Interview: Renowned U.S. architect eyes Chinese opportunities

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-08 10:53:05|Editor: mingmei
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NEW YORK, April 7 (Xinhua) -- An open and inclusive China coupled with its dynamic development brings enormous opportunities to people from all walks of life, a renowned U.S. architect has said.

"I realized that my best work could be done in China because I could do bigger projects faster and affect more people," Ben Wood, a U.S. architect and founder of Studio Shanghai Architectural Firm, told Xinhua in an interview Saturday on the sidelines of an annual conference organized by the Committee of 100, a premier U.S. organization of Chinese-American leaders from different fields.

There are few places like China that your works can reach so many people, "so imagine how many people's lives you can make better," added the veteran architect, who designed Shanghai's landmark Xintiandi complex.

Wood said he first came to China at the invitation of Xintiandi developer about 22 years ago. After finishing the project, he was fascinated by the potential opportunities there. In 1998, he decided to open his office in Shanghai.

"I enjoy living and working in's a wonderful place for architects," he said.

By far, Wood has been engaged in more than 100 projects across China, from Chongqing to Wuhan to Hangzhou.

The U.S. architect said bringing popular culture to China through the rapid rise of the middle class is among others behind his business success.

Thanks to rapid development, China is now home to the world's biggest middle-income group comprised of some 400 million people, and the number is still on the rise. The nation is evolving from the world's workshop to a major consumer of goods and services.

Wood said he has witnessed great changes in China over his 22 years' work and life there.

Besides the biggest visual change that young people became more trendy, the architect said he also found more and more creative ideas pioneered by the young Chinese generations.

"The mutual communication between Chinese and foreign architects is always a great thing, which benefits the development of the industry as a whole," he noted.

The Committee of 100 held its annual conference on April 5-7 in New York. Themed "The U.S. and China: New Visions," the event highlighted the economic importance of collaboration and the positive future that cooperation can bring to both countries.