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Guo Jianxiang, a Design Leader of Transportation Facilities

Date:2014-05-30 0comments Clicks :10045


While acknowledging the fact that the Chinese architectural industry has undergone the golden age of leapfrog development over the last two or three decades, we also have to give a sigh that many excellent architects are overburdened with too many design tasks. As the Deputy Chief Architect of East China Architectural Design and Research Institute (ECADI), Guo Jianxiang always seems to have too many things on his plate. People have the impression that he speaks fast to discuss designs, drawings and materials with others. Thanks to his assiduity and devotion, Guo has forged his way ahead in his 20-plus-year career and created many “firsts” in the realm of design, which makes him the leading designer of transportation facilities in China.


Pudong Airport: The first step for the original design of super large projects in China 

The design of the T1 and T2 buildings of Shanghai Pudong International Airport serves as a critical page in Guo Jianxiang’s career. The T1 building is jointly designed by ADPI France and ECADI, with APDI responsible for the design concept and general scheme and ECADI responsible for design details. Because domestic architectural concepts and technology are relatively backwards, the cooperation model in which the foreign party dominates the design is commonly seen in many domestic public projects even today. However, Guo Jianxiang and the ECADI team were not willing to act as an assistant on this project. On one hand, they gained technological and design accumulation from the architectural practice at T1 of Pudong Airport. But on the other, they actively sought opportunities to fulfill their design ambitions. In 2003, during the bidding invitation of the Phase 2 project of Pudong Airport, the ECADI team seized the hard-won opportunity. Originally, they only acted as a consultant who provided technical services and design consultancy. However, based on their deep understanding of the project, Guo Jianxiang and his coworkers brought forth many constructive ideas. In addition, ECADI had participated in the design and several renovations of Hongqiao Airport, so the airport group decided to assign the original design and general contract of design tasks to ECADI who would take full responsibility.


The T2 building of Pudong Airport witnessed the first super large international airport hub project in China that was originally designed and contracted by a domestic design institute. When recalling the experience, Guo Jianxiang said emotionally, “We collaborated with foreign architects on the T1 building of Pudong Airport, but worked independently on T2 from the conception phase. The two cases brought totally different experiences, yet they both greatly helped improve our abilities. We feel grateful to the owner from Shanghai. Their insight and determination offered a great opportunity as well as a challenge to ECADI.” Guo Jianxiang and the ECADI team didn’t abuse the trust of the owner. The result is that the design scheme of the T2 building extends on the basis of T1. While fully displaying the aesthetics of volume, space and strength, the building also expresses the efficiency and modernity of transportation facilities. T2 of Pudong Airport simultaneously echoes and contrasts with the design of T1 with its continuously curved roof. The new terminal uses the concept imagery of a flock of flying seagulls to symbolize the rise and rapid development of Shanghai. Instead of using a large amount of metal materials in the airport building, the interior design of T2 emphasizes smoothness, efficiency, quietness and human orientation. Guo Jianxiang said, “The distinctive ceiling design of T2 at Pudong Airport boasts a special color application and a unique ceiling shape. It is crucial for interior designers to express their concepts with color and form. During the ceiling design planning, several stylistic questions arose: 1. the color selection have to create a contrast with that of T1; and 2. the color must be warm, comfortable and human-oriented for passengers to accept easily. Additionally, during the construction of T2, we adopted a green design principle to our building design. We believe that the wood grain color we chose accurately reflects the overall green design of the terminal building.”


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