As founder and chairman of Vanke, China’s biggest real-estate developer (2009 revenue: $6.7 billion), Wang Shi could make a fortune off run-of-the-mill dwellings. Instead, the mountain-climbing enthusiast–he’s conquered the highest peaks of all seven continents–uses his prowess for good, tapping starchitect Steven Holl to design an eco-friendly “horizontal skyscraper” headquarters for Vanke in Shenzhen, and Urbanus to build migrant workers’ housing, inspired by indigenous tulou structures, in Guangzhou.
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