100 Architects to Design City

by , 02/23/08
filed under: Architecture

mongolia, ordos, china, architecture, design, herzog and de meuron, jacques herzog, Ai Weiwei, fake design

If you had to pick 100 architects to build a city, who would you choose? That’s the challenge posed by Jian Yuan Water Engineering, which has commissioned a plan to create one hundred villas in the city of Ordos, Inner Monglolia, China, comprised of 100 different design solutions by 100 up-and-coming architects. None other than Jacques Herzog of Herzog and De Meuron headed up the selection of emerging architectural talents from all over the world!

Herzog has chosen architects from 27 different countries – 22 from the US, 14 from Switzerland, 9 from Mexico, 7 from France and everywhere in between. Each architect will have a 1000 square meter parcel for them to realize their vision. The project masterplan will be spearheaded by Chinese artist and architectural designer Ai Weiwei of Fake Design.

So what is it like to be selected for this project? ““It’s really surreal… a wonderful step into the unknown,” said Simon Conder, the only British architect selected for the competition. The project, if it goes ahead as planned, will be finished by the end of this year. Needless to say, as design enthusiasts we are definitely excited about seeing the results of this diverse project.

+Ordos 100
+Herzog picks 100 architects for Inner Mongolia housing project @ BdOnline

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  4. citicritter March 1, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    SW, you are wrong on several counts: 1. you certainly didn’t hurt my feelings. 2. these are not “large projects they will never realize in their own countries” — this entails a single house per architect ; and BIG, Mass Studies Atelier Bow Wow among others have realized far bigger projects in their home countries (some of their countries being in Asia as well). 3. You presume to know “my generation”, but you have no clue…In the end, as I said above, BAD or NO design is, as many people see it, one of the biggest problems behind the massive unchecked growth within parts of the developing world.

  5. sw February 28, 2008 at 10:17 am

    I am sorry cc I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings but ask an up and coming young Asian architect designer what he /she truly think about this and to be honest they will tell you exactly what you want to hear because the reality is really painful.

    These western firms treat China, Middle East and Central Asia as a colonial test bed for large projects they will never realise in their own countries and go all Oklahoma – there are serious repercussions for the communities they are designing for whom they do not have the time to get to know and there are catastrophic drawbacks as herzog and de meuron discovered to their displeasure

    when all your jobs are outsourced to china and india, the next generation who have as much flair and potential as yours, I think you’ll finally get it

    So I maybe will leave the design profession to the ‘others’.

  6. citicritter February 26, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    Not all architects are “part of the problem”. If that’s your feeling, sw, leave the design profession to others. Bad or no design is a major part of the problem of sprawling development all around the globe.

    QingYun Ma just lectured in SF last night (yeah, I’m from the Bay Area, hence my being psyched about the inclusion of an SF architect on a list like this that’s typically all NY/LA for the US) , and he spoke about the reality of how buildings at all scales in China are a such a product of massive amounts of hand labor; having little or no design involved is not going to alter that fact.

    Plus who said these architects have an “unlimited budget”? And they certainly won’t have unlimited materials in Inner Mongolia. As for the slave labor comment: that’s BS — I’m sure local laborers there will be happy to have the work. You might as well indict all of China’s progress while you’re at it. Sure, there are issues regarding the massive development in China and its environmental impact, but the scale of this project is a drop in the bucket, with at least (we can assume) decent design quality resulting from the effort.

    Maybe someone in the 100 will do a yurt…will that make you happy, sw?

  7. sw February 26, 2008 at 8:13 am


    yet another grand masterplan for the rich and powerful – congratulations to the architects involved with an unlimited budget, materials and slave labour you can create heaven on earth

    when are we as architects going to realise that we are part of the problem?

  8. citicritter February 25, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    This is exciting — some great architects involved: Mass Studies, BIG, Atelier Bow-Wow, R&Sie, NL Architects, Rojkind, Aravena, Tatiana Bilbao, LTL, nArchitects, JohnstonMarklee, Teddy Cruz, MOS, WORK and IwamotoScott representin SF no less!.

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