Wang Shu Is One Of China’s Biggest Modern Architecture Symbols – The renowned Chinese architect and his wife, Lu Wenyu, founded Amateur Architecture Studio in 1997 in Hangzhou, China. The office name references the approach an amateur builder takes—one based on spontaneity, craft skills, and cultural traditions. Find out more about his impressive journey, here!
Born in 1963 in Urumqi, a city in Xinjiang, a western province of China, renowned architect and professor Wang Shu received his first degree in architecture in 1985 and his Master’s degree in 1988, both from the Nan Nanjing Institute of Technology.
The Hangzhou-based architect and dean of the China Academy of Arts, Wang Shu, is known for his resistance to what he considers “professionalized, soulless architecture.” His tribute to local tradition, environment and craftsmanship have made him the first Chinese citizen, and the fourth-youngest person in history, to receive the 2012 Pritzker Prize.
Wang Shu spent a number of years learning traditional skills, in order to use them to transform materials for contemporary projects. This unique combination of traditional understanding, experimental building tactics, and intensive research defines the basis for the studio’s architectural projects.
Wang Shu has exhibited individually and participated in several major international exhibitions including: the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale at which he received a special mention for the “Decay of a Dome” installation – a project whose light, mobile and utterly simple structure can be speedily constructed or returned to nothingness and the 2009 “Architecture as a Resistance” solo exhibition at the BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels.
In 2010 the renowned architect and his wife were awarded the Schelling Architecture Prize, which goes to individuals who have responsibly advanced architecture‘s development with significant designs, realized buildings or with profound contributions to architectural history and theory. The next year, 2011, Wang Shu woned the Gold Medal of Architecture (grande médaille d’or) from the l’Académie d’Architecture of France.
With an impressive portfolio filled with modern landmarks, Wang Shu and his Amateur Architecture Studio became famous for incredible architectural projects, just like the Library of Wenzheng College, Suzhou University, China (2000); Ningbo Contemporary Art Museum, Ningbo, China, (2005); Xiangshan Campus, China Academy of Art (Phase II) Hangzhou, China (2007); Ningbo History Museum, Ningbo, China (2008), among others.
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