In the afternoon of June 19th, architect Su Zhen in PLaT Architects shared his observation and study in ten-days architecture field trip in Greece.
Mr. Su showed us the projects that we only had access from books, and also the lives of local people, especially architects. In the discussion, we shared our opinions on architectures of Greek culture, which is the origin of western architecture. In the mean while, we also tried to find out the origin of architecture in the eastern culture.
Discussion seminars give us opportunities to learn different knowledge and experience every time.
In response to the invitation of Mr. Maeda, famous Japanese contemporary architect Mr. SHUHEI ENDO visited PLaT Architects yesterday.
Dr. Jung and Mr. Maeda showed Mr.ENDO some projects in China of recent years in detail. Mr. ENDO was very interested in the projects as well as the working methodology of PLaT Architects. He brought out some thoughts, and expressed his hope in further discussion with PLaT Architects on topics of Chinese culture and environment, and cultural difference, etc.
Afterwards, Mr. Bian exchanged gifts with our Japanese friends and took pictures.
Jinghe new district is a national urban development plan to the north of Xixian new district. CBD is 2.8 km2, being the focus of the new district design. There were many design institutes from Suzhou, Zhuangzhou, Singapore and Xi’an itself participated in the bidding. Multiple teams in PLaT worked together on the project in one and a half months, and we won the bidding in jury on May 15th.
We think that CBD is not only a collection of high density buildings, but also need to realistically consider the emergence of the city, the stage of development, optimal land management, etc. The very center of CBD ought to be public landscape with water for people to relax and have entertainment, instead of buildings. The design of inner ring makes high efficiency of traffic possible, and creates well circulation connections for people to move in between the buildings. Designing for people and bringing people together make CBD energetic.
The chief editor of “Architect” magazine Juzheng Huang brought us a lecture with a topic of “the distance between modern architecture and classicism” this afternoon. He discussed Alvar Aalto, Mies Van der Rohe, Le Corbusier and Giuseppe Terragni and their connection with classicism. Following the lecture, he shared his unique perspective towards architecture in China in Q&A, and discussed with architects here.
Continuing last week’s topic Radiant City by Le Corbusier, we discussed his ideal city intensely. Mr. Maeda brought up different ideas. He thought that Radiant City is not what Corbusier wanted to build in reality, but he was to criticize the materiality through the unrealistic ideas in the society. The purpose is to awake people of the generation, especially architects and planners. Corbusier was examining the society with his foresight, and writing out his belief with passion and creative blue prints.
After two months of reading and analyzing Le Corbusier, young architects here now have basic ideas about his time and works. We learned from each other by communicating opinions through the two seminars. Also, our reading methodologies have been improved after the recent three seminars as well, which is the goal of PLaT readings seminars.
Last seminar of “Delirious New York” was highly rated by colleagues, and architects were enthusiastic about the series. Therefore we aimed our discussion to another architect--Le Corbusier, and we focused on two of his books for the topic of Corbusier’s city and architecture this week: Towards New Architecture and Radiant City.Architect Huang Qingsong hosted this reading seminar and briefly introduced the background, main ideas and influences of Towards New Architecture. In the discussion, architects brought out different opinions about the specifics in the book and its impact on modern architecture. We reached to a conclusion that in order to be an architect who is sensitive to the environmental change, one should be able to challenge the existing tradition while holding on the responsibility to the current society.
In the morning of April 12th, PLaT Architects was honored to invite Professor Zo Jinman for a lecture. Prof. Zo got his Bachelor’s degree from Hanyang University and Master’s from Tsinghua University. He was the chief architect in the Beijing office of IROJE Architects, following a position in a famous architecture firm in Netherland for four years. He is currently a professor in Hanyang University.
Prof. Zo Jinman presented the working environment, process and methodology in the architecture firm in Netherland, and discussed with us. While architects were impressed about the amount of workload on a project, Prof. Zo stated that perfect state of work is not the compiling of time, but the everyday experience contributing to projects bidding and design.
In the afternoon of January 7th, the reading group lead by Mr. Maeda became an event for PLaT. All architects in PLaT share a great reading discussion group from now on.
In today’s discussion, Qiao Wenke introduced Delirious New York by Rem Koolhaas. Architects discussed about the background of the book, methodologies, and ambiguous conclusion in the book. Later on, we analyzed specific chapters to understand the architectural language of Koolhaas and the books influence to his later works.
Many questions were brought out as well, such as strangely written words. We communicated on those difficult chapters, and shared our own ideas, which was tremendously helpful to understanding the book. Also, there were many suggestion and hopes to the reading group and its future.
We invited Architect Su Bo of China Architecture Design & Research Group for a lecture concerning parametric design on October 22nd. Mr. Su showed us two projects -- Phoenix International Media Center and Union Life Support Center.
First of all, Mr. Su demonstrated the design process of Phoenix International Media Center and the parametric skin design and its practice, including software, specs and construction. He then showed us a completely different idea of design in the project of Union Life Support Center, and talked about the future trend in architectural design. Architects actively discussed around parametric design afterwards, and Mr. Su offered answers in detail for our questions.
PLaT Architects held a two-hour seminar in 751D·PARK in October 3rd, 2012. Three architects of PLaT: Jung Donghyun, Bian Baoyang, and Su Zhen participated in the discussion, and also invited the chief editor of China Construction News—Ma Shenghong. The first part of the seminar was Dr. Jung Donghyun’s lecture, titled in “Augmented Ground”. He mainly talked about PLaT Architects’ philosophy and thoughts in architecture and projects. The second part of the seminar was a discussion around specific problems of architecture, society and urban condition. Three architects as well as Editor Ma talked about the current architectural environment in China and some recent projects and constructions in depth. Audiences actively proposed questions about other topics and their thoughts about architects such as I.M.Pei and Shu Wang.
On May 30th, PLaT was honored to have Scott Sarvet, American architect and the Chief of smdp ,
to present a lecture on skyscrapers design.
Mr. Sarvet introduced skyscrapers projects of SOM and smdp .Explained the basic concepts of
their designs, and how the materials are chosen .He also talked about how they completed the
design within the regulations and codes.
Later during the Q&A session, Mr. Sarvet answered the questions from PLaT architects, such as how
to control the progress of the projects. Also,they had concerns about the techniques of effficient
When the announcement that the 2012 Pritzker Prize goes to Wang Shu, the 49-year-old architect and professor of the Architecture School at China Academy of Art was
made, people were surprised to realize that masters could be so close to us. Therefore,
the topic of the latest PLaT seminar was decided to be a study on Wang Shu’s works
The seminar was held in the afternoon of April 27th. PLaT architect Su Zhen gave a
presentation on Wang Shu’s works and ideas based his study and understanding,
followed by active discussions among PLaT architects on various subjects such as
what made Wang the winner and how his work play a leading role for future
XJW Culture Center finally broke ground in March and the foundation is mostly finished by now.
XJW Culture Center is located in Jungar Banner of Ordos, Inner Mongolia. It is a mixed-use cultural facility including a theatre, five cinemas, the youth culture center, the senior culture center, a museum etc. The floor area is 5746㎡ . It is expected to be completed in 2014.
The Erdos trip Photo Competition has finally come to a conclusion after the vote lasting for a week.
Among all the contestants, three winners came to the fore. They are Wenke Qiao, Yan Xiong and
Xinwei Liu winning the prizes in the categories of Architecture, Nature and People respectively.
The winners have received exquisite gifts from PLaT as award.
The competition was highly evaluated afterwards since it enabled people to review the sceneries
through others’ eyes and to get a better understanding of the architecture and the local culture
through others’ thoughts. The posttrip events as well as the warmup seminar made the Erdos trip
even more complete and meaningful.
In order to get a better understanding of the oriental art history and the connection between
architecture and oriental culture as well as to study how the oriental characteristics are conveyed
in art works, PLaT invited Dr. Yingwen Wu from Central Academy of Fine Arts, the school of liberal art,
to give a lecture on the topic of The Oriental Expression in Modern Visual Art.
The lecture was devided into five sections according to the historical background and style of
different modern artists. The detailed introduction on the works of the modern artists including “
Sidajingang”, Ai Weiwei, Bandi Zhao etc. proved that the key point of appreciating an art piece is to
understand the historical background and the artist’s idea behind it.
The Ordos trip starting from Mar 28th to Apr 1st came to a conclusion after a series of
fruitfulvisits and events throughout Inner Mongolia.
Following the route via Baotou, Dongsheng, Nuanshui, Kangbashi, Wuhai, Yinchuan,
the group visited the completed and onsite projects by PLaT architects as well as
the vernacular architecture and historic sites such as the Aerzhai Grottos and the
Western Xia tombs which greatly represented the life of local residents and their
March 23rd, Mr. Bian gave PLaT architects a brief introduction of the culture of Ordos, on which he did in-depth study and had a thorough understanding. This seminar turned out to be a great warm- up for the group architectural trip to Erdos on March 28th. During the seminar, Mr. Bian introduced the geolocation of Ordos, as well as the topography, the river systemand the historic sites etc. Later on, Mr. Bian specifically focused on the local religions and culture of Inner Mongolia, which enhanced the awareness of the relations between architecture and culture among the architects. The seminarhas given PLaT architects a better understanding on the site and made the upcoming trip seem even more intriguing.
March 23rd, Mr. Bian gave PLaT architects a brief introduction of the culture of Ordos, on which he did
in-depth study and had a thorough understanding. This seminar turned out to be a great warm- up for the group architectural trip to Erdos on March 28th.
During the seminar, Mr. Bian introduced the geolocation of Ordos, as well as the topography, the river
systemand the historic sites etc. Later on, Mr. Bian specifically focused on the local religions and culture
of Inner Mongolia, which enhanced the awareness of the relations between architecture and culture
among the architects. The seminarhas given PLaT architects a better understanding on the site and
made the upcoming trip seem even more intriguing.
February 27th, 2012, two students from The University of Shiga Prefecture, Japan, started their summer i
nternship in PLaT with a seminar introducing their current program, studio works, curriculum provision,
and the purpose of this intern trip.
The seminar generated active interaction addressing the issues of design approaches, design techniques
and so forth..
The latest regular PLaT exchange was held on February 13th, 2012.The seminar went fairly well thanks
to the effortless preparation made by the PLaT staff. Several representatives of the company gave
introspective reviews on the complete projects, which led to active responses and intense discussions.
Topics and Arrangement
Qt: The identity of PLaT; Proposal for the landscape of XSW Hotel
Bby: Qualities of PLaT
Sz: summary of the PSY project
Xy: summary of the HT Elementary School
On Jan 18th 2012, we were honored to have Mr. Luo Zhongzhao, well-known architect and urban planner of contemporary China, to give us a lecture on the Comparison Between Eastern and Western Culture and Architecture.
Mr. Luo introduced the similarities and differences between eastern and western culture and architecture through detailed comparisons from the perspectives of philosophy, civilization and techniques respectively.
The feedbacks of PLaT staff have reflected great interests towards the lecture since every single image shown during the lecture was intensively responded and discussed based on individual understanding of architecture and culture.
On the November 28th of 2011, PLaT invited experts from BIM to give a short term training course on design softwares, aiming at improving the design skills of the staff and the quality of the overall layout of the projects.
The course was divided into two sessions. The first session (from Nov 28th to Dec 9th) involved intense classes while the second session (from Dec 12th to Jan) focused mostly on practice, presentations and feedbacks
The training course was a successful experience for PLaT since the designing capability of the staff was greatly enhanced, which resulted in higher quality of the projects.
On the 5th of January, 2012, Mr. Kangyi Hou, the Consultant of the View Stone Association of China and well-known stone connoisseur, was invited to PLaT to deliver a lecture on the subject of View Stones and Chinese Culture.
From Dec the 16th to the 17th, the 2011 PLaT Annual Conference was held at Beijing Longxi Hot Spring Resort. During the meeting, Mr. Bian publicly acknowledged the achievement made by PLaT staff members in the past year and announced company’s goals and prospects for the upcoming year. Meanwhile, the PLaT Staff Handbook(trial version) was released containing complete rules and policies of the company. A series of leisure activities were arranged after the meeting, including dinner party, Karaoke, sports games and hot spring spas etc.
On the 11th of November, the latest seminar in PLaT was held on the subject of architectural trips.
Ms. Chu talked about her own experiences traveling in the US and gave a detailed introduction on American architecture as part of her presentation, which enabled PLaT staff to get a closer view of American architecture. Mr. Bian, Mr. Jung and other PLaT architects also took part in the discussion and shared their own experiences and understandings on architectural trips.
On the 28th of October, a seminar on architecture for the elderly was held in the conference room by PLaT architects.
During the seminar, Dr. Jung, the general manager Mr. Li and Mr. Ren gave a presentation about the experiences on the Chinese and Japanese Apartment for the Elderly Forum and the ideas from the study trip in Tokyo. They introduced the original and remarkable designs of service buildings for the elderly in Japan with vivid language and plenty of pictures. The present PLaT architects were greatly impressed by the architectural details and the human-based designs by the Japanese architects.
They carried out an active discussion on the comparison between the nursing homes in China and in Japan afterwards and acquired abundant new knowledge from it.
In appreciation of the support from our business partners and fellows, and the brilliant contribution made by our hardworking and creative staff members in the past year, an anniversary party was held in the headquarter of PLaT on Sep 25th. The guests included fellows from architectural institutions and studios. The conversations and discussions on architectural issues between the guests and the PLaT staff throughout the party were favorable. In addition, Bian Baoyang, the CEO of PLaT, publicly acknowledged the unconditional support of fellows from different fields. The guests had dinner with PLaT staff at Lan Club after the party.
In the past month, PLaT has witnessed a most active interaction between the five Japanese students and the PLaT staff. The Japanese students participated in the ongoing projects of PLaT under the supervision of Dr. Jung and Mr. Maeda. Meanwhile, they successfully completed the research project of “Beijing Impression” by thoroughly observing, experiencing and documenting the traditional Chinese Residence of Hutong. The students have returned to Japan after the internship.
This morning, 5 students from Kobe Design University, Japan, started their summer internship in PLaT with a seminar introducing their current program, curriculum provision, studio works, and the purpose of this intern trip.
A group meeting for PLaT staff was held in Chateau Changyu AFIP, Miyun, through August 8th to August 9th. Issues including our ideals and values, plans and goals were further developed on the meeting. In the spare time, a series of leisure activities were arranged including dinner party, Karaoke, Chateau tour, wine-tasting and grape-picking, which had greatly enhanced the relationship between staff members.