After working in Copenhagen and New York for many years, Xi Chen returned to his homeland, China, and established his practice Atelier XI. The work of the practice focuses on public and cultural projects at various scales, and there is attention paid to the needs of diverse groups and scales.
The studio aspires to create spaces that bring unique poetry and profoundness to contemporary urban and rural environments and Chen believes that each space, grand or tiny, is a clue to the vastness of our world, and a testimony to the glory of everyday life. “By planting these quiet and resilient spaces one at a time, we envision architecture to branch out and blossom with life and narratives” he explained.
Chen’s hope for the future is that the practice will not become a copy and paste of a personal signature. He aims to create spaces that belong to their environment with unique elements and ideas extracted from their surroundings. This is his original intention for the practice that is maintained to this day.
Currently the studio is involved with many small and medium-scale public and cultural projects. In the future, there are hopes to explore new project types, especially some general and productive projects such as the most basic residential, office or urban space. Chen, through Atelier XI, hopes to create unique experiences and small miracles in ordinary places.
Chen has a hope and vision for the future and says, “Due to economic prosperity and good population mobility, a large number of new projects emerge every year. I hope architects in the Indo-Pacific region can create a unique pattern of architecture and urbanism that responds to the cultural vitality and climate condition of the region.”
Photography: Xi Chen, Zhang Chao, Atelier XI