Wang Shu at the Louisiana

The Louisiana museum presents selected projects by Amateur Architecture Studio, as well as an introduction to traditional Chinese culture, source of inspiration for Wang Shu.

Wang Shu at the Louisiana
After several years of major thematic architectural exhibitions Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is taking up the monographic exhibition once more focusing on a new generation of pace-setting architects in the series The Architect’s Studio. The ambition is to shape a versatile showcase of developments among contemporary architects and in their work – from the prestige projects of the star architects at the beginning of the millennium to a more sustainable and socially conscious architecture of today taking on the challenges of globalization.


From Norman Foster, Frank Gehry and Jean Nouvel shown earlier at Louisiana, to Wang Shu, Alejandro Aravena and Tatiana Bilbao. The first exhibition focuses on the Chinese architect Wang Shu (b. 1963), who together with his wife Lu Wenyu stands at the head of Amateur Architecture Studio based in Hangzhou in China. The name of the studio underscores the vision of letting spontaneity, available materials and local culture and building traditions form the basis for an architecture which in Wang Shu’s own words should be a “a house rather than a building”. The innovative practice that typifies Amateur Architecture thus emphasizes simple functionality over spectacular form, restoration over new construction, local traditions over global standardization.

Amateur Architecture Studio, Wa Shan Guesthouse
Amateur Architecture Studio, Wa Shan Guesthouse / China Academy of Art Xiangshan Campus, Hangzhou, 2013. Photo Iwan Baan
At a time when China’s explosive urbanization is undermining the rural areas leaving marks of cheap concrete construction everywhere, Wang Shu works against this tendency by re-using materials from the buildings that are systematically demolished and rebuilt after western models by the Chinese authorities. With projects like the Ningbo History Museum and the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, Amateur Architecture insists on directing attention towards Chinese history, philosophy, landscape and culture and thus distancing itself from the influence of western culture, which also in China is a clear consequence of globalization.


The exhibition is organized in close collaboration with Amateur Architecture Studio and will present a number of selected projects as well as a more general introduction to traditional Chinese culture and philosophy as declared sources of inspiration for Wang Shu. In addition Amateur Architecture’s installation At The Parallel Scene from the 2016 Venice Biennale will form part of the exhibition.

9 February – 30 April 2017
The Architect’s Studio – Wang Shu
Louisiana Museum
Gl Strandvej 13, 3050 Humlebæk, Copenhagen

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