Mark magazine has turned 50! Contributing since 2007, Mark magazine has been one of the premier supporter and enablers of MovingCities‘ discursive development – including interviews with Ai Weiwei | I jumped on the wrong train , Wang Shu | Local Hero , Sun Jiwei | Major Forces , JR | City Faces , Andra Matin | interview  and essays about ORDOS100 | Babel for Billionaires , Illegal Copying  and Preservation Playground . A sincere congratulations and thank you to Mark magazine [subscribe!], and especially to their excellent editors Arthur Wortmann and David Keuning.
In their celebratory June-July 20114 issue of Mark magazine #50, MovingCities published ‘Reality Check Shanghai‘ revisiting three Shanghainese buildings previously published and applauded in Mark: the Himalayas Centre by Arata Isozaki, the 2010 Shanghai World Expo site and the Giant Interactive Group’s headquarters by Morphosis. What has become of them?
The area where once the European, Asian and American pavilions were located is in a serious state of disrepair. The French pavilion seems to be under (re)construction, the skin of EMBT’s Spanish pavilion has been removed, some of the Portuguese pavilion’s cork has disappeared, and a few of my favourites – pavilions representing the UK, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Australia, Finland, Germany and Switzerland – have vanished into thin air. As I walk, a taxi driver stops to ask whether I want to see the Italian pavilion.
Wondering why, I take him up on his offer out of curiosity and soon realize that the Italian pavilion is the only nearby attraction. A sign tells me that the newly named Shanghai Italian Center is ‘the privileged platform for the promotion of the cultural and economic linkage between China and Italy.’ The complex, which looks like a metropolitan ‘Little Italy’, has absorbed the Luxembourg and Dutch pavilions in its bid for expansion.
Here at Giant Interactive, my inquiries about bad detailing, strangely designed spaces or faulty materials are met with surprise. Indeed, the building has been well maintained. Concrete surfaces are clean and I can see no damage to the original design. Among the minor complaints I overhear is a wish for a more well-balanced distribution of temperature throughout a building that falls under the category ‘architecture of analogy’: the structure resembles a dragon with a head, body and tail.
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