Zhang Ke

Aga Khan Design Critic in Architecture

Born in 1970, Zhang Ke founded ZAO/standardarchitecture “标准营造” in 2001. With a wide range of realized works over the past 17 years, the studio has emerged as one of the most critical and innovative protagonists among the new generation of Chinese architects. Recent works include the Novartis Campus Building in Shanghai, a number of Hutong transformation projects in the historic centre of Beijing, and various buildings embedded in the landscape of Tibet.

The work of Zhang Ke and his studio has been the subject of several solo exhibitions in Europe- most recently at the Maison Louis Carre in Paris, France, 2018; the Bielefeld Kunstverein in Germany, 2017; the Museum of Finnish Architecture in Helsinki, Finland, 2017; the Aedes Architekturforum in Berlin, Germany, 2015; and the Zumtobel Lichtforum in Dornbirn, Austria, 2015. In 2016, Zhang Ke was invited to exhibit in the Central Exhibition at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale.

In 2018, a concrete model of Zhang Ke’s work Micro-Hutong was acquired into New York MoMA’s permanent collection, becoming the first project representing contemporary Chinese architecture at MoMA. Zhang Ke’s work has also been featured in exhibitions at the MAK in Vienna, the DAM in Frankfurt, the V&A in London, and published in architecture magazines including Casabella, a+u, Domus, MARK, Detail, Bauwelt, Garten+Landschaft, Topos, Icon, Architectural Record, and the Harvard Design Magazine, amongst others.

Zhang Ke has lectured at the Architecture League of New York, the KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Universidad Católica de Chile, and the Castelvecchio Museum in Verona. He was a key speaker at the Architecture 2.0 Symposium in Rotterdam, Milan Design Week, Helsinki Design Week, Sydney Design Week, the CERSAIE in Bologna, and the Forum Architektur-Fenster-Fassade in Nuremberg.

Zhang Ke was awarded the Alvar Aalto Medal in 2017, and the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2016. Other notable awards include the International Award Architecture in Stone, Verona, Italy 2011; the Design Vanguard by Architecture Record, 2010; China Architecture Media Award (CAMA), Best Young Architect Prize, 2008; and the WA Chinese Architecture Award, Winning Prize, 2010 and 2006.

Zhang Ke received his Master of Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1998 and his Master and Bachelor of Architecture from Tsinghua University in Beijing. He has been teaching Option Studios at Harvard GSD since 2016.