kengo kuma, zaha hadid, and MAD's architecture in new china captured by kris provoost

kengo kuma, zaha hadid, and MAD's architecture in new china captured by kris provoost

exploring the possibilities of china — the country, which significantly developed over the last decade —, belgium-born and asia-based photographer kris provoost reflects on the new architecture in booming second-tier cities. following up the previous ‘beautified china I’, the ‘beautified china II’ photo series of iconic buildings designed by famous architects, such as kengo kuma, zaha hadid, MAD, GPM architekten and others, aims to understand how to find a compromise between preserving the rich heritage of the country and keep on developing contemporary destinations.

chongqing grand theater
architect: GMP architekten
place: chongqing 
year: 2009



the foreground of provoost’s series are shape, color, and pattern — the elements every architect has to deal with daily. the images show strong contrasts between shapes, but perhaps even more between different cities.

hongkou soho
architect: kengo kuma
place: shanghai 
year: 2015



the structures stand out because of a strong use of color (guotai arts center, china architecture design group), its fluid shapes (harbin grand theater, MAD), or its symbolism (canton tower, information based architecture). ‘each building is taken out of context — all that’s left is its pure shape,’ explains the photographer. ‘this allows me, as an architect, to study and better understand the design that makes the building the way it is. for me, beautified china encapsulates my career both as an architect and photographer.’

canton tower
architect: information based architecture
place: guangzhou 
year: 2010


guangxi culture and arts center
architect: GMP architekten
place: nanning 
year: 2018


harbin grand theater
architect: MAD architects
place: harbin 
year: 2015


3 cubes
architect: GMP architekten
place: shanghai 
year: 2015


guotai arts center
architect: china architecture design group
place: chongqing 
year: 2013


tianjin exploratorium
architect: bernard tschumi
place: tianjin 
year: 2018


guangdong museum
architect: rocco design
place: guangzhou 
year: 2010


ningbo gateway
architect: RSH+P
place: ningbo 
year: 2017


sky SOHO
architect: zaha hadid architects
place: shanghai 
year: 2014


museum of modern art
architect: atelier deshaus
place: shanghai
year: 2017


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: maria erman | designboom

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