"If China doesn't go green it's the end of
the world" - Li Xiaodong on Liyuan Library


World Architecture Festival 2012: in this movie we filmed at the World Architecture Festival, Chinese architect Li Xiaodong tells Dezeen editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs how "sustainability is a must" for new buildings in China, because if the country doesn't get it right it's "the end of the world".

Liyuan Library by Li Xiaodong

The architect stresses that now China's population is approaching 1.4 billion, that the country needs to "really reconsider the way we construct and we think about our society."

Liyuan Library by Li Xiaodong

Xiaodong won the award in the culture category with his design for the Liyuan Library clad in firewood in a small village outside Beijing and he describes how technology was an important aspect of the project. Although the building looks "untechnologically expressive," it features an integrated cooling system that draws cold air from the surface of a lake in summer and pulls it up through the building.

Liyuan Library by Li Xiaodong

The frame of the library is made from chunky timber beams, while the cladding is wooden sticks. "I tried to go back to nature, said Xiaodong. "Around 99 percent of the materials can be recycled and this is part of the concept we need to promote."

Liyuan Library by Li Xiaodong

Read more about the Liyuan Library in our earlier story.

We’ve filmed a series of interviews with award winners at the World Architecture Festival. See all the movies we've published so far, including our interview with architect Chris Wilkinson about the World Building of the Year.

See all our stories about WAF 2012 »

  • Alex W

    Would it really be the end of the world?

  • I personally don’t see going green being a priority for China right now.

  • Heath


  • stephane

    Me neither, they do not give a damn f**k… that is so sad for the future generation.

  • willy

    I am an architect working in Shanghai (China), we do not consider these “sustainability” things, it’s sad. As much as I know, very few design companies care about sustainability, in most situations sustainability is just a gimmick.

  • 3DD

    I am sure that it will become fashionable at some point.
    People will start living better become wealthier and will start demanding for cleaner air and better environment. Europe went through this in 6-70ties.

    The project is great though.

  • Tellsitlikeitis

    China is using far less energy per capita compared to Europe or North America. Environmental concerns will be dealt with in a progressive way when China transforms into a post-industrial society like we did.

    It is short-sighted and ill-informed to blame China for environmental transgressions, when in fact these transgressions took place in the excact same way while our societies developed from agrarian to industrial. Then we decided to prefer clean air and outsourced the dirt and filth to China. And now we arrogantly complain about China. Nice logic there.

  • Adam B

    No one is going green any more. Everything is now focused on 3D printing and I’m sorry Dezeen, but you are the ones who are not helping with saving the world. The majority of your posts are now all about 3D printing. Get away from the trends and get to the things that actually matter in our future.

  • chan

    China is in need of architects who care for sustainbility.