Peter Rowe | interview part II

Central Academy of Fine Arts (Hangzhou) |  Image courtesy of Amateur Architecture Studio
Central Academy of Fine Arts (Hangzhou) | Image courtesy of Amateur Architecture Studio

Following up on part one of the interview with Professor Peter G. Rowe, the second half is directed towards understanding the mechanisms of the urban development that stem out of the Asian expanding metropolitan environment. Thereby questioning the notion of east-west and import-export relations in the field of architecture and urbanism, Peter Rowe reflects upon the urban development of Shanghai, emerging new forms of engagement amongst Chinese architects with the city, and the importance of “the temporal dimension” and how this would affect our practices.

Shenzhen, January 2008
Shenzhen, January 2008

Stirring away the debate from a blind fascination with hypermodernism and/or hyperhistory when confronted with the development of the Chinese City, Peter Rowe sees a future in continuing and adapting some of the urban and architectural evolutions set in motion throughout the long development of China and it cities. Or as he states:

I don’t see anything wrong in going back to certain parts of Beijing or Shanghai and doing modern interpretations. In my view there are three alternatives: one is that you totally preserve, brick by brick, the structure and change its use, the other is that you apply a conservation strategy keeping an evolving culture more or less in place, or thirdly it is replaced by something which is a reinterpretation of many spatial principles, but not necessarily with the exact appearance.

The full interview by Dan Handel is now online:
The Chinese City in the East Asian Context” | An interview with Professor Peter Rowe

Author: dan

Architect and a PhD candidate at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology. Project and research coordinator at Bezalel Academy of Art & Design, Department of Architecture. Editor of the online magazine Bezalel Papers, assistant editor for the Harvard GSD publication, Invention/Transformation: Strategies for the Qattara/Jimi Oases in Al Ain, and co-author on a forthcoming book, Arizona Report.

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