Bert de Muynck | MovingCities published in a recent issue of MARK magazine an interview with Chinese architect XU Tiantian 徐甜甜 [DnA_Design and architecture]. The talk gave some background to and insight in one of her recently completed projects: the Songzhuang artists’ residence. Located in Beijing’s Tongzhou district, the residences [20 living and working units/studios] are organized in an intriguing play of stacked boxes. Now online.
The article is centered around this new project but the story isn’t limited to the architecture of it. While meeting with Xu Tiantian our conversation touched upon artist (b. 1965 張洹) Zhang Huan’s To Add One Meter to an Anonymous Mountain, in which naked bodies are stacked upon each other, her experience with several clients, the Ordos Art Museum and her analysis of the profession: Architecture is in danger of becoming like entertainment. One day you’re in, the next day you’re out. And about a kind of grey. From the article:
Two colours are dominant: the exterior is clad in dark grey concrete, while the horizontal surfaces are coated in orange. It is the Beijing grey I recognize from the inner city’s hutongs. Naively I ask her if that was her reference. ‘No,’ she answers, ‘the grey is a specific colour regulation you have to follow in this district. You know that in Chinese cities, districts have zoning colours, right?’ I wonder out loud if that rule is meant to make it easier for the architects. ‘Well, you still have to choose the kind of grey,’ Tiantian answers.
Pictures by movingcities.org