Recently, there have been many publications regarding architecture in China; coffee table books with big, glossy photographs featuring the latest architectural works and their makers. Although the quality of the printing is indeed exceptional and the photographs nice to look at, their content is way too general and they give the reader no more than shallow pleasure at their content.
Indeed, it is hard to pinpoint what helps us understand a building; is it based on personal experience of the space? On the quality of photographs presented? Perhaps one way to understand such a complicated process is to begin at the roots. Masters At Work thus tries to fill the gap between the question and the answer by going in between and having a closer look at the architectural process.
In recent years, big building projects in China have tended to call for large-scale international competitions in order to decide as to whom the task of designing the project should go to. In lieu with these competitions, many foreign firms have been invited to try their luck and nine times out of ten the project almost always goes to the foreign firms. This in turn has produced mixed results within both the Chinese building community and the public.
In some cases, the foreign architect taken on to do the project have little or no knowledge about China and thus produce results that are far from what is needed and desired. In turn, the chances of local architects and design institutes of participating in big projects have become very slim as most times, foreign firms have are preferred by clients. This is the result of people currently in power blindly advocating that foreign offices are much better than local ones and that by getting a well-known architect to do the work would help put China onto the architectural map. These prejudices against local talent have raised antipathy from the public who in turn do not know anything about these foreign architects, and are wary of the furor that these architects could create owing to their possible ignorance of local laws, as well as cultural and value systems.
Masters at work tries to bridge this gap by introducing three Japanese architects who, by the projects that they have built in the area have made a name for themselves in China. They have done their best to understand local culture and to imbibe local flavor into their work. Their projects have been seen to belong not only to them, but also to the environment in which they are situated.
The projects featured in this book have already been built or are in the process of being built in China. It is the author’s hope this sneak-peek into the design process of the buildings will help bring about a new understanding of the works, and thus help people see these buildings through the architectfs eyes.
This book helps us to experience the buildings from the point of their conception, through the ever-changing design process, up until the day we walk into them and experience them for ourselves. Only then may we be able to pierce the cloud of uncertainty that swirls around current architectural trends in China.
Furthermore, it is the authorfs hope to continue to publish books in this manner; eschewing fancy photographs, glossy covers and superficial, redundant information in lieu of substantial, comprehensive and analytical content. This in turn will benefit not only the public but also young architects aspiring to the profession.
A member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering academe
Oct. 16, 2003
Professor of the University of Tsinghua
Tsinghua Yuan, Beijing, China
从二十一世纪世纪之交开始，发生在中国的建筑活动中有很多都应该记录下来。更多的国际知名建筑师在中国的出现更加激起了无数人的关注和争论。大家议论的焦点都围绕着新的建筑形式上，从建筑设计本身出发的学术讨论却非常少。重要的建筑事件需要全面地进行考察、剖析、研究，需要强调的是应该是事件产生背景、产生机制和产生过程。吴良镛先生在中国建筑学会2000年年会上呼吁应该从学术的角度对中国歌剧院1 的设计展开更为深入的讨论2 的呼声令人深思。建筑是去创造和构筑具有“新”的价值的行为，而它的过程要超越物理的、经济的、社会的各种各样的障碍3 。在面向新世纪的中国重要建筑的创造中，中国建筑师将自己的理念反映到建筑空间上时我们究竟投入了多少？我们所依据的设计思想何在？现在是我们去认真思考作为建筑创作本身的时候了。
在《Masters at Work》一书中，我客观地叙述总结建筑师在一定阶段或者一个特定的区域内进行的建筑创作活动，引导人们理解动态的建筑创作过程。它与一般的建筑作品集最大的不同之处在于，它围绕着一定的固定的主题，通过留在略带泛黄的草图纸上无数飞驰而过的线条，不断修正的CG效果图，反复堆砌的工作模型，现场施工中日记本式的记录资料等不断变化的数据，体验建筑转换过程中的实际变化，将抽象的、暧昧的、跳跃的、无形的建筑创作过程具体化、形象化、系统化、物质化。它增加了我们接触实际创作过程的机会，无论是对于那些渴求了解、还是深知建筑创作艰难性的人们而言，能够直接用自己的双眼，用自己的身心去感受，接受存在和展现在眼前的一座建筑、一个理念形成的过程中所辐射出来的能量，去享受主动交流带来的刺激，这是一种未曾体验过的享受。
这本书是一本刻画建筑的精神的书。一座大型公共建筑往往要存在于世上为社会服务几十年、一百年以上，它的存在不仅仅占据了有限的空间，而且也充斥着人们有限的视线。当年埃菲尔铁塔4 突破巴黎的天际线时候，多少人惊呼它是怪物，但是它是代表了先进的生产力和生产技术。时间证明，人们最终接受了它。雅典卫城5 之所以伟大，不是因为它使用了多么昂贵的材料和复杂的工艺，不在于它意味着有多么伟大的历史意义，而是在于作为建筑而言，它体现了建筑永恒的精神，这种精神就是建筑师、营造它的工匠，通过漫长的过程赋予它的，这是我们应该执著追求的建筑的本质。它赋予了建筑生命力和感染力。相反，具有时装效益的建筑虽然有华丽的外表，但是一旦它变得肮脏了、破旧了，它就会污染人们的视线，甚至是刚刚竣工的建筑就像一个重病的老人垂危地站立在楼群之中，由于缺少建筑的精神，它只有一个躯壳，如同一个人没有思想一样，它的存在仅仅停留在功能的使用上。它虽然是新生，却同时走向死亡。
另外，这本书又是一本参考书，它是学习建筑创作的参考书，也是捕捉当今建筑发展国际化动向的参考书。自90年代开始，很多国外的事务所，由于本国建筑市场的萎缩，设计任务无法饱和，迫切需要开拓海外建筑市场；而国内的建筑师们，面对国外的建筑势力在国内项目投标中屡屡中标，夺走了一个又一个重要的项目，中国建筑师的空间受到越来越多的挤压7 。双方都在迫切地寻找前景和出路。这是我选择了这个时机，克服众多阻力和压力推出了这本《Masters at Work》一书的原因之一，它展示以中国建筑舞台为大背景的建筑师的设计过程。通过他们的影响力和创作力，激发起我们的共鸣，帮助我们从中吸取别人的成功和失败的经验。另外，它从一个方面展示了在中国经济飞速发展之机步入中国市场的国外事务所进行的建筑设计竞赛或者实际工程所面临的问题，以及它们的解决之道。它的优势在于“国外”，而它的弱势也在于“国外”。如果在方案阶段，国外的建筑师们还可能闭门造羹的话，到了实际工程阶段将不得不融入到中国这一具体、复杂的大环境中。对于长期在日本从事建筑设计与理论研究的我而言，也希望给那些在中国屡战屡败、或是犹豫不决的国外建筑设计事务所提供全面了解在中国进行建筑创作活动的机会。所以这里的“参考”对于中外建筑师而言是双重的意义。
一个新的概念需要反复的推敲，需要在不断发展中逐步完善。《Masters at Work》是我对于读解建筑设计理论实践活动的尝试。正如日本著名建筑师黑川纪章先生对笔者谈到的“（年轻建筑师）需要学学习的不仅仅是可以看到的设计，还有蕴藏在形式深处给予人们感动的精神文化，作为魂的强烈的意志。以此去创作可以经得起历史考验的建筑。”我希望这本书可以成为建筑师静下心来思考建筑设计的场所，但愿它为繁荣建筑设计和设计理论贡献微薄之力。
THE ORIGIN AND PROCESS OF ARCHITECTURE DESIGN
Much of the new architecture in China since the beginning of the new millennium has generated both attention and controversy from many people, it is this commentary that I want to high like here. The focus of these discussions has been primarily concerned with the form and style of the new buildings rather than an academic discussion concerning architecture itself. Important architectural events should be evaluated, dissected, and analyzed from many perspectives with emphasis on the architectural process rather than the designer personally or the incidental successes and failures of the design.
Liangyong Wu, a famous Chinese architect and academician, made an appeal to the Architectural Society of China during its 2000 annual meeting, to engage in more serious academic analysis of the design for the China Opera House. In the creative processes of important architectural designs of the new century he asked, to what extent have Chinese Architects have been involved in this architecture and how can we infuse their architectural philosophy into the spatial organization of the architecture? What can we learn from their design ideas?
When we focus on an event in architecture, especially after its completion, we should focus more on the process of architecture than the result. The comprehension of an architect concerning the building reflects his collective consideration regarding architectural form, culture, environment, sustainable development, landscape, energy conservation, ecology, material, technology, function, craftsmanship and details. They not only exist in the spatial form with lights and shadows displayed in front of the audiences but more important were reflected in the process of architecture.
The process of making architecture is long and dynamic it is however different from those concepts and understandings we currently hold concerning the actual architecture of a building. We generally consider the process of architecture as linear involving four distinct phases, the conception of an idea, the development of these ideas into a design, the construction of this design and the finally how the building is utilized. As the design gradually evolves toward something that can be changed into actualization, there does no clear boundary exist the highly socialized activity as what architecture does? The rules and regulations of a competition can be discarded in pursuit of a unique design and then the design intentions can be changed due to site requirements during the construction phase. During the process of the design, architects will remain in consultation and conflict with a wide segment array of people. This illustrates the changes in thinking methods due to the influence of Modernism. Every building built becomes an important means to exhibit the status of the owner and the monetary value, call it “Time + Space” that can be earned from that building. However the work of an architect is an expression of duality striking a balance between ideality and reality, the abstract and materiality, along with concrete functions and a well-ordered spatial system, full of contradiction.
When we seek to capture architectural concepts we are generally restricted to architectural magazines, it is hard for us to directly approach the design process of the Master architects. We often only see the “final result” through the lens of the professional photographer, portrayed as a carefully controlled reproduction or as an exquisite piece of artwork. The process of design itself is hidden beneath the surface of the building and its images, going largely unnoticed, unseen or ignored by the viewer. Generally the process is imperfect, revealing more problems, complicating the understanding of the final result to us.
In “Masters at Work” I attempt to objectively narrate and summarized the architectural design process as it has occurred within a defined time period or specific region so as to provide a guide to understanding the dynamic process of architectural design as employed by Ito, Takamatsu and Yamamoto. For these architects from the initial lines on sketch paper to the study models, everything is worked and reworked again and again. The collection of these endeavors here creates a snap shots of an architect fieldwork displayed in diary format which will hopefully help us read and comprehend the process of design in the architect’s mind, something that is abstract, vague and intangible.
The focus of this book is the process; it primarily concerned with the “Process”, NOT the “Result.” Process is not a simple augmentation to and repetition of phases nor can it be simply summarize. Its explanation requires the study models, sketches and procedure in a step-by-step manner. Any mature design is basing on a serious of attempts and failures. A successfully completed design is preceded by numerous experiments some of which are failures but all of which pave the way to the end result.. A record of the work cannot be restricted to the final version itself and should be understood together with its associated versions in the process to completion. Understanding the relationships between the elements of the process in the work of these architects will help us perform a comprehensive analysis of the progressive evolvement of an idea from its formation to its maturity. In these comparisons, we may be able to discover the essence of the design by tracing through an architect’s design process. I like to call this “The Traces of Architecture.”, it is a kind of culture. Once a design becomes a successful, consequent designs, construction drawings and actual construction will extend its “traces”. If a design lose the competition, its traces quickly fade away from the memory with the time going.
To reveal the architectural design process involved I have spent a year interviewing the architects and their key staff, visiting their projects, stiffed through thousands of sketches culminating in a process of comprehending the accumulated data that makes up this book.
The construction is quite different from the work in design phase. The architect will have to face different problems on site. The construction site is the platform for changing the architect’s idea into reality �C the design on the paper being embodied, materialized and built up. The construction site is therefore a very important factor in the design of a building. I have tried to collect the pictures of the site, sketches and detailed drawings about the construction; I also investigated the site, interviewed the staff in site and the architect himself. The form of this book is also a accumulation in process.
This book also deals with the spirit of architecture. A large public building can serve society for scores years, its existence may not only fill skyline of the city but it will often fill a social icon roll as well.. When completed the Eiffel Tower standing on the edge of the river Seine broke the skyline of Paris whose citizens condemned it as a monster. However it represents a leap forward in construction, technology, social progress and with the passage of time people accepted the tower as a masterpiece. The Acropolis is also great, not just because of the use of costly materials or complexity in construction, or because of its historical value, It is great because it embodies the eternal spirit of architecture which the architect and craftsmen who built it endowed it with. This eternal spirit of architecture, which embodies the architecture with life and makes it impressiveness should be something that architects strive to achieve in the pursuit of architecture. A successful architecture should exist for life.
On the contrary, the modern building with a fashionable façade has the benefit of vogue, but once it turns dirty or goes out of fashion, it will without doubt crowds the street and pollutes our views. Even for a recently completed building of such kind, it will stands as an ailing elder among others. A building without spirit is just a shell similar to a man without a soul; the only reason for the existence of such buildings will be the functional value. The birth of such a building is a precursor to its own death.
I have included not only completed project in the book but have also included competitions that the three architects have completed.
In competitions the result is everything. Many large and important projects are designed and awarded based on a competition.
Most architects have repeatedly lost competitions however the media usually only focuses on the winning entry with the unsuccessful entries getting nothing more than a brief mention. For architects even a project that fails to win a useful part of the process of developing ideas, styles and themes in their personal development as architects. Competitions are unpredictable, with many factors that influence the outcome that are beyond the architect’s ability to control or influence. Generally there is very little interest in what the architect did in preparing for the competition and its final presentation. The often the actual presentation is very brief perhaps only 15 minutes but the design itself may have taken many people thousands of hour and many months work. Everyone knows that there must be a great many ideas embodied the design process that can’t be seeing in the final presentation. What I have tried to capture in this book is the effort and sprit of the submission through all the stages of its development. I attempt to present the traces of such things show the spirit of architecture, the spirit of design.
This book also represents the designing concepts of architects. I have covered 16 projects by Toyo Ito, Shin Takamatsu, and Riken Yamamoto, how had worked in China tens years ago or just has been working with their new projects. The concepts of one architect can be read from a series of works, not just in one great building; the earlier buildings indicate the direction for mature works The process being dynamic, the architect can not consistently follow through with his concept, however, in a series of work, he will have the opportunity in a relatively quiescence or pause to evaluation his previous works, and further develop his concepts for future creations. This book don’t want to guided everybody to judge the works is not to the fault, but the objective one, it is a platform to construct one that describe the process of design of each architect, through which we can talk with the architect himself directly.
This book also tries to demonstrate the problems that foreign architectural firms face in a rapidly developing China whist at the same time it also highlights some of the weaknesses of Chinese architects - they need to stay develop there own direction and establish their own rationales and refuse to blindly follow. As a member of GATT China will open-up it’s the architectural market by 2005. Since the 1990s a large number of foreign architects have been practicing in China’s architectural design market. The impact and influence that they have brought have been more far-reaching and will last longer than those of any other period in time. For some foreign firms, they are facing a withering of domestic markets, the unfulfilled design capacity and the need to open up the overseas market urgently. Domestic Chinese architects have become accustomed to foreign architectural firms repeatedly winning competitions for important projects and this is putting them under pressure. It is in the environment and at this juncture that I wrote this book �C “Masters at Work” in hope of presenting the design processes used by some prominent Japanese architects who are engaged in projects and competitions in China. It is hoped that this book will help in the analysis of the architects design processes, allowing us to learn from experiences of others and develop our own ideas. The theory and design of foreign firms have to stand the test of local regulation and verification by the local market. Their advantage lies in the fact that they come from abroad but is also their weakness. If the foreign architects can work in an enclosed room during the design phase without thinking anything about the situation, then in the construction phase, they must enter the complex environment in China. I hope this book will offer a chance to those architectural firms contemplating entry to the Chinese construction market offering an insight to understand how to implement the architectural designs in China. This book will serve as a reference to both foreign architecture firms and to local architects.
A new concept requires repeated deliberation and continuous development. “The Architecture Process Record” is an attempt that I have made to practice architectural theories. As the famous Japanese architect Kishyo Kurogawa talked with me about the process of Chinese architecture, “the youth architects need to study not only the virubal form of design, but also learn the spirit and cutural which is deeply contained within the form moved us. The soul of will is the most important of design... to create the architecture withstanding the proof of the history. ” I hope it will be a platform for the architects who will sit down and begin to think the meaning of the spirit of architecture. I hope it can make a meaningful contribution to the prospering of China’s architectural design and design theory.
Hongo Campus, University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, August 2003
著 译 者：叶晓健
出 版 社：中国建筑工业出版社
书 号：ISBN 7-112-06463-5
定 价：168 元