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Dutch Architects in China


Most of the high-end architecture design market in China has been controlled by foreign architects, which can account for about 30% of the total market share in China. Among the global top 200 architect firms, more than 140 have already entered the Chinese market.

The Dutch architects, as all western, represent the modern architecture and possess more professional skills and experience.  Therefore, western designers are more taking into account in the biding of huge projects organized by the government. These include competitions for public architecture, urban planning and urban design projects. Western architects entering the Chinese market are faced with the very reality that this will only be successful when Chinese decision makers are willing to pay more for better designs. Therefore, the middle and low-end architectural design market belongs to local architects and offices.  

KuiperCompagnons is a multi-disciplinary company with about 135 employees. The company is active in the fields of spatial planning, urban planning, architecture and landscaping. Projects in China include Dongli Lake Phase III (Client - Vanke Real Estate Co Ltd.), encompassing 290 houses with access at ground level, 240 apartments and a small-scale commercial city centre. Construction commenced at the beginning of April 2007. Winning competition entries include the Eyeland of Falcon (Client - Shenzhen Municipal Planning Agency) and participation in international competition in Changjiang Road – Tianjin (Client - Tianjin Vanke New & Keen Real Estate Company Limited), Suqian Lake Gardens (Client - Suqian Urban Planning Bureau, Suqian Municipal Government), Sixin Area – Wuhan (Client - Municipality of Wuhan), Urban Conceptual Masterplan for Jiangmen new Riverside Area (Client - Urban Planning Bureau of Jiangmen City) and New Netherlands Town – Shanghai (Client - Shanghai New Gaoqiao Development Co. Ltd.), a limited competition was held amongst three Dutch architectural companies to realise the architectural elaboration of an area measuring about 500,000 m2.

OMA is the world leading architecture office spearheaded by Rem Koolhaas. Projects include Prada Shanghai (2005-ongoing), CCTV with ECADI (East China Architecture & Design Institute) (2002, under construction, Client China Central Television (CCTV)), Shenzhen Stock Exchange (2006, under construction, Client Shenzhen Stock Exchange). Competition entries include China National Museum (Beijing, 2004, Client National Museum of China), Beijing Books Building with BIAD (Beijing Institute of Architectural Design) (Beijing, 2003, Client Beijing Books Building Co. Ltd., first prize), Beijing Central Business District (CBD) with Associate Architect Mada Spam Shanghai (Beijing, 2003, Client Beijing Municipal Institute of City Planning and Design, Beijing CBD Development and Construction Co., Ltd.), Guangzhou Opera House (Guangzhou, 2002, Client Guangzhou Urban Planning Bureau) and Shenzhen: Crystal Island competition with Urbanus (Shenzhen, 2009)

NEXT architects, office for architecture, urbanism and design based in Amsterdam and Beijing. Together with local partner Haya architects, their projects include Beijing Office (2005), Huan Yang Retail (Beijing, 2006), Waterstone Salescenter (Beijing, 2008), and HYDS Plaza (Beijing, 2006). Under construction are the ABB Green Building (Beijing, 2009), Office Arena (Beijing, 2008), G6 Twist (Beijing, 2008), IBM R&D Center (Beijing, 2007) and Xidan Mall (Beijing, 2007).

INFORMATION BASED ARCHITECTURE (IBA) is based in Amsterdam who won in 2004 the First Prize in invited competition for the Guangzhou TV-station (Guangzhou, near completion, 2009). Their client is the Guangzhou Xin Xin TV and Sightseeing Co. Ltd. and Guangzhou municipal Construction Commission & Guangzhou Urban Planning Bureau. For the construction they worked together with Arup and the Guangzhou Design Institute (LDI). IBA was also selected as one of three winners in invited international competition for the headquarter building for Guangzhou Television, China and selected as one of three winners in invited international competition for the Guangzhou Cycling, Roller Skating and Extreme Sport Center.

VMX Architects are based in Amsterdam. In 2008 the office announced that on invitation of the Jiang Yuan Water Engineering Company, VMX Architects designed a 32.000 m2 contemporary international hotel for the city of Ordos in Inner Mongolia, China.

NL Architects are based in Amsterdam. In 2008 the office was invited to participate in the ORDOS100-project by the Jiang Yuan Water Engineering Company, in the city of Ordos in Inner Mongolia, China. The 1.000 m2 villa is expected to be completed by 2010.

MVRDV is a Rotterdam-based architecture office. They have teamed up with Chinese real estate developer TEDA Vantone to build a large residential development (240,000-square-meter) in the center of Tianjin. For construction they work together with local partner Tianjin Architects & Consulting Engineers. In July 2009, news was released that the construction of this project was well underway.

UNStudio is based in Amsterdam. In July 2009 the office announced the design of new mixed-use Raffles City in Hangzhou. The client is real-estate investor CapitaLand and they collaborate with Hangzhou LDI China United Engineering Corporation. Planned realisation: 2012.

Niek Roosen is a Dutch landscape architect who in the past decade has been working in China. In collaboration with Dutch architecture offices and Chinese client he has been able to construct the designs for the Changbai, Inner river, (i.c.w. Frank Roodbeen and ZUS), client Shenyang City Government China, Shenyang, 2006-2008; Central park Expo 2010, (i.c.w.Nita Shanghai, PPH, PPO, Office of Ecology and Agriculture, Arcadis, Jacqueline van der Kloet, Meyer en van Schooten, ZUS), client World Expo 2010, Shanghai, 2006-2010; Wuhu Riverside Park, (i.c.w. with Nita Shanghai and architects Meyer & Van Schooten, Hans van Heeswijk, Claus en Kaan), client Chinese government, Wuhu 2006-2008; Lianhua Lotus Island, client Chinese government, Suzhou, 2007-2008; Baitang Scenic Park (i.c.w. Nita Shanghai) commissioned by the government of Suzhou, in 2004-2006.

The Dynamic City Foundation (DCF) is a research and design institute focused on the rapid transformations of China's urban landscape. Led by Dutch architect Neville Mars, DCF has published in 2008 “The Chinese Dream, a Society under Construction” (010 Publishers) and between February 2008 and May 2009 Neville Mars was Chief Architect and Planner Crystal CG Beijing, China. Exhibitions of his work include the Shenzhen Biennale (Shenzhen, 2008), D.E.A.F. (Rotterdam, 2007) and Code Blue (Beijing, 2006). His work has been supported by (amongst others) BKVB, Stimuleringsfonds voor Architectuur, Dutch Embassy Beijing and V2.

Since 2006, Cie. Asia is based in Shanghai and directed by Jason Lee, who has experience working with de Architekten Cie. in Amsterdam. Projects in Asia range from architectural assignments to large scale master planning. Cie. Asia has won several design competitions, as Tianjin Waterfront (in collaboration between DHV Amersfoort and DHV Shanghai) and DSM Headquarters in Shanghai.

Starting from the late 70's DHV has been involved in a great number of projects on the Chinese mainland. With the establishment of three offices (Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou) and a total number of staff of over 100 employees, DHV has built a solid base to provide services for the dynamic growth of the People's Republic of China. DHV China BV advises on designs and implements solutions in a broad variety of expertise: Water, Environment, Aviation, Building and Industry, Transportation, Integrated Urban Development. In this field of expertise DHV has been involved in the Nansha Deep Sea Port project, the Taicang Port Masterplan, the Olympic Water Sport Centre in Qingdao, the Shanghai and Dalian Yachting Industry Master development Plans.