From Publishers Weekly
In an era of coffee-table design books with multiple, long-winded introductions and breathless essays by architecture writers, it's refreshing to see this book's simple form-a one-paragraph intro, followed by images of the buildings-some realized, others still models. The descriptions of the 34 projects presented here are also brief, leaving the emphasis on the photography (though the text does come in five languages, including English). The mix of recent and future projects includes both the spectacular (the Shanghai World Financial Center, to open in 2007, which aims to be the world's tallest building) to the more low-key (a club called ARK, in the historic Xintiandi district). Most of the projects tend toward bigger-is-better: from the Top of City Lights apartment complex to the mixed-use Hong Kong New World Center, they are grand, tall, modern, extravagant, or all of the above. While the prose isn't exactly sparkling ("The original brickwork was preserved to obtain an interior that evokes a certain degree of nostalgia"), this 101/4" x 123/4" book does a capable, unpretentious job of capturing the dynamism and boldness of present-day architecture in Shanghai, a key global city still largely underdocumented by the West.
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