Wood Sculpture Museum / MAD Architects

Beijing-based MAD Architects have just shared their design for a Wood Sculpture Museum in Harbin, with us.    Harbin is currently experiencing a period of rapid expansion and the new museum will allow the growing city to define itself as a regional hub for the arts.   Inspired by the unique local winter landscapes, the museum is a contrast between the elegance of nature and the speed of daily life. Its 200 meter long body is shaped as a frozen fluid that reflects and explores the relation between the building and the environment. 

More about the museum, including more images after the break. 

Construction Progress © MAD Architects

The design places a strong emphasize on form as the sleek tube-like structure becomes more articulated toward the entry space.  The twisting nature of the museum creates voids where light illuminates the galleries and main circulation spaces. 

© MAD Architects


The interior of the museum combines two different exhibitions connected by a centralized entrance which both separates the two museums while simultaneously joining them, achieving a symbiotic relationship. Skylights flood daylight into the voids adjacent to the galleries, creating optimum viewing conditions and scenic moments in and around the building. 

© MAD Architects
Cite: Cilento, Karen. "Wood Sculpture Museum / MAD Architects" 09 Jan 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 Sep 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=102473>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down +5

    Where’s the wood?

  2. Thumb up Thumb down -1

    I’m from Harbin and I believe this building shouldn’t belong to the city. It’s bloody awful and without a soul. Just MAD.

    • Thumb up Thumb down -2

      Well I can say I’m from Harbin as well..
      Appropriate to the surrounding or not, I would only talk about it if there are more photos of the surrounding, including a google map of the location.

      From the rendering, it looks quite alright as the surrounding is empty.
      Soul or not?
      It will be categorised into the issue of how the building works in such environment and how the inside interact with the outside, which is quite complexly deal with issues like psychology, functions, opportunities and etc.

      You should be happy your country still have a more philosophical base architects like MAD. Go and pick up their books.

      If you think you are good, post up your works.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Kinda cool visually……….though may tend to be a one liner.

    Darren is on the mark–there are a lot of things here which need assessment beyond FORM, especially in such a physical climate as this.

    Good point on the empty site context, vis a vis the site photo.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    So architecture of the future is about designing branch shaped building for a wood sculpture museum?
    Nurbs are nice if you don’t make a statement of it.
    Where is the wood of the sculptures? Where are the artists? Where is the connection to the specificity of the Land?
    Where is the surroundings consideration?
    I looks just hollow, pretentious and not belonging more to Harbin than to Idaho or Tasmania to me…

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    “Wood Sculpture Museum” but made from steel and aluminium composite, MAD logic.

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