The China List: Ole Scheeren, Architecture
Wallpaper* and China’s Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Development Fund (CHSDF) present China By Design—a celebration of Chinese cultural heritage and the many global creatives who have been inspired by it. Explore the full list here.
Having set up Büro Ole Scheeren (BOS) in Beijing in 2010, after eight years as OMA’s head in China (leading, among others, the studio’s iconic CCTV HQ project), the German architect Ole Scheeren has a portfolio steeped in Chinese culture and experiences.
‘Through our focus on Asia over the course of the last decade, we have been able to explore possibilities that didn’t exist anywhere else in the world during this period,’ he explains. ‘And not only in terms of scale and progressiveness; there was also just a sheer need to redefine the future in Asia. Now we can explore and rethink everything we learned in Asia in different contexts.
His recent and ongoing work includes towers in Singapore and Thailand, as well as projects in the US. Scheeren’s approach, looking at architecture as ‘the space where stories unfold’, knows no borders and can be applied to different scenarios, drawing at the same time strongly on its surroundings. ‘I see our work as a tool to open, enrich and enlarge the possibilities of the stories that people live in their environment,’ he says.
Nowhere is this truer than in BOS’s Guardian Art Center in Beijing, an auction house and cultural hub completed in 2018. The building combines the site’s past, present and future, effortlessly mixing traditional Chinese references with modern technologies and contemporary design, all in a contextual way that befits the project’s site, just a stone’s throw from the Forbidden City.§