It may come as a surprise to some, but a few of Chicago’s premier architecture firms may have a significant influence over the future of China’s cityscapes.
The Chicago Tribune is currently running a three-part interactive series on its website and in the business section of the newspaper entitled “The Global City: Designed in Chicago, Made in China” that is examining urbanization in China and the role Chicago architects – including Chamber members VOA and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill – have on the process. China is urbanizing at a rapid pace, marked by new skyscrapers, high-rise housing, new hotels and museums, many of which were conceived in Chicago.
According to the Chicago Tribune piece, Chamber member Skidmore, Owings & Merrill designed the Jin Mao Tower, which was China’s tallest skyscraper for ten years and remains one of its most iconic. SOM‘s Chicago office is also responsible for designing the tallest building in Nanjing, China and was involved in the design of the tallest towers in the Chinese cities of Beijing and Tianjin. Chamber member VOA Associates has offices in Shanghai and Beijing in addition to Chicago and is also involved in designing some of China’s most luxurious skyscrapers.
In addition to highlighting the work of Chicago architects in China, the series also explores the price of China’s rapid urbanization and consumerist society, including issues like congestion, pollution, and one dimensional growth.
Click here to read the full series.