Daniel Wu appears to have it all. The American actor, director and producer has just been nominated for the Oscars of architecture.
Wu is a big name in the Chinese-language film industry and also made an impact as Sunny in the martial arts drama series Into the Badlands.
Now, the fantasy of Hong Kong-Chinese female moviegoers, has just proved he is not just a screen legend.
Last week, Wu emerged as the co-designer of the Mulan Weichang Visitors Center in Hebei, near Inner Mongolia, which has been nominated for a Royal Institute of British Architects award.
In the mainland reality television show, Dream House, he was challenged to design the building, which has a striking skylight, on a budget of 800,000 yuan (US$123,000). It was modeled on a traditional Mongolian yurt or portable home.
The show had good ratings when it was aired on Christmas Eve, but it will do even better after the center was nominated for a prestigious prize.
Wu, along with co-designer Zhang Hai’ao and the Shanghai-based design firm HDD, was among 61 nominations for the international prize at the Royal Institute of British Architects Awards, the Oscars of the industry.
Other entries include a forest chapel in Japan, an oyster-shell-inspired ferry terminal in Italy and a grain silo-turned-art museum in South Africa. The list will eventually be cut to four with the winner announced next December.
The building designed for Dream Home. Photo: HDD
“Wow!” Wu exclaimed on Instagram. “This year I am back to my roots in design.” The 43-year-old star has a distinctive artistic side to his nature after majoring in architecture at the University of Oregon. He graduated in 1997, according to the Oriental Sunday.
Apart from the Royal Institute of British Architects nomination, he also designed the Tanto car, which finished in the top 10 at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas last November.
“Perhaps I should go back to being a designer?” he said.
Not so fast, Wu. But it is nice to see he is multi-talented.