Inaugural lesson by Wang Shu at Ecole de Chaillot


Inaugural lesson by Wang Shu at Ecole de Chaillot


Leçon inaugurale

The inaugural lesson by Wang Shu will be released at the end of 2012 in French and English : please give us your email address to be informed when the book is available :

Wang Shu has given the inaugural lesson at the Ecole de Chaillot, the training department of the Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine, on 31 January 2012. He is quite familiar with the Cité where he has been hosted twice : as a laureate of the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture* in 2007 and for a public conference in the frame of the series “Entretiens de Chaillot” in 2008, thanks to the cooperations operated by the Observatoire de l’architecture de la Chine contemporaine**. It was a real pleasure for us to learn that he was awarded with the Pritzker Prize, considered as the Nobel prize for architecture. Wang Shu proves that the architect looking for a qualitative architecture, city and landscape design must re-discover the tradition, understand it, and transcend it, while heritage is so often destroyed at a large scale in his country.


Wang Shu graduated in architecture at the South-East University in Nanjing and was awarded a PhD from Tongji University in Shanghai in 2000. He founded Amateur Architecture Studio with his wife Lu Wenyu in 1998 in Hangzhou where he is directing the Department of architecture at the China Academy of Art that they have created in 2003. His projects have been published in many magazines and exhibitions worldwide (among others in the exhibition “Positions” curated by the Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine in 2008) and earned him several awards since 2003 in China and in other countries, like the Grande médaille d’or de l’Académie d’architecture in France in 2011.

After learning on site the traditional building techniques from craftsmen during the 1990’s, he has built several equipments for cultural facilities with a very sensitive and poetic interpretation of the traditional building techniques while using at the same time very contemporary architectural forms : the library of Wenzheng College at Suzhou University (2000) with TONG Ming, Contemporary Art Museum in Ningbo (2005), Five Scattered Houses in Ningbo (2006), Tiles Garden at the Venice Biennale (2006), Ceramic House in Jinhua (2007).

Besides the traditional building techniques he is interpreting also the traditional forms and uses in his projects in order to create a continuity with the tradition which is often lost in China : high-rise housing (2006) and revitalization of Zhongshan road (2009) in Hangzhou, Tengtou-Ningbo Pavillion at the Expo in Shanghai (2010). Wang Shu compares himself to a classical painter : he cares always about the relations between building, landscape and nature in his projects : Xiangshan campus of the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou (2004-2007), History Musuem in Ningbo (2008). He is leading now a project for the revitalization of the harbor wasteland in Zhoushan with other Global Award laureates where he shows a profound attention to the site, its history and its previous uses and his interest in recycling.

The Ecole de Chaillot asked for the first time a foreign architect to give its inaugural lesson : this year Wang Shu accepted to explain his own understanding of the relation between creation, history and heritage, following the previous inaugural lessons given by Bernard Desmoulin, Alexandre Chemetoff, Jean-Marie Duthilleul, Jean Nouvel, Pierre-Louis Faloci, Patrick Berger, Henri Gaudin, Yves Dauge.

*Awarded by LOCUS Foundation at the la Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine, partner of the Global Award