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25 Best Architecture Firms in China

25-best-architecture-firms-in-china

From the CCTV Headquarters by OMA in Beijing to myriad projects by Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) across the country, China’s recent urban boom has made the country a magnetic scene for international architectural practices. Indeed, mass urbanization and rapid industrial development have been crucial ingredients in China’s rise as an economic superpower in the twenty-first century. Now, the dynamism of the country’s internal architectural scene is going global, and the world is turning its attention to innovative designs by local Chinese firms.

From poetic examples of adaptive reuse, thoughtful examinations of how the past comes to bear on the present, to high-tech transportation design, the Chinese architects and firms are blurring boundaries between “tradition” and “modern” and, in so doing, reclaiming local architectural flavor in the era of global practice. For many outside of China, the Pritzker Prize winner Wang Shu may be an entry point into thinking about China’s New Modernism. However, with so many new studios regularly proving themselves with breathtaking projects, the question is not where to start but where to stop.

With so many architecture firms to choose from, it’s challenging for clients to identify the industry leaders that will be an ideal fit for their project needs. Fortunately, Architizer is able to provide guidance on the top design firms in China based on more than a decade of data and industry knowledge.

With so many architecture firms to choose from, it’s challenging for clients to identify the industry leaders that will be an ideal fit for their project needs. Fortunately, Architizer is able to provide guidance on the top design firms in China based on more than a decade of data and industry knowledge.

How are these architecture firms ranked?

The following ranking has been created according to key statistics that demonstrate each firm’s level of architectural excellence. The following metrics have been accumulated to establish each architecture firm’s ranking, in order of priority:

  • The number of A+Awards won (2013 to 2022)
  • The number of A+Awards finalists (2013 to 2022)
  • The number of projects selected as “Project of the Day” (2009 to 2022)
  • The number of projects selected as “Featured Project” (2009 to 2022)
  • The number of projects uploaded to Architizer (2009 to 2022)

Each of these metrics is explained in more detail at the foot of this article. This ranking list will be updated annually, taking into account new achievements of China architecture firms throughout the year.

Without further ado, here are the 25 best architecture firms in China:

25. Ballistic Architecture Machine (BAM)

25 Best Architecture Firms in China

Ballistic Architecture Machine (BAM) is an award-winning art, landscape, and architectural design firm with offices in Beijing and Brooklyn. Founded in 2007, BAM became anomalous as a locally grown design firm in China started by foreigners. The experience of establishing a design practice in a rapidly changing contemporary Chinese metropolis gives BAM a unique insight into the role of design in today’s cities. BAM’s diverse team of designers has delivered projects for clients in China, Taiwan, the US, the UK, Iceland, and Belgium.Since our founding BAM believes our collective idea of nature is gradually changing. As technology continuously shapes our environment, our perception of nature is becoming outdated.

Some of Ballistic Architecture Machine (BAM)’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped Ballistic Architecture Machine (BAM) achieve 25th place in the 26 Best Architecture Firms in China:

A+Awards Winner 1
A+Awards Finalist 1
Featured Projects 4
Total Projects 14

24. CPLUS

25 Best Architecture Firms in China

CPLUS is an architecture firm with an international perspective, co-founded by Cheng Yanchun and Li Nan in Beijing in 2014. CPLUS believes that architecture aims to create a medium for dialogue between people and the environment. As living organism that constantly changes over time, architecture responds to the history of human exploration of nature and the construction of cities.

Some of CPLUS’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped CPLUS achieve 24th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in China:

A+Awards Winner 1
A+Awards Finalist 1
Featured Projects 11
Total Projects 13

23. Huiyimingcheng

25 Best Architecture Firms in China

HYMC specialize in public space design, such as restaurant, hotel, and club, and crossover creative art works.
They insist on originality, break the constraints of our times, and express true emotion. The work maintains a strong degree of identification, create valuable things.

Some of Huiyimingcheng’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped Huiyimingcheng achieve 23rd place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in China:

A+Awards Winner 1
A+Awards Finalist 2
Featured Projects 1
Total Projects 6

22. line+

© line+

© line+

line+ is founded by Mr. Meng Fanhao and Mr. Zhu Peidong in Hangzhou. “line”is the boundary, based on architectural design. “+”aims to break through the clear boundariesof traditional industry and use cross-border thinking as a way torealize the boundless integration of planning, architecture, interior, landscape, product, operation and other fields.By adapting diverse strategies, we look forward to share the value of design with our partners.

Some of line+’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped line+ achieve 22nd place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in China:

A+Awards Winner 1
A+Awards Finalist 2
Featured Projects 3
Total Projects 3

21. X+LIVING

25 Best Architecture Firms in China

In 2011, Li Xiang founded X+Living Architectural Design in Shanghai, and has ever since been building her own design team working at the cutting edge of art, fashion and business. She has gained cross-field achievements by exploring interior design as an architect, creating many design works with commercial and aesthetic values in the culture, retail, hotel and other industries. Her high-profile design has become the benchmark in aesthetic design and strategic design, and won international recognition with a series of top international awards. Li Xiang is the first Chinese designer that was invited as a jury member of the Frame Awards, the first and only global interior-design awards.

Some of X+LIVING’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped X+LIVING achieve 21st place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in China:

A+Awards Winner 1
A+Awards Finalist 3
Featured Projects 12
Total Projects 37

20. Atelier Alter Architects

25 Best Architecture Firms in China

Founded in 2009, Atelier Alter Architects is a pioneering inter-disciplinary practice based in New York and Beijing. Noted for designing from critical analysis of the site, Atelier Alter has been recognized by numerous awards, including SARA National Award of Excellence 2016 , French GPDP international Design Award 2019, Lux Leading Design Award 2018,AIA Shanghai Design Award 2018,German Design Award 2019, etc.

Atelier Alter Architects focuses intensely upon culture facilities ever since the beginning of the practice. Atelier Alter wan the competitions to build Qujing Culture Center in 2009, by transferring the metaphysical context of the site into an artistic yet tangible urban space of historic remembrance.

Some of Atelier Alter Architects’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped Atelier Alter Architects achieve 20th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in China:

A+Awards Winner 1
A+Awards Finalist 7
Featured Projects 12
Total Projects 17

19. gad

© gad

© gad

gad, an architectural design company that values creativity, quality and humanity, adheres to the belief of craftsman to deeply explore the field of architectural design, treats architectural creation with an open attitude, conveys modern life aesthetics with appropriate design techniques, and follows architectural construction with a devout attitude, so as to create more possibilities for the richness of the city.

Some of gad’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped gad achieve 19th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in China:

A+Awards Winner 1
A+Awards Finalist 3
Featured Projects 6
Total Projects 9

18. Kris Lin International Design

© Kris Lin International Design

© Kris Lin International Design

KLID, an international architectural design firm from Taipei, has been in Shanghai for twenty years, and has been serving top 100 real estate developers for a long time. Its business covers sales offices, clubs, art galleries, hotels, luxury villas and flat apartments, offices, public and commercial spaces.

As one of the few design institutes in China which can provide four-in-one integrated design services including architectural design, interior design, renovation design and construction, landscape design, KLID has been adhering to the design concept of “Innovation from Observation”, and has strong pursuit for the design works display effect, KLID has been always maintaining a full-integrated design solution in which Mr.

Some of Kris Lin International Design’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped Kris Lin International Design achieve 18th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in China:

A+Awards Winner 1
A+Awards Finalist 5
Featured Projects 4
Total Projects 10

17. Cao Pu

© Cao Pu

© Cao Pu

Chinese architect Cao Pu got his start in the world of architecture in an unconventional way: by designing stage sets for his electric-rock band. Now, he heads a small studio that gravitates towards conversion and revival of small spaces on low budgets.

Some of Cao Pu’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped Cao Pu achieve 17th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in China:

A+Awards Winner 2
Featured Projects 2
Total Projects 8

16. ARIZON DESIGN

© ARIZON DESIGN

© ARIZON DESIGN

Arizon Design was founded in Shanghai by Shen Junwei. Arizon Design focuses mainly on the design field of department stores and shopping centers. Focusing on the relationship among individual person, the relationship between people and society, and embedding the concept of harmonious mutual existence between human species and nature in commercial design. Let our “eco-fashion” design philosophy be integrated into every project.

Some of ARIZON DESIGN’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped ARIZON DESIGN achieve 16th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in China:

A+Awards Winner 2
Featured Projects 2
Total Projects 10

15. DAGA Architects

© DAGA Architects

© DAGA Architects

As a pioneer and practitioner in the field of “Urban Renovation” in China, DAGA Architects is widely participated in architectural design, interior design, urban planning and landscape design projects, providing international standard design quality, focusing on creativity and details. DAGA Architects also track the whole process of the project. Especially in the practice of co-working and co-living renovation in Beijing hutong area, DAGA Architects find a way to balance the existing building and new design ,provide people with a more harmonious and shared lifestyle.

Some of DAGA Architects’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped DAGA Architects achieve 15th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in China:

A+Awards Winner 2
Featured Projects 7
Total Projects 21

14. Jing-Rui Lin (Usual Studio)

© Jing-Rui Lin (Usual Studio)

© Jing-Rui Lin (Usual Studio)

Usual Studio, founded in 2017, is an architectural team focused on the diversity of design. We collaborated across different disciplines to practice urban planning, architecture, interior, and product design. From the planning design “Light City”, which is made from the improvement of living and lighting conditions, to the renovation design “Rope Wave Office”, which is changed a shabby place into a creative co-working office, our ideas comes from the re-interpretation and definition of the value of design.

Some of Jing-Rui Lin (Usual Studio)’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped Jing-Rui Lin (Usual Studio) achieve 14th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in China:

A+Awards Winner 2
A+Awards Finalist 1
Featured Projects 2
Total Projects 5

13. Cun Design

© Cun Design

© Cun Design

CUN寸DESIGN, as a dark horse in the Asian design society, has attracted much attention in the international design field in recent years. CUN 寸DESIGN has won dozens of heavyweight awards and honors with their well-designed projects in over 40 counties and regions around the world, like the United States, Europe, Japan, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.

CUN寸DESIGN proposed the concept of corporate operation space. It is the first space design team in China to combine the concepts of art creativity, technology office and green office to complete the efficiency of corporate office. CUN maintains as the pioneer in the field of office design development. Every year our latest thinking on the trends in the office space will be released.

Some of Cun Design’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped Cun Design achieve 13th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in China:

A+Awards Winner 2
A+Awards Finalist 1
Featured Projects 4
Total Projects 6

12. The Architectural Design & Research Institute of Zhejiang University Co., Ltd.

25 Best Architecture Firms in China

The Architectural Design & Research Institute of Zhejiang University Co., Ltd. (UAD) was established in 1953. It is one of the earliest First Class Design Institutes among major national universities. The company now has nearly 1100 employees, among which 1 Master Engineering Designer of China, 2 Top-100 Architects of China, 10 Awardees of the Young Architect Prize of the China Architectural Institute. Company insists Harmonious environment, global vision, complete services, and highest professionalism as their guidelines. Based on the resources of Zhejiang University, UAD hires Academicians of the China Academy of Engineering and of the China Academy of Sciences to provide technical support for blossoming architectural creations.

Some of The Architectural Design & Research Institute of Zhejiang University Co., Ltd.’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped The Architectural Design & Research Institute of Zhejiang University Co., Ltd. achieve 12th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in China:

A+Awards Winner 2
A+Awards Finalist 5
Featured Projects 9
Total Projects 22

11. West-line Studio

25 Best Architecture Firms in China

West-Line Studio is based in Guizhou Province and exclusively works in South-West China, where most of the country ethnic minorities live, and has always been researching and working on local vernacular architecture and subcultures’ diversity. The practice, founded more than 10 years ago by Haobo Wei and Jingsong Xie, pays special attention to the study of minority cultures and traditions in order to bring some of their particular elements into the design, which, despite being contemporary and innovative, always pays homage to traditions and local features.

Some of West-line Studio’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped West-line Studio achieve 11th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in China:

A+Awards Winner 3
Featured Projects 11
Total Projects 13

10. The Design Institute Of Landscape & Architecture China Academy Of Art CO.,LTD

25 Best Architecture Firms in China

Some of The Design Institute Of Landscape & Architecture China Academy Of Art CO.,LTD’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped The Design Institute Of Landscape & Architecture China Academy Of Art CO.,LTD achieve 10th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in China:

A+Awards Winner 3
Featured Projects 12
Total Projects 12

9. GOA

© GOA

© GOA

Founded in 1998, GOA has held its position as one of the most prominent architectural firms in China. With offices established in Hangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing and Nanjing, GOA has employed more than 900 professionals. Covering service ranging from urban design, architecture, structure, MEP, landscape planning, interior design to design consulting, GOA’s business scope is a complete organism with architecture design as the core competencies.

GOA adheres to the Principal-based working system, each project is in the charge of one or more principals. By participating in the projects thoroughly, they ensure a best quality for all projects. On the basis of in-depth understanding of clients’ needs, GOA contributes to integrate the top resources and provide perfect design solutions and high-quality service for clients.
Creativity, quality and humanity shall always be our goal.

Some of GOA’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped GOA achieve 9th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in China:

A+Awards Winner 3
A+Awards Finalist 1
Featured Projects 7
Total Projects 17

8. Atelier tao+c

© Atelier tao+c

© Atelier tao+c

Founded in 2016, the design works of Atelier tao+c ranging from a piece of pendant lamp to a compound development, from the interior of small urban apartments to the renovation of old rural houses, from shops on the street to a youth community.

Some of Atelier tao+c’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped Atelier tao+c achieve 8th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in China:

A+Awards Winner 3
A+Awards Finalist 1
Featured Projects 6
Total Projects 9

7. DL Atelier

© DL Atelier

© DL Atelier

Beijing-based DL Atelier was found in 2012 by Liu Yang and Xu Dan. Our designs are all about feelings and memories. People relaxing under the shadow of trees with bucket loads of sunshine is the ideal scene for us, which leads us follow the flow of inspiration on our work.

Some of DL Atelier’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped DL Atelier achieve 7th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in China:

A+Awards Winner 3
A+Awards Finalist 1
Featured Projects 6
Total Projects 10

6. MUDA-Architects

25 Best Architecture Firms in China

MUDA-Architects was found in Boston, USA. In April 2015, MUDA entered Chinese market and built Beijing office and Chengdu Office. MUDA is composed by creative designers with the background of global diversification, who are forward-looking, experienced, professional and ingenious in the field of architecture and design, and focus on architectural practice.
MUDA has been commissioned by clients of various backgrounds for design in public architecture, residence, urban complex, urban design, landscape design and Interior design.

Some of MUDA-Architects’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped MUDA-Architects achieve 6th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in China:

A+Awards Winner 3
A+Awards Finalist 2
Featured Projects 5
Total Projects 5

5. META-Project

25 Best Architecture Firms in China

Some of META-Project’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped META-Project achieve 5th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in China:

A+Awards Winner 3
A+Awards Finalist 4
Featured Projects 4
Total Projects 5

4. Crossboundaries

© Crossboundaries

© Crossboundaries

Crossboundaries contributes to a vital built environment through architecture, environmental design and urban regeneration. We create enduring architecture that often deals with remarkable technical processes, yet always has a pleasant material touch and human atmosphere.

The work of Crossboundaries originates from a strong belief that design as a process results in successful, operational buildings. This approach is based on two fundamental principles: research and collaboration. For our projects we create suitable multi-disciplinary teams where all participants can assess the opportunities within the given conditions. We identify the essential questions, jointly create pragmatic solutions by data collection and analyze significant precedents. We regularly discuss possible programmatic shifts with our clients to raise their benefits of the project.

Some of Crossboundaries’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped Crossboundaries achieve 4th place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in China:

A+Awards Winner 3
A+Awards Finalist 5
Featured Projects 11
Total Projects 21

3. CLOU architects

© Ballistic Architecture Machine (BAM)

© Ballistic Architecture Machine (BAM)

CLOU is an international design studio with award-winning expertise in architecture, interiors, and landscapes. Our extensive portfolio of built works encompasses mixed-use, retail, hospitality, education and exhibition projects. Founded by German architect Jan Clostermann, CLOU works closely with leading property developers and has delivered projects recognized for outside-the-box-thinking. The word CLOU means the main attraction.

CLOU is committed to tailor each project to its unique challenges and local opportunities. We strive to realize projects that will positively influence the people involved in its process, the environment, and the communities who live and work there. The CLOU team is a community of talents from all over the world who enjoy working collaboratively and imaginatively on bespoke, and integrated design solutions.

Some of CLOU architects’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped CLOU architects achieve 3rd place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in China:

A+Awards Winner 4
A+Awards Finalist 7
Featured Projects 9
Total Projects 50

2. People’s Architecture Office

© Chao Zhang

© Chao Zhang

Beijing-based People’s Architecture Office (PAO) was founded by He Zhe, James Shen and Zang Feng in 2010, and consist of an international team of architects, engineers and urbanists. With the belief that design is for the masses, PAO aims to be conceptually accessible and culturally pragmatic. PAO approaches design from the framework of the realities of scale, global economics and flows, mass production, mass markets and social networks. PAO’s projects include the headquarters for 21cake in Beijing, the River Heights Pavilion, and the Tricycle House.

Some of People’s Architecture Office’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped People’s Architecture Office achieve 2nd place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in China:

A+Awards Winner 5
A+Awards Finalist 4
Featured Projects 14
Total Projects 20

1. MAD

© Iwan Baan

© Iwan Baan

MAD works in forward-looking environments developing futuristic architecture based on a contemporary interpretation of the eastern spirit of nature. All of MAD’s projects – from residential complexes or offices to cultural centres – desire to protect a sense of community and orientation toward nature, offering people the freedom to develop their own experience. Founded in 2004 by Ma Yansong, the office first earned worldwide attention in 2006 by winning an international competition to design a residential tower near Toronto, expected to be completed in the end of 2012.MAD has been commissioned by clients of all backgrounds, leading to an intriguing combination of diverse project designs.

Some of MAD’s most prominent projects include:

The following statistics helped MAD achieve 1st place in the 25 Best Architecture Firms in China:

A+Awards Winner 8
A+Awards Finalist 3
Featured Projects 25
Total Projects 24

Why Should I Trust Architizer’s Ranking?

With more than 30,000 architecture firms and over 130,000 projects within its database, Architizer is proud to host the world’s largest online community of architects and building product manufacturers. Its celebrated A+Awards program is also the largest celebration of architecture and building products, with more than 400 jurors and hundreds of thousands of public votes helping to recognize the world’s best architecture each year.

Architizer also powers firm directories for a number of AIA (American Institute of Architects) Chapters nationwide, including the official directory of architecture firms for AIA New York.

25 Best Architecture Firms in China

An example of a project page on Architizer with Project Award Badges highlighted

A Guide to Project Awards

The blue “”+”” badge denotes that a project has won a prestigious A+Award as described above. Hovering over the badge reveals details of the award, including award category, year, and whether the project won the jury or popular choice award.

The orange Project of the Day and yellow Featured Project badges are awarded by Architizer’s Editorial team, and are selected based on a number of factors. The following factors increase a project’s likelihood of being featured or awarded Project of the Day status:

  • Project completed within the last 3 years
  • A well written, concise project description of at least 3 paragraphs
  • Architectural design with a high level of both functional and aesthetic value
  • High quality, in focus photographs
  • At least 8 photographs of both the interior and exterior of the building
  • Inclusion of architectural drawings and renderings
  • Inclusion of construction photographs

There are 7 Projects of the Day each week and a further 31 Featured Projects. Each Project of the Day is published on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram Stories, while each Featured Project is published on Facebook. Each Project of the Day also features in Architizer’s Weekly Projects Newsletter and shared with 170,000 subscribers.

 


 

We’re constantly look for the world’s best architects to join our community. If you would like to understand more about this ranking list and learn how your firm can achieve a presence on it, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at editorial@architizer.com.

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