In the July 2009 issue of DOMUS Bert de Muynck | MovingCities published the first review of the Times Museum (Guangzhou) by Rem Koolhaas & Alain Fouraux. Recently DOMUS also put the Urban Transformation-bookreview online, which was published in its February 2009 issue. Scoop!
For copyright reasons it is currently impossible to republish the review of the Times Museum. But this short project description, floating here and there on the web, should give an insight in the project:
The Times Museum is interwoven in a newly built 19 stories residential building block in the north of Guangzhou. By distributing the museum over several different floors of this building, a high degree of diversity is generated by an archetype that is very common in contemporary urban China, the commercially developed residential building block.
“Urban Transformation” was published in 2008 by Berlin-based Ruby Press, a new publishing house specialized in “books on architecture, art and other cultural practices engaged in the production of space in contemporary society.” The book itself is a collection of essays inspired by the Holcim Forum 2007 held in Shanghai.
The point of departure of “Urban Transformation”, edited by Ilka and Andreas Ruby (Ruby Press), is that “as opposed to the colonial era of the 19th century, the term ‘urban’ today no longer indexes a normative cultural concept – such as expressed, for instance, in the “European City” – but represents a cosmos of extremely varied notions determined by geographical, cultural, and individual preferences.” Unfortunately this idea got totally side-tracked in a myriad of musings on all things vaguely related to the term ‘urban’, except a few excellent contributions. Overall the book presents a collection of scattered contributions by a seemingly randomly selection of authors and architects. For the why and how underpinning this critique, check out the now and then also positive “A Sense of A City“-review on the DOMUS website.