MoMA’s next major exhibition will feature Chinese architects dedicated to environmental stewardship


The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) announced today Reuse, Renew, Recycle: Recent Architecture from China, an upcoming investigation into contemporary Chinese architecture in which environmental concerns and social responsibility play a central role in their respective designs, as their next major show. Open on September 16 and until July 4, 2022, in the ground floor galleries of the museum, Reuse, renew, recycle: recent Chinese architecture will present eight different projects of different typologies through newly acquired models, drawings, photographs, videos and architectural models.

As stated in a MoMa Press release, Reuse, renew, recycle was developed over four years and included on-site tours of featured projects, including a former sugar factory turned hotel in the highland region of Guangxi and an open-air theater framed by towering bamboo trees in the county’s ancient Hengkeng village of Songyang, and dialogues with their respective architects.

The projects presented are the work of seven architectural firms, all belonging to a younger generation of Chinese designers who “work independently from public design institutes” and “have invested in relatively small-scale interventions that seek to engage significantly pre-existing built environment and established social structures, ”according to the museum.

The emergence of these young and socially conscious studios comes after years of urban development shaped, at breakneck speed, largely by Western companies. As noted by MoMA, many of the projects carried out by this next generation of Chinese architects are located outside the country’s overflowing mega-cities and rather in secondary population centers and rural areas where there is often a greater appetite. for culture and the environment. sensitive constructed works that, according to the museum, “serve as a progressive model for a less extractive and more resource-conscious future for architectural practice as a whole”.

Atelier Deshaus, Long Museum West Bund, Shanghai, China, 2012-2013. (Photograph by Shengliang Su; MoMA 263.2020.4)

The star studios of Reuse, renew, recycle are: Amateur Architecture Studio (2012 Pritzker Laureate Wang Shu and Lu Wenyu), Archi-Union Architects (Philip F. Yuan), Atelier Deshaus (Liu Yichun and Chen Yifeng), DnA_Design and Architecture (Xu Tiantian), Studio Zhu Pei (Zhu Pei), Vector Architects (Dong Gong) and ZAO / standardarchitecture (Zhang Ke).

Reuse, renew, recycle: recent Chinese architecture is organized by Martino Stierli, Philip Johnson’s Chief Curator for Architecture and Design, and Evangelos Kotsioris, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Architecture and Design. Li Xiangning, professor at Tongji University in Shanghai is playing an advisory role for the exhibition. A will post a review of the show when it debuts next September.



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