Two Sides of Sinan Lu

Standing in the middle of Sinan Lu (思南路), facing Fuxing West Lu (复兴西路) in Shanghai’s French Concession, one noted commercial development and ostentatious luxury stood face to face with the ghosts of past riches. Yet history and the present are embodied by the tradition of old European-styled villas. Only, the villas on the right had its layout redesigned, foundations tilted sideways, its innards replaced with modern amenities (lifts!), and the courtyards beautified with plenty of commercial landscaping. On the other side of the street stood the original structures, tired, broken down and empty of its occupants.

Inner Mongolia’s Empty City

Ordos 100 project architects wander the emptiness of Inner Mongolia. Photo by Flickr user mi schoner In August, I came across an intriguing photo in Tokyo’s Mori Museum — a group of what appeared to be a group of urban sophisticates wandering, seemingly lost, in a desert landscape. The image was part of an exhibit […]

Posted in: Architecture, Asia Pacific, Video by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on Inner Mongolia’s Empty City , , , ,

Vertically Challenged

The Midtown West intersection was windswept and deserted, save for two fighting children. To their right, a weed-strewn lot, some freshly-painted tags, a shopping cart filled with someone’s belongings from some far-off store called “Buy Buy Baby”, a long-unnecessary construction cone. To their left: an empty, suburban-style Mercedes dealership, out-of-place, surreal — just a little […]

Location, Location, Location

Building the new Shanghai.

Posted in: Asia Pacific by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Location, Location, Location , ,

Better Lives Come Tomorrow

New developments and recycling at Yonge and Eglinton

Posted in: Canada by Karl Leung Comments Off on Better Lives Come Tomorrow ,

Construction Site

It would be a bit of an understatement to say that downtown Calgary is in the midst of a construction boom. Construction explosion, more like it. Nearly two dozen new condominium and office towers are under construction in the city’s compact centre; some are destined for obscurity but others, like Norman Foster’s The Bow, which […]

Posted in: Canada by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Construction Site , ,

Under Construction

Admit it: at least once, while walking past a big construction site, you’ve stopped to gaze down at the workers below, scurrying like safety-vested ants as they pour concrete and install girders. You probably weren’t alone. Chances are, others joined you, equally transfixed. Julie Favreau and Caroline Dubois hope to capture that kind of attention […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Canada by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Under Construction ,

Rebuilding Woodwards

For as long as I have been visiting Vancouver, the abandoned Woodwards department store has loomed over the Downtown Eastside, a hulking reminder of the neighbourhood’s long decline into commercial and social oblivion. For more than a decade, developers and government squabbled over what to do with the site. In 2002, an organized squat took […]

Posted in: Canada, Heritage and Preservation by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Rebuilding Woodwards , ,

How Would You Like Your Pine and Park?

By Montreal standards, it was a remarkably quick construction project. Perhaps that is because it mostly involved deconstruction: an entire interchange dismantled and replaced with a straightforward, easy-to-negotiate and pedestrian-friendly surface intersection. It has already been several months since the revamped Pine/Park interchange was opened. Since then, I’ve come to appreciate its wide sidewalks and […]

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