Cole Roskam

  • Amateur Architecture Studio, Ningbo History Museum, 2008, Zhejiang, China. Photo: Clément Guillaume.


    FIVE YEARS AFTER THE COLOSSAL PAGEANTRY of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Chinese architecture continues to aim for awe. And if the spectacle of the games was accompanied, even enabled, by a showy physical reinvention of the nation’s capital, that unprecedented integration of technical and financial bravado is still reverberating in other equally audacious ventures around the country. Projects such as the Shanghai Tower, set to become China’s tallest building upon completion in 2014, or Changsha’s Sky City—a proposal for the world’s tallest building, which was initially intended to be entirely

  • Zaha Hadid Architects, Guangzhou Opera House, 2003–10, Guangzhou, China. Exterior. Photo: Iwan Baan.

    recent construction in Guangzhou

    A FLURRY OF NOTEWORTHY BUILDINGS recently constructed or near completion in and around Guangzhou has positioned the city as the next major Chinese metropolis to attract international critical architectural attention. Marked, overwhelmingly, by glittering facades and gaudy monumentality, these structures include the Guangzhou International Finance Center, designed by Wilkinson Eyre and slated to open this spring; Rocco Yim’s Guangdong Provincial Museum, which was completed in May; a television tower, by Information Based Architecture, which has been operational since October 1; the Zaha Hadid–designed