Beijing Architecture and the Artistic Chaoyang Theatre Construction

Chaoyang Theatre Building Front

Chinese architecture started from ancient cave-dwellings, that are still inhabited on the flat yellow plains in varioust parts of Northern China. You ca be sure not to find any kinds of modern accomidites from these caves, but they don’t come without their benefits of course. For example, they are very warm in the winter as well as cool in the hot summer time. This and the also classic nest dwellings date back 7,000 years. If you want to look at where all this has lead up to, you only need to look into direction of the modern capital of today know as Beijing.

While largely the construction scene has been fully evelated to the current century, you can still see traces of the historical past. And even some, that has been erected only recently. While such examples are unfortunately few, we are lucky that there are some which reflects the genius behind Chinese architecture. In the old days, constructions were made to please the eye and sooth the soul on top of convenience and sustainability. Now the economic profit model has come into play, which is something that simply has to be accepted. There is no way turning back as China has become the rich country it is today. Instead, it’s better to focus on what is still revining the structural environment with respect to tradition. Another such place, is definitely the Chaoyang Theatre in Beijing that houses a nation-wide, as well as world famous acrobatic show.

As it is with most constructions, it is equally important what is happening inside the building than how it is constructed within it’s outer core. The best way to combine all these necessary elements into one, is through tourism. Chinese acrobatic troupes have provided this kind of a basis for traditional development for years now with occational but huge scale success. Just look at the times they have show at the Chaoyang Theatre, which is now a whopping four times a day. There is simply no way to look over this venue, as obviously there are important variety arts being acted out. To fascilitate such an amazing acrobatic show, they equally needed a building that would represent the venue itself in a traditional and respectful way. A theatre building that connects with something as ancient as Chinese acrobatics itself was the outcome.

As was the peak of Chinese architecture, during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Now it was time for Chaoyang District to show it’s capabilities. While boasting with several modern structures already, such as the CCTV Headquarters, a traditional flavor brought in exactly the kind of spirit that the place lacked. Best of all, with the right kind of sustainable mentality amongst all the beauty created over the years, we can expect the theatre construct to stay standing for centuries to come.

For those interested you can find the building at the location below, and don’t forget to go and watch the show too if needed. There are discount tickets available for advanced bookings. Check it out at the link within the article.

Address: 36 North East Third Ring Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China
Venue: Chaoyang Theatre | The Flying Acrobatics Show

More China construction news coming later!

The Well Being of Chinese Architecture

Chinese Architecture

One of the favorite subjects on architecture is China. Because it just shows you all the great examples of how things can be achieved in a traditional way, while now exploring the extreme heights of modern architecture. What interests us is the more traditional part, which is still prevalent even in modern building projects. Although many might have forgotten these old styles, without a doubt such a long history has it’s effect on every day lives of the Chinese people.

One important element is symmetry, which is just everywhere. From palaces to old farm houses, symmetry has been practiced with one exception however which is the Chinese garden. After all, you need to have balance even with symmetry and what better way to bring that into reflection than embracing what nature provides. Something however which is strikingly common from a very old age, is that just like in the modern days houses were fenced off to protect the inhabitants.

While it’s not all Fengshui, of course it’s an important part especially in the ancient times. But basically the goal is the same as in most constructions, which is to create an environment that is well fitted for living, for everyone. The way in which this is achieved however is very down to earth. Taking into account three elements (sancai), which are the heaven, earth and humans. When you think about it, it pretty much sums down everything that is needed for any design of the construction project. Except now they have different names and terminologies. If you have never heard of the doric order, lancet window or the martyrium, not to worry. Everyone has heard of happiness, well-being and health. Might sound obvious, but seems that in modern day architecture it is not. Or rather, as if the most necessary elements are so hidden in modern terminology that these ideals that should be true to any designer, are becoming lost and forgotten.

For us, architecture is all about prioritising. And whenever we feel like if there is any change that we might ahve lost our way. We look upon Fengshui and the basic elements of Chinese architecture. It gives us not just path, but our roots for those things that should not be forgotten. Architecture is more of a science than a profit machine. While we must accept the economic principles that govern much of the business around it, it is no excuse to make constructions that do not bring forth harmony in our planet and well-being in our selves. This is the value that IFAC teaches day and night, just to remember and bring awareness.

Problems of Large Scale Construction & Art

Large Housing Complex

The problem with our industry is it’s size. Without a doubt, the most creative and benefitial projects of our times within art and construction, are the ones that are smaller in scale. When you make something with dedication, it’s hard to stay focus when you have a corporation on your neck to worry about. It’s understandable, but that choice is a free one for all which I encourage everyone to think properly.. if it is something that they truly want or not.

Havin met with so many industry leaders through our conference and my travels in different countries, I can say that there is one thing that unites us all. Everyone wants to do the good thing. Never have I actually met someone in the construction business who wanted to do a bad work. Yet unfortunately this is often enough how things turn out in modern day industrialised environments. It is as if creation and passion has been left out of the equation, and design has become something mass produced. Mass perfected to create a low cost environment for those who want living solutions fast and now without thinking about long term consequences.

This is the very unfortunate outcome of today’s industrial leadership, and at IFAC we have always brought awareness towards that very issue. In a nutshell, the biggest responsability is of those who are in head positions of such companies. Lower workers are understandably subject to the command from above so to say. Which doesn’t mean that those people in executive positions are any more bad, it’s just that awareness has dissapeared. Decision making is based on economics, rather than the dozen or so other important factors that make up the big picture. By being aware of each step, one falls down and no longer wants to be competitive on the market. This over competitive attitude has become one of the biggest problems today. But there is hope, as people understand to invest in sustainability and beauty. Being in harmony with nature is worth every penny and we don’t need such competitive, nature destructive attitudes.

Spreading the word.

Golden Masked Passion for Theatre Construction in Beijing

Performing Golden Mask Dynasty Beijing

There are many architectural achievements, in fact so many that it is simply impossible to list even a fraction of them. That’s where passion of interest comes in handy. One that we have developed over the years. It didn’t always go as expected, indeed our passion for theatre buildings is something that took a sudden turn on our visit to China. One that has kept us busy for the past few years in our career of being an architecture. Since 2013 in fact, when we visited the capital city of Beijing we have been investigation several theatre venues which will be covered in future posts, including this one.

The international plainfield has always been the most rewarding. Just add in a colorful bunch of people from different backgrounds, cultures and add in a sense of tradionalism from the country natives. What you often get is a suprising effect of the original, as well as tradition that manages to touch peoples hearts. Yet, take them to new horizons which have are unexplored for the most part. The very recent which we had an honor of visiting in Beijing, was the theatre construction that hosts the fantastic show of golden mask dynasty. Every great story such as this, needs a magical construction to accompany the show. One which preferably has proper funding, so as not to prevent creativity to bloome at it’s fullest. China is an extremely exciting playground for architecture, especially when it comes to brilliant theatre venues as this one, where expressionism and individualism is at a new level. It’s all an odd mix to say the least, because China is far from individualism in it’s core.. yet you have these theatrical constructions that simply bloom with original ideas in peculiar Chinese contects. To understand this fantastic “OCT Theatre” building, at the lively happy valley in beijing, we need to look closer.

The strong relationship that we developed with this round and majestic building, is mostly thanks to the Golden Mask Dynasty Show that was presented to us within it. While we had heard much about the construction and how much money was put into it.. we had little idea about the performance we were about to see. In this ball shaped audience, you surround the stage from a 280degree angle. So that depending on where you are sitting, the show will look different. Now that is a design that is not new in China, but what has seen a new concept is how the stage performance takes that into advantage. Creating scenes that are very up and close to the spectators, and depending on the seat, it takes turn to give that special up and close moment to the viewer.

In a sense, we felt that the environment was like three dimensional. From the entrance, and the more you went inside the theatre building itself.. the more you felt like going deep into a three dimensional field. And don’t get us started on the stage.. which of course was bumped up with the latest equipment and technology money can find. Well that construction really feels like something special to us.. just like China is one of the most important countries to watch out for in terms of international architectural achievement. That’s the way we like it, and the nightlife in Beijing is simply magnificent! Check it out if you are interesting.. and we will cover more theatre and show venues soon!

IFAC 2013 Goals & Motives

Wooden Junction

We strongly believe in having a clear motive, as well as a goal in construction. This does come with a warning however. Because we have seen so many architects just sticking to the one thing, and refusing to change their style even after finding out that it might not be the most benefitial. For us, change is always an important element of design.. one which even us who embrace it have a difficult time with. But it’s exactly the reason that we are ready to change whenever we find our ways going to the wrong direction. It takes a lot of discipline and even courage to face oneself and the authorities breathing down your neck.

It’s really an endless battle between those who fund architectural projects and those who create them. One thing of course is that there needs to be balance between the two, and whoever is behind the project needs to respect the wishes of the paying customer. But this should never be a one way situation, and in fact we feel that the goals and motives should be the baseline of the work. If they match with the client, then work can start with a gracefull pace.

But then comes to financial motive, which makes us work for projects that don’t exactly fit the motive why we started in the profession in the first place. That’s why even that needs to be balanced out.. as everything it seems. So what can one do to tackle with so many issues and keep them in a good harmonious path all the time. At the IFAC 2013 we gave this issue a lot of thought since we want to encourage architects to make something that they are passionate about.

Over the course of so many years and so many mistakes, the answers were right in front of us. In those very mistakes are the answers, and ever since we have even encourage people to do them. Only that way one can find the right path, because each one is extremely individual. This must be the goal of the architect, one that takes the career to heights never seen before that everyone can enjoy because we can say..

Creativity has blossomed. Artistic beauty is here.

Those are the humble, yet ambitious Goals & Motives of the IFAC.

Practical to Ecological

Ecologic Construction

In todays world, we have a so called “green revolution” going on. Where people focus on producing things in an ecologic way so as to bring a more benefitial way of living to the world. While all this is something that is greatly needed in our world, it does have it’s problems. In fact, such approach has huge limitations in actually bringing architecture back into it’s natural and ecological form.

By boxin onself into the concept of ecology, there are limits to what you can do and how much of an influece you can have on the world. Instead, we believe that we should be focusing on mattes that really matter to all of us in the world. Rather than creating divition, we should be creating unity. And what better way, than education that is benefitial for everyone. From industry leaders, to corporate owners, or even individual carpenters.

We do this, by not having an ecological approach but a practical one. Because we truly believe that practical is ecological by nature and you don’t need to even put that much thought into the ecology of it. In stead, when one realises that practical sollutions are better for us in so many ways.. and that the currect consctruction industry is far from anything practical. It is exactly that realasation, that we can connect with and everyone has the potential to understand.

And this is not thinking less of anyone. In fact, this is something I believe to more of an natural. You could almost say, that green revolution often times is far from natural. Because it creates divition. We need to make things sustainable and convenient so that everyone can benefit. Not just those who enjoy putting effort into the green side of things.

Since 2013

Ceiling & Sky

We started in 2013 and have come a long way in supporting the freedom of creativity and expression. Of course, it is all thanks to the amazing people who have been engaged and collaborated to build the whole concept. A large thanks goes to the magnificent workshops that have given the possibility for people to attend and create from all over the world. We have had participants from China, Japan, Finland, Australia, South Africa to name a few of the exotic ones. All have praiced the good availability of materials and tools that have reinforced the space that we created.

Prejudice is a barrier that is common in all of us humans, that’s why we also took the mission to break all such ways of thinking, only embracing those who dared to think new and different. While respecting experience of those who participated, we equally wanted to make that experience something that is for everyone. The result were of course totally unpredictable, which made it all much more fun.

Since 2013, we wanted to thank all the amazing people behind the scenes and on the stage of creating all the astounding art and architecture over the years. In fact, we could never thank you all enough.