In case you missed them the first time around, here are some of Jing Daily’s top posts for the week of August 20-24:
Coming off the completion of their first project in China, the Weihai Pavilion on the northern coast of China’s Shandong peninsula, Make Architects — like a number of international firms — is focusing more intently on China’s less developed interior.
Recently, Jing Daily exchanged a Q&A with John Puttick, covering his firm’s plans for expanding in second-tier Chinese cities, the current state of the architecture scene in China, the country’s greater consciousness of sustainable construction, and the potential of local architects.
Last year, Jing Daily predicted that China’s nascent luxury e-commerce market, following massive investment by domestic and international companies in 2011, would see continued growth in 2012 but a broader industry shakeout due to overcrowding and undersupply. Now, less than a year later, these prediction are being realized as e-tailers — fighting for market share and to secure better and more stable supply lines while also offering the discounts and perks demanded by Chinese shoppers — are finding it increasingly difficult to stay afloat, let alone turn much of a profit.
Rumor has it that Pritzker Prize–winning French architect Jean Nouvel has been selected to design a mammoth new building for the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC), renowned for its exhibitions of 20th-century and contemporary Chinese art, in Beijing. If reports prove to be true, Nouvel will not only have the distinguished honor of executing this highly coveted commission, but also to win bragging rights for outgunning his blockbuster contemporaries, L.A.-based Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry and Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, themselves both Pritzker Prize winners who have done work in mainland China as well as Hong Kong.
Though the subject of China’s high-end fashion scene often conjures up images of vast, sparsely populated shopping malls, a subset of fashion-forward shoppers and entrepreneurs is leading a burgeoning multi-brand boutique movement that has sprung up in major Chinese cities in recent years. Offering hand-picked collections and designers not readily available in China, these boutiques — like their indie counterparts in Japan and the United States — cater to a niche shopper with a more discriminating and knowledgeable understanding of the global fashion scene, rather than the logo-saturated mass-market consumer.
Fresh off the opening of its first mainland China “Maison” at Shanghai’s Plaza 66 — its fourth location in the city and 39th nationwide — Louis Vuitton is set to open its first Anhui province location store at Intime Center in capital city Hefei. Little known outside of China, and certainly not widely known within China as a very luxurious city, over the last several years brands like Gucci, Burberry and Bally have transitioned from small sales counters at malls like Wanqian (万千百货), Shangzhidu (商之都) and Drum Tower Business Plaza (鼓楼商厦) to full-fledged locations at Intime, making it the city’s premier high-end mall over the course of one year.