Gold Medal of the French Architecture Academy 2011


Wang Shu

Founder with Lu Wenyu of the Hangzhou-based firm Amateur Architecture Studio, established in 1997, the Chinese architect Wang Shu has received the Grand Médaille d’Or from the French Architecture Academy. Wang Shu’s work belongs to a minority but increasingly significant current in China: an architecture that departs from governmental monumentality and approaches local traditions and landscape, focussing not only on the styles but on the processes and the people. As he himself declared: “I was a writer before I became an architect, and architecture is just another part of my work. For me, humanity is more important than architecture, and craftsmanship more important than technology.” Recent works like the Ningbo History Museum or the Xiangshan Campus in Hangzhou, published respectively in AV Monographs 139 and 150, exemplify this way of working, which combines local materials with remains from demolitions to raise buildings that are at once clearly contemporary and sensitive to the history of the place where they are located.  

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