The Reluctant Architect: An Interview with Wang Shu of Amateur Architects Studio


  • Edward Denison,

  • Guang Yu Ren


On the announcement of the awarding of the Pritzker Prize to the first Chinese architect, Wang Shu, in May 2012, jury chair Lord Palumbo commended him for an architecture that is ‘timeless, deeply rooted in its context and yet universal’. Visiting Wang and his work in the ancient city of Hangzhou in Eastern China, shortly afterwards Edward Denison and Guang Yu Ren sought to understand why Wang might have succeeded where other architects have failed in a Chinese and international context, forging an innovative approach to architecture, which is in tune with tradition while being of a ‘genuine and often sublime originality’.