Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

This site uses cookies. By using our services, you agree to our cookie use.
Learn more here.

Competition: Suqian installations, China

The Suqian Municipal Government has announced an international contest for a series of site-specific installations in the north-west quarter of the Chinese city (Deadline: 20 August)

Open to all architects, designers, artist and students, the competition seeks proposals for new urban icons, sculptures, landscape art, buildings, installations of any size or budget.

A selection of the winning schemes will be constructed within the Shanshui Green Corridor and NaTian Flower Farm (pictured) which both overlook the city’s dramatic Luoma Lake. Proposals may occupy any position within either site.

Suqian, China

Suqian, China

Suqian, China

According to the brief: ‘The prime contest site location is a great opportunity for designers to imagine a city of the future based on ecological principles. Suqian, like many Chinese cities, is facing a new era of development with new ideas of urban regeneration, landscape preservation and sustainable development.

‘The site is a unique landscape that every year manifests the beauty of nature with its impressive colours and an explosion of biodiversity. And that’s why rethinking how the city can extend the benefits of the beauty of that phenomena, and integrating all the natural cycles within urban life, is a challenge from which many cities can learn.’

Suqian, China

Suqian, China

Suqian, China

Suqian is a rapidly developing prefecture-level city in northern Jiangsu. The NaTian Flower Farm is connected to Luoma Lake via the Shantaishan Forest Park and Shanshui Green Corridor.

Proposals for the new interventions must be iconic, creative, sustainable, practical and respect local history, culture and the natural environment. Submissions may feature a building, landscape intervention, sculpture or functional space such as a café, pavilion or information centre.

The overall winner will receive a 400,000RMB prize while three second place prizes worth 100,000RMB and five third place prizes worth 4,000RMB will also be awarded. A selection of prize winners will also receive a design fee to deliver their scheme in the city.

How to apply

Deadline

The registration deadline is 20 August and submissions must be completed by 15 September.

Contact details

Inside-out Architect and Artist Colony
3rd Floor
50 Xingshikou Lu
Haidian District
Beijing
P.R.C.
Post Code: 100195

Tel: 010-56077246
Email: NaTiancompetition@163.com
Fax: 010-56290935

Visit the competition website for more information

Fallen Icon case study: Q&A with Elly Ward

The founder of Elly Ward Studio discusses lessons learned designing a site-specific installation for Los Angeles

Elly Ward

Elly Ward

Elly Ward

How did your Fallen Icon project create a contextual installation for Los Angeles?

There was an initial attempt to avoid the seemingly ‘too obvious’ context of the Hollywood sign, which is perhaps one of the best recognised and most iconic views in the world. But after visiting the site it felt essential to reference the sign, and so the installation became both something of a homage to this important icon and an opportunity for the public to physically engage with it in a way that is impossible in reality. Visitors were able to touch, hold and have their photo taken with human-scale versions of these giant letters that are normally kept behind security fences. The viewfinders then created a playful, accompanying narrative that provoked ideas about permanence and fragility, both of the landscape and the sign itself.

Fallen Icon by Ellie Ward Studio

Fallen Icon by Ellie Ward Studio

Source: Image by On The Road

Fallen Icon by Elly Ward Studio

Which architectural, material and other methods did you harness in your design?

The design and fabrication was super low tech due to the lack of budget. The viewfinders were made from spraypainted plumbing products bought from Home Depot, which were fastened to painted lengths of timber, with insertions of Photoshopped views printed on Mylar. The giant letters were simply cut by hand from thick white foam core and then glued together. This also meant they were lightweight enough to be physically carried up the trail which was imperative as vehicles are not permitted beyond a certain point. Joyfully, the physical transport of the letters up the hill also unexpectedly resulted in some of the most spectacular imagery of the day. After the installation was taken down the foam core letters became formwork for concrete versions which still exist today as a kind of beautiful petrified ruin of themselves.

Fallen Icon by Ellie Ward Studio

Fallen Icon by Ellie Ward Studio

Source: Image by On The Road

Fallen Icon by Elly Ward Studio

What advice would you have to contest participants on designing a contextual interventions for Suqian in China?

Get hands-on, visit the site as often as you can and try to connect with as much of the context as possible. This means not just the contemporary physical surroundings but the stories, conditions and events that have shaped them over time. Social, political and geographical histories can play a huge part in how a place is used or thought of today. Explore unusual avenues and employ quirky references but always link them back to the contemporary condition and try to imagine how they will be understood and enjoyed by both informed visitors and passers-by who will visit in the future.

Fallen Icon by Ellie Ward Studio

Fallen Icon by Ellie Ward Studio

Source: Image by Jamie Kowal

Fallen Icon by Elly Ward Studio