When I first stepped in Chongqing two years ago, I had the same feeling as when I first arrived in Manhattan from new wark airport in 1995… A feeling of entering in a mysterious and magical place… I felt in love with the city immediately. A couple of month after, my first contribution for Le Monde was an opening photo of the city. Since then, I have been back three times and I continue to be fascinated by it. To my eyes, it is a representation of the recent chinese history in one place at one moment. From the mafia era to the red era, the city is full of mysteries and stories that are waiting to be told… From the central clock tower, surrounded by giant shopping malls and luxury shops, you can slowly walk down from this upper part of town to the river at the lowest level. This downgrade will also take you through all the different level of the society. Near the clock, new and modern compounds are home to the rich… As you walk down, the living standarts are going down as well… and in the lowest part, near the river, electricity and windows become a luxury…. In some part, some strange old temples are trying to resist the rapid development of the city -in other giant holes suddenly appears in between high rises building and are waiting to be purchased by some developer…
As I will pursue my work in this city, this issue is bringing you an introduction to the city. In the full screen gallery, I have inserted some of the large format urban photos of the city, mostly taken from or towards the river banks who define the cities. I recommend you to purchase this edition of AA ( L architecture d’Aujourd’hui july / august edition ) and read as well the excellent article written by french architects from Archiplein agency in shanghai. Its a full 10 page spread !!!
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