Urban renewal in China: AS+P on the Heinze ArchitekTOUR


China has for years been undergoing an extremely dynamic urbanisation process. All visualisations: AS+P Albert Speer + Partner GmbH

From the expansion of special economic zones to urban expansion projects – in the virtual tour AS+P Managing Director Axel Bienhaus, Executive Director AS+P Shanghai Johannes Dell and associated partners Ralf Dietl and Yue Zhang provided insights into the long-standing project work in China.

Following an interview with Axel Bienhaus and Johannes Dell conducted in the Frankfurt headquarters, a live link was established to AS+P Architects Consulting (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., where associated partners Ralf Dietl and Yue Zhang presented several exemplary projects realised along the Huangpu River. After all, the expansion and reintegration of this formative river basin into the city is an object lesson in long-term, strategic urban development, the creation of spaces and buildings people can identify with, urban image forming and strong, symbolic positioning as an inter­national metropolis.

Since its establishment in 2007, the office in Shanghai, a wholly-owned subsidiary of AS+P, has developed a whole raft of projects and is busy supporting the urbanization in China, which is evolving at a pace that is almost inconceivable for many an outsider. In the process, on various occasions AS+P has needed to adapt to changes in the environment, the project brief and not least of all frequent shifts in strategy.

In recent years, masterplan competitions in China put out for inter­national tender have taken on ever greater significance. As regards the brief, the scale and the depth of detail involved these competitions cover encompass all fields from regional and urban planning, through urban development to architectural design studies, and by German standards are more like multi-phase projects. AS+P Shanghai has regularly managed to sideline the large inter­national players establishing itself as a successful urban-design competition office on the Chinese market.

The regional focus of the office in China is still on Beijing, Changchun and, of course, Shanghai, where AS+P has participated in the city’s urban renewal – handling over 100 projects. Many of these projects have already been completed or are currently under construction.

Interview in the Frankfurt office: AP+P Managing Director Axel Bienhaus and Executive Director AS+P Shanghai Johannes Dell report on the projects in China as part of the Heinze ArchitekTOUR.

AS+P has been active in China for over twenty years and has been involved in developing around 100 projects to date.