Platform for local architects
As China hosts numerous international conferences, this has brought opportunities for local architects to show their talent.
Liu Fanglei, deputy chief architect of the Beijing Institute of Architectural Design, is among those who have shown their ability to combine modernity with tradition.
From the 2014 APEC Summit and last year’s G20 Summit to the BRICS meeting to be held later this year, Liu has designed many structures for these major events.
He was the main designer for the Belt and Road summit venue. The meeting was held in Beijing in May.
Before he designs venues, he goes to the area to seek inspiration from the local landscape, history and architecture.
For the APEC Summit site, Liu traveled around Beijing to do his research. Then, inspired by the lines and silhouettes of traditional Chinese architecture in the Han (206 BC-AD 220) and the Tang (618-907) dynasties, he designed a structure with the classic flying rafter.
As China has become a test bed for many Western architects, Liu says, it is important to raise the awareness of Chinese architecture.
“We should dive into our own culture to create architecture,” says Liu, 46.
Following the APEC Sum- mit in 2014, Liu designed the G20 Summit venue in Hangzhou, a place known for its landscapes and culture.
The structure was inspired by the landscape and the pavilions in East China, creating an atmosphere that makes people feel they are surrounded by gardens and lakes.
Now, for the BRICS Summit in September, Liu says the structure will reflect the diversity and beauty of Xiamen, which was part of the ancient Maritime Silk Road.
For Liu, traditional Chinese architecture provides him with inspiration. And he tries to maintain harmony between people and nature in his work.
“If you don’t like your culture, then it’s hard to get other people to like it,” he says.
If you don’t like your culture, then it’s hard to get other people to like it.” Liu Fanglei, architect
The APEC Summit site in Beijing is among the structures designed by Liu Fanglei.