Dali designer Zhao Yang brings contemporary architecture to China and Japan

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Dali designer Zhao Yang brings contemporary architecture to China and Japan
Colour is a crucial element of Tibetan visual culture. Stone walls in Niyang River Visitor Centre's inner space were painted with local mineral pigments. The transition of colours – blue and orange – highlights the geometric transitions of space. From morning to dusk, the sunshine changes its direction as it penetrates through the different openings. Hence visitors perceive the ever-changing colour play from different perspectives and at a different time as they saunter through the building

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Dali designer Zhao Yang brings contemporary architecture to China and Japan
Colour is a crucial element of Tibetan visual culture. Stone walls in Niyang River Visitor Centre’s inner space were painted with local mineral pigments. The transition of colours – blue and orange – highlights the geometric transitions of space. From morning to dusk, the sunshine changes its direction as it penetrates through the different openings. Hence visitors perceive the ever-changing colour play from different perspectives and at a different time as they saunter through the building

Like many of his ambitious and idealistic peers, Chinese architect Zhao Yang struck out on his own after graduating from the prestigious Tsinghua University in Beijing and working for a year for his graduate advisor. “I had no idea what kind of architecture I wanted to do. I just thought I was capable of doing anything,” Zhao says, chuckling.

Thanks to China’s building boom, it wasn’t long before the Chongqing-born architect snagged his first commission to design an office block. The project went well; the client loved his work and another job followed. But Zhao felt empty. “I wasn’t convinced by what I had done and felt I didn’t express myself,” he says. “I thought it’s important to figure out what I really want from architecture.”

So rather than plunge into more projects, he applied to Harvard Graduate School Of Design in 2008. Fast forward to 2014, Zhao has under his belt a Master’s degree in architecture with distinction, earned critical praise for a project in Tibet, and received the 2010 WA Chinese Architecture Award from the Beijing-based magazine World Architecture.[]

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