company founded by legendary architect Zaha Hadid, the futuristic Leeza SOHO has transformed the skyline of Beijing’s Fengtai business district with Hadid’s signature style of variegated curves.
Beijing Daxing International Airport / ADP Ingénierie, Zaha Hadid Architects
An enormous transportation hub in Beijing, the Daxing International Airport opened late last year, just in time for international air travel to collapse. Another one from Zaha Hadid’s studio, this magnificent creation beautifully integrates the late architect’s philosophy of fluid design into a structure affectionately known locally as “The Starfish.”
9 Things You Need to Know About Beijing’s Enormous New Daxing Airport
Restroom in the Mountains / Atelier Scale
The awards don’t just honor corporate towers and enormous construction projects, as this toilet shows. Serving as the pilot public restroom in Kunyu Mountain National Park near the northern Chinese city of Yantai, this courtyard garden is the exact kind of peaceful, isolated convenience you need in 2020.
% Arabica West Jianguo Road / B.L.U.E. Architecture Studio
Shanghai is currently under siege by hipster coffee shops — there’s at least a dozen within a few blocks of this outlet. But the intense competition to provide the best Instagram backdrop has at least resulted in some interesting design projects. Located in one of Shanghai’s most historical and charming neighborhoods — this small cafe keeps it minimalist with a mini-garden and the curved glass out front.
Garden Hotpot Restaurant / MUDA-Architects
As the UNESCO city of gastronomy, the Sichuanese capital of Chengdu isn’t a place where you’re like to run out of options for hotpot. Yet this immersive garden hotpot eatery stands out with its one-of-a-kind integration of the city’s renowned hotpot culture and the natural environment.
Quzhou Sports Campus / MAD Architects
Located in Quzhou, Zhejiang — a city that is frankly in need of some greenery — this surreal and visually stimulating project connects the various elements of a sports space with the region’s existing natural forms (northern Zhejiang is known for its rolling green mountains, see below), therefore paying respect to the city’s history and cultural heritage.
Capsule hotel in a rural library / Atelier tao+c
Hidden deep in Zhejiang’s Tonglu area just outside of Hangzhou and surrounded by a forest of bamboos and books, this capsule hotel was redesigned and regenerated from a traditional old building. With illuminating lights inside, the building is “offering a slice of warmth to the calmness of the night.”
Laboratory for Shihlien Biotech Salt Plant / WZWX Architecture Group
As an office for a professional medical-grade salt plant in the eastern Chinese city of Huai’an, the design concept for this striking structure supposedly drew inspiration from the salt production process. Looks pretty sweet to us.
Courtyard Kindergarten / MAD
Back to Beijing for this dynamic project featuring a red-roof playground that surrounds a traditional “siheyuan” (四合院) courtyard in the capital. The idea for the project, in part comes from an old Chinese poem: “If you go three days without being punished, the roof will cave in.” Nevertheless, hopefully this place is as structurally sound as it is eye-catching.
Temporary Site of Shengli Market — Creation of Spatial Order / LUO studio
Located in Puyang in the central province of Henan, this temporary site was built when the original Shengli Market was undergoing renovations. The multi-purpose project was created from sustainable, lightweight and low-cost materials.
All photos: Courtesy Architizer
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