china – mammoth // building nothing out of something

Tag Archives: china

sediment trap and release

[The annual sediment release procedure at Xiaolangdi Dam on the Yellow River in Henan province, China. According to the Daily Mail, “this annual operation sees more than 30 million tonnes of silt sent downstream a year, with more than 390 million tonnes shifted this way over the last 13 years”. It is noteworthy, from the perspective […]

phantom stories

[Homes on the outskirts of Shanghai, via Google Maps.] A recent report in the New York Times which looks at global marriage patterns from an economic perspective contains the following fascinating excerpt, which indicates that China’s one-child policy, “combined with a cultural preference for sons and technologies that permit selective abortion”, has indirectly produced a […]

ordinances, sculpted

[The massing of “Sliced Porosity Block”; image via Evolo] Having previously mentioned Hugh Ferriss’s drawings of the forms of Manhattan zoning ordinances (and having then speculated on the possibility that architects might design by sculpting ordinances), I think it worth mentioning Steven Holl’s “Sliced Porosity Block”, which is sited on an urban block in the […]

of jane jacobs and ipods

An excellent post at Kosmograd, “The Ballet of iPod City”, ably connects two items that mammoth has recently written about, the iPod (and iPhone) factory-city in Shenzhen and Benjamin Schwarz’s critical essay on post-Jacobsian urbanists in the Atlantic Monthly: …Jacobs founded a powerful myth of urbanism, that the sine qua non of urban form was to […]

transit disparity

The infrastructurally-obsessed will appreciate the Transport Politic‘s summary of the Chinese boom in local rapid transit, prompted by the observation that Shanghai now has the longest metro network in the world, despite having begun the first tracks merely fifteen years ago.  The local transit boom parallels the Chinese investment in high-speed rail which mammoth previously […]

olympic ballardia

[Perhaps determined to echo BLDGBLOG’s call for a “J.G. Ballard of contemporary China” (or drive home Kongjian Wu’s repeated declarations about the material wastefulness of much of the contemporary building program in China), the New York Times reports from the “empty shells” of Beijing’s Olympic venues and features a slideshow of photographs by Susetta Bozzi; […]

the best architecture of the decade

[The Large Hadron Collider] The end of a decade inspires a lot of list compiling; in that spirit, mammoth offers an alternative list of the best architecture of the decade, concocted without any claim to authority and surely missing some fascinating architecture.   But we hope that at least it’s not boring, as this was an […]


[apartment blocks in Zibo, via google maps] A photo essay on the Chinese city of Zibo, in four parts (Zibo I, Zibo II, Zibo III, Zibo IV — best viewed in IE/Safari/Chrome, as some script there tends to upset Firefox), from Moving Cities, who are doing some fascinating research on urbanism in China.  Zibo is […]

the greenwashed city

At Yale Environment 360, Christina Larson explores the fate of China’s Dongtan project and the ramifications/lessons of its apparent failure for the ‘eco-city’.  The most important points she makes are probably (a) that such projects tend to “leave the population they were supposed to serve behind” while garnering “fame and money for the foreign firms […]