Library of Wenzheng College

Lu Wenyu

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Amateur Architecture Studio

Hangzhou, China

Amateur Architecture Studio is the practice of husband and wife team, Wang Shu and Lu Wenyu. Founded in Hangzhou in 1997, the firm’s name is intended to reflect the experimental and spontaneous nature of their practice. Mr. Wang says that one on the problems professional architecture faces is thinking too much about the building. Amateur Architecture Studio was founded upon a critical experimental building process that provides a more complete and fundamental meaning for each project.

Wang Shu and Lu Wenyu’s practice is particularly noteworthy, because Mr. Wang was recently awarded the 2012 Pritzker Architecture Prize. In the citation that accompanies the award the jury described Mr. Wang’s selection thusly:

“The question of the proper relation of present to past is particularly timely, for the recent process of urbanization in China invites debate as to whether architecture should be anchored in tradition or should look only toward the future. As with any great architecture, Wang Shu’s work is able to transcend that debate, producing an architecture that is timeless, deeply rooted in its context and yet universal.”

The project that placed Mr. Wang in the international spotlight was the Library of Wenzheng College at Suzhou University, which was completed in 2000 and received the Architecture Art Award of China in 2004. In his native Hangzhou, Mr. Wang designed the Xingshan Campus of the China Academy of Art, which was completed in 2004. Mr. Wang’s more recent and most celebrated works have been located in Ningbo, a coastal city south of Shangha. The Ningbo Contemporary Art Museum, completed in 2005, and the Ningbo Historic Museum, completed in 2008, have both been described as the work of a master. With presentation of the 2012 Pritzker Architecture Prize that assertion has been confirmed.

For more information, Amateur Architecture Studio is listed on World Architects database.

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