We welcome Tianye Zhou to our Oak Brook studio. In the streets of Beijing’s “old town,” you might encounter a 300-year-old pickle store next to a Starbucks. Gleaming skyscrapers rise amid centuries-old hutongs (i.e., narrow streets/alleys) and traditional courtyard residences called Siheyuans. This place where tradition meets modernity is the hometown of Tianye.
In high school, Tianye started to notice how Beijing’s influx of high-rise apartments and luxury retailers brought with it the loss of some traditions. During one of his many trips to the local bookstore, he found The Aesthetic Townscape by Japanese author Yoshinobu Ashihara. It wasn’t long before Tianye realized he wanted to be an architect.
Tianye got his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Wuhan University, 650 miles south of Beijing. He then earned his Master of Architecture from the University of Minnesota. Tianye applied his love of travel to his architectural education. After finishing a course in Baroque Architecture at the University of Minnesota, he flew to Rome and tried to visit all the buildings he learned about.
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