Beautified China II by Kris Provoost

Born in Belgium, Kris Provoost is an architect headquartered in China, specifically in Shanghai. In his spare time he assumes the role of photographer, and discovers the beauty in minimalism. Primarily looking for the architecture in China, it is possible to discover all kinds of architecture dazzling with outrageous designs.

But Provoost stated the series also signifies a change in the architectural style in the country, with architects leaving these types of daring, landmark designs towards proposals more tightly focused on context.

“The photo series marks the end of a very flamboyant architectural high point of the architectural scene in China,” he said. “Since 2016 or 2017 there is a visible shift, sort of away from this iconic architecture into a more ‘context-aware’ kind of architecture.”

“In my opinion, the change in architectural style has to do with maturity. There was a time of exploration on a very large scale. And with this exploring came a sense of awareness that was not present at the beginning, or had at least less importance at that time,” said Provoost.

“There came a realisation that cities can not expand indefinitely. With this realisation came the notion to look back at its city centres. Is this flamboyant architecture still necessary?” he added.

These types of exclusively one of a kind buildings nearly ended as in 2014 Chinese president Xi Jinping requested an end to the “weird architecture” which has come as a consequence of China’s construction boom. But thankfully, after much criticism on the decision, today in 2018, they have made the decision that provided that the architecturally different buildings are economical, functional, aesthetically pleasing and environmentally friendly, it is still completely accepted and encouraged.

This style of photography is reminiscent of the work by visual artist Ali Sahba, who captured Hamburg, or photographer Joel Filipe who went around Valencia to photograph the spectacular architecture.

Kris Provoost: Website | Instagram | Behance

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