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Get access to your personalized content. Checks legacy token to compatibilice old Kenneth AD. Jump to navigation Jump to search For the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period state, see Former Shu. Chinese architect based in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. He is the dean of the School of Architecture of the China Academy of Art. Wang Shu was born on 4 November 1963 in Ürümqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China’s far west. He began to draw and paint as a child, without any formal training in art. Although Wang lived in Ürümqi and Beijing in his early life, after college he moved to Hangzhou for the city’s natural landscapes and ancient tradition of art. 1990 completed his first architectural project, a youth centre in the city of Haining near Hangzhou.
Wang did not have any commissions between 1990 and 1998. During that time his wife Lu Wenyu supported the family. Instead, he chose to further his studies at the School of Architecture of Tongji University in Shanghai, earning a PhD in 2000. In 1997, Wang and his wife Lu Wenyu, also an architect, founded the firm Amateur Architecture Studio. They chose the name as a rebuke of the “professional, soulless architecture” practiced in China, which they believe has contributed to the large-scale demolition of many old urban neighborhoods. Wang joined the faculty of the China Academy of Art in 2000 as a professor, became the Head of the Architecture Department in 2003, and was named Dean of the School of Architecture in 2007. In 2000, Wang designed the Library of Wenzheng College at Soochow University, which won the inaugural Architecture Art Award of China in 2004. In 2008 he completed the Ningbo Museum, a project he won in 2004 after an international competition. The building’s facade is constructed entirely of recycled bricks, and its shape – resembling nearby mountains – reflects its natural setting. His architecture has been described as “opening new horizons while at the same time resonates with place and memory”, experimental, and as a rare example of critical regionalism in China.
Wang creates modern buildings making use of traditional materials and applying older techniques. The Ningbo Museum is constructed of bricks salvaged from buildings which had been demolished to facilitate new developments. Wang is a keen supporter of architectural heritage where globalisation has stripped cities of their special attributes. In an age where the goal is to offer a distinct, individualized style, Shu has shied away from such a prerogative. Ironically, with his manner of seamlessly meshing the contemporary with the cultural, innovation with tradition, Shu’s work has come to define itself. The work is infused with fresh material juxtapositions and an expressive quality grounded in traditional formal proportions and scale. He requires his freshman architecture students to spend a year working with their hands, learning basic carpentry and bricklaying, and Wang also requires other teachers in the department learn basic building skills. Because he believes “Only people who understand the nature of materials can make art using the materials.
In 2010, Wang and his wife Lu Wenyu together won the German Schelling Architecture Prize, and in 2011 he received the Gold Medal from the French Academy of Architecture. In 2012, Wang won the Pritzker Architecture Prize. Alejandro Aravena, a member of the Pritzker Prize jury, stated “Wang Shu’s outstanding architecture may be the consequence of being able to combine talent and intelligence. This combination allows him to produce masterpieces when a monument is needed, but also very careful and contained architecture when a monument is not the case. Wang Shu’s father is a musician and an amateur carpenter. His mother is a teacher and school librarian in Beijing. His sister is also a teacher. Wang is married to Lu Wenyu, who is also his business partner and fellow professor of architecture at the China Academy of Art. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Wang expressed his sentiment that his wife deserved to share the Pritzker Prize with him.