While in Nanjing last March, MovingCities visited the CIPEA-project along with architect Zhang Lei. CIPEA stands for China International Practical Exhibition of Architecture and features a collection of architectural structures designed by Steven Holl Architects, Amateur Architecture Studio, Ettore Sottsass, SANAA, David Adjaye, Mathias Klotz, SANAKSENAHO Architects, Odile Decq and many others. Some background and snapshots.
This page has some interesting images showing the 24 invited architects, back in 2004, when visiting the site, sitting around tables and discussing the overall planning. Back then, CIPEA was expected to open in 2006. Four years later, there is no opening in sight. A site visit showed several buildings under construction. Or was CIPEA set-up with the unspoken ambition never to be finished thus showing constructions crumbling down, perversely commenting upon the creative excesses of our particular architectural times? In that regard, our memories drifted to the orderly chaos of the ORDOS100-project (100 architects), our references to the half-hideous projects developed for the ‘huaxi city centre’-project (11 architects) – where basically all projects are intended to set-up something with a lot of different international architects working on the same time on the same location on something similar. What exactly are these undertakings producing and contributing to?
The overall masterplan of the CIPEA-development was done by the Canadian architect Paul Rosenau [EKISTICS] and is according to his Wikipedia-page based on following the principle of geothermal technology:
Rosenau has been active in promoting the use of ground source heat pumps and geothermal heat pump energy in the design of residential homes and new urban communities. He has designed four master planned communities which use geothermal technology exclusively for the heating and cooling needs of all the buildings. These include the first complete geothermal communities in Canada and China: Sun Rivers Community in BC and CIPEA in Nanjing.
Further on, he has more information on the project:
Located in the Pear Spring Tourism Area, north of the city of Nanjing, the China International Practical Exhibition of Architecture (CIPEA) is an internationally recognized project, the goal of which is to provide ″exposure to the art of architecture″. (…) Paul Rosenau was commissioned, and recently completed, the site plan for this prestigious project and is currently coordinating the design efforts of the 24 architects from China, Japan, England, Mexico, Spain, Czech, Bulgaria and the USA. The CIPEA exhibition will open to the public in 2008 and is projected to draw over two million visitors in its opening year. (…) Consequently, he is now working on the master plan for phase two of the project which includes 125 luxury single family villa’s on a peninsula surrounded by the Buddha’s Hand Lake.
Based on our site visit last March, we feel that those two million visitors will still need to have some patience…
Click on following links to find the architects’ proposals for CIPEA: Sean Godsell Architects, SANAKSENAHO Architects, Odile Decq, Mathias Klotz, Ettore Sottsass, Steven Holl Architects and Atelier Zhanglei. Cas Oosterhuis/ONL also made a proposal for a “5 star Hotel and Wedding chapel“, apparently on hold.
For another set of pictures check out the CIPEA visit of kuu world in 2008.
Pictures by movingcities.org