Italy and China

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Seen in the Sept. issue of Time Magazine, Circus Art Cafe, Roma

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It’s the same architecture story in Italy.  Architecture firms are keeping afloat if they have ongoing work in China.  I met Antonio Gioli, partner of gbpa architects (Milan) who admits the firm’s success is based on the opportunity to work in Tianjin and Beijing – a connection his firm secured only two-three years ago.

Italian-based Joseph di Pasquale and AM Progetti Milan are planning a new eco-city in Tianjin.  The model is on display in Milan’s Urban Center (architecture center):

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“Densification as an ecological process: ….#3 Halting the consumption of new territory, controlling and allowing higher density in certain areas solely after ‘liberation’ of other urbanized areas with low density and poor quality, and reconversion of them to form part of the urban, territorial, agricultural fabric.”

Some connections (Italy-China) are cliched at best:

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Tianjin’s Italian Village courtesy of fei.chen75’s photostream

Yet others seem to engage local conditions in a totally new way.

I’m excited to return to China during the final leg of travels.  The ‘big ticket this season’ is the Bi-city Shenzhen/Hong Kong Biennale.  City Mobilization is the theme for this year’s architecture and urbanism expo which kicks off December 4, 2009.  I’m interested in comparing this exhibit to the one I attended in Rotterdam.  It seems that the curator teams from both sides of the world have been collaborating.  The biggest difference, I think, will be that larger and more established firms will be participating in Asia.  Will their proposals match the size of their reputation or will the theme of the conference dictate more modest design solutions?  The schedule is still unfolding, as is mine…..although, I will be a magnet to these expo sites.

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