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La Biennale di Venezia

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Amateur Architecture Studio

How to ‘legalize’ spontaneously-built illegal structures in the city by means of design

Wang Shu; Lu Wenyu


Amateur Architecture Studio teach, test materials, build prototypes, change people’s opinions and seek to give people time to see another way to progress. This does not involve the obliteration of the past, but which finds a way to weave contemporary wishes with re-assessed crafts, valuing culture. Kenneth Frampton writes in the exhibition entitled The Architect’s Studio at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark: “Based in Hangzhou, Wang Shu and Lu Wenyu have witnessed first-hand the juggernaut of maximising Chinese modernisation from its impact on their own city. Three decades ago, Hangzhou had been expressly chosen by them as a desirable place in which to live and work, largely because of CP01 its venerable artistic traditions and its harmonious rapport with nature...”. Amateur Architecture Studio brings Chinese landscape paintings to life and into life; they are enriched by them, observing that these paintings invite you to come in, to enter them spatially. Using pencils, not computers, they are guardians of place and atmosphere. ‘Found’ gaps within the evolving urban fabric of the village of Guashan provide Amateur Architecture Studio with the research opportunity to develop prototypes within tiny slivers of FREESPACE. Here, they intelligently manipulate space to provide the migrant worker and low-income earner with invention and considered dignity.

Central Pavilion
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Biennale Architettura
Biennale Architettura