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AR_EA China: archstudio

‘The success of a project mostly depends on the client’s trust and good communication’

Who are you?  
Han Wenqiang, founder of Archstudio,  lecturer at CAFA (China Central Academy of Fine Arts)

Where are you from? Dalian, China.

Why did you become an architect?
I studied architectural design at CAFA 1997-2002, where I began to like it. Buildings affect everyone.

What kind of work do you do?
Cultural buildings, renovations, interior design, furniture design and so on.

What is it like being an architect where you are?
I am a craftsman. As an architect, I help clients (mostly friends) to design and supervise the construction of the building with my professional technology. A craftsman also needs good communication skills. The success of a project mostly depends on the client’s trust and good communication.

What is the context (social, political, architectural) in which you are working?
Following the changes in China’s politics, large new projects by the government and developers are decreasing rapidly, but medium and small cultural projects are increasing. Accordingly, the social topics are mainly about people’s livelihood, tradition and villages. Most of our projects come into being from this social background, for example, the Beijing hutong renovation. Architects not only provide services to clients, but also have social responsibilities, to explore unique solutions to China’s problems.


What inspires you?
Traditional Chinese courtyard buildings, gardens, paintings and calligraphy.

What project are you most proud of?
My Hutong Residence, 2010, my first real project. It took a year to design and build, during which the client and I became friends, and I saw that architecture changed people’s lives.

What is unique about your work?
I want to create buildings based on relationships, interior/exterior, natural/artificial, traditional/future.

How do you get ideas?  
By analysis, we find the key problems of each project, and create enough freedom under the restrained situation.

What are your favourite design tools?
Models, SketchUp and Rhino.

Where do you hope to go from here?
To create buildings that can help communication.

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