Wang Shu and Lu Wenyu provide a conceptual and philosophical critique of globalized architectural practice, of high speed construction in China.They pursue different goals beyond worldwide trends: the designs of the architect duo draw on regional handicraft practices and materials that are harmonized with contemporary design. They employ traditional materials such as bamboo, wood, or brick, combining them with seemingly contrasting building materials such as concrete. The word “amateur“ in their studio name stands for an alternative model to a professionalism that ignores regional differences and human needs in deference to imperious monoliths in the international style. For their “Tile Theatre“ they recycled approximately 60,000 traditionally manufactured Chinese roof tiles from their work for the 10th Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2006, thus creating an inhabitable pavilion on the roof of the HKW.
Amateur Architecture Studio (founded in 1997 by Wang Shu and Lu Wenyu), based in Hangzhou, works with local traditions of craftsmanship, set against modern architectural grandeur in Chinese megacities. Their projects are shown at international exhibitions such as the Venice Biennale of Architecture (“Tiles Garden”, 2006, “Decay of a Dome”, 2010). Wang Shu has been granted many international awards such as the Pritzker Prize, and, together with Lu Wenyu, the Schelling Architektur Preis. They teach at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou.