Ren; The People’s Building

To start off, all of you architects / know-it-alls [same thing, I know] out there need to suspend your criticism briefly to enjoy this project. Yes, it would be [somewhat] structurally complicated, and no, nobody seems to know how elevators and all that junk would work. But who cares? Point is, Ren, designed by the Danish firm PLOT [now split into BIG and JDS] is pretty sick looking.

The project is in the good ol’ People’s Republic of China, intended for the World Expo of 2010, which is set to take place in Shanghai. Here’s a description of the building from Eikongraphia, which I decided I wouldn’t bother rephrasing, since they were quoting it anyway:

‘The REN Building is a proposal for a hotel, sports and conference center for the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai. The building is conceived as two buildings merging into one. The first building, emerging from the water, is devoted to the activities of the body, and houses the sports and water culture center. The second building emerging from land, is devoted to the spirit and enlightment, and houses the conference center and meeting facilities. The two buildings meet in a 1000 room hotel, a building for living. The building becomes the Chinese sign for ‘The People’, and a recognizable landmark for the World Expo in China.’


The most interesting aspect of this project [outside of the obvious interest in its form] is what it and the growing number of new projects in China suggest about communism and architecture. Discussions of form and all that aside, does communism promote ‘better’ architecture than capitalism? I mean, they’re not necessarily designing everything to be the cheapest project possible all the time [as the recent work there shows].

I’d suggest peeping the entire article here, at Eikongraphia, as its [pretty] interesting.
More on this project [and a bunch of others] at BIG and JDS [interesting side-note: they both worked for OMA, which MNP will look into some other time, before starting off on their own]

Posted: November 15th, 2006
at 8:20am by AMNP

Categories: architecture,towering pagodas

Comments: 21 comments


Leave a Reply