The world and certainly architecture is evolving, this much we know. We also know much about the boom that has happened in Dubai, and all the furore of construction and ambition it has brought with it, which we can say has somewhat subdued in the past year, curbing the plethora of skyscrapers and ridiculous designs that have come out of this investment of time and money, to create what many would call an ‘architectural zoo’.
China has, I think fair to say, taken over Dubai in its ambition and investment into development, where vast amounts of land is being developed for its ever growing population and its hungry economic growth. Some designs have graced the Chinese skyline, some quite honestly blotch the horizon. In an economy and a country that simply wants to build and build, sometimes it is nice to see something that is small, delicate, and dare I say serene.
This project, The Design Republic Commune, by Neri & Hu, which contains their flagship store, Design Republic, is a more delicate intervention into existing urban infrastructure, dealing with constraints of existing design and building to create something that brings people together.
Perhaps one could say that this is a perfect example of how China and perhaps other countries such as Dubai, can develop their own character and identity without necessarily making it a competition of who can shout the loudest…