Taichung Convention Center / MAD Architects


MAD Architects shared their recently completed design for the with us.  Conceived as “a continuous weave of architecture and landscape that blurs the boundary between architecture, public space and urban landscape, proposing a futuristic vision based on the East’s naturalistic philosophy,” the convention center is the first project in Taiwan commissioned by the Taichung city government.  The project is meant to surpass the traditional metropolitan landmark to become something that pushes Taichung “into the arena of world class cultural cities…. through unique architectural concepts and proposing a new kind of architectural philosophy.”

More about the convention center and more images after the break.


The form, with its crater-shaped formation and rotundas, is an abstracted representation of the existing landscape conditions.  ”It simultaneously shapes and influences the surrounding environment, opening up a dialogue between architecture and landscape,” explained the architects.



The project’s billowing skin is a high-tech, eco-friendly pleated skin system.  The envelope provides enough air flow through the building to naturally ventilate the spaces, and the pleating integrates a double photovoltaic glass that will reduce energy consumption levels.  The materiality of the “eco-skin” changes as one side is transparent to allow light to penetrate the interiors, while the other side is solid.

Taichung_03.3_night view_2

Although there are individual “mountains”, the project was conceived as a whole, and open courtyards connect the pieces to create an integrated sequence of outdoor spaces.  “This project seeks greater meaning in its non-material qualities, spaces encircled with the utmost naturalistic spirit,” concluded MAD.

All images courtesy of MAD.


Location: Tai Chung, Taiwan
Type: Office, Hotel, Retail, Exhibition, Convention Halls
Site Area: 70,318 sqm
Building Area: 216,161 sqm
Building Height: 39m-85m
Structure: Vertical Circulation, Enclosure System
Skin: Pleated Skin System with Double Photvoltaic Glass
Director in Charge: Ma Yansong, Dang Qun
Design Team: Jordan Kanter, Jtravis Russett, Irmi Reiter, Diego Perez, Dai Pu, Rasmus Palmquist, Art Terry, Chie Fuyuki

Cite: Cilento, Karen. "Taichung Convention Center / MAD Architects" 30 Sep 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 26 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=36534>
  • VOG

    “The form, with its crater-shaped formation and rotundas, is an abstracted representation of the existing landscape conditions”…. This is were architects talk scary…….. lets examine this words again carefully. “Form” becomes the main subject to be explain trough a general description arriving on the following resolution: “is an abstracted representation of the existing landscape conditions” which landscape? The natural landscape or the urban landscape?… Both? The latter would be convenient given the fact the building combines “abstracted representation of organic form” with “technical function ability of the human habitat” but does this makes it right or even suitable for the location and cultural context it’s in? Could this building be anywhere else in the world having the same form and argument meant for Taichung? If the answer is yes, then this eccentric building is doom!

    • Ala

      I think Sydney Opera house by Jorn(?) Utzon could beautifully sit on any landscape anywhere in the world too. People embrace formal/iconic buildings if they also provide functions of a habitat enjoyably, no matter whether it is a convention center or a residential block. I have heard professors arguing that your buildings could be anywhere when I was in school years ago. I still wanted to argue that many of the highly respected buildings in the world could be anywhere in the world too, expect for sun orientation or site constrictions (such as zoning or topographical conditions).
      I hope you would agree that if you look at CCTV by OMA or other stand-alone type of buildigs (Burj Dubai, Bird-nest Stadium, turning torso, Chicago Spire, etc). This MAD project is also more or less stand-alone. I agree your point that mimicking of something in nature or representation of something are not strong arguments in architecture. But I also tend to argue that there is nothing wrong with it as long as the building provides its necessary functions efficiently.

  • Rupesh Jamkhindikar

    Walla!!! Marvelous…..amazing…either the trees are too big or the buildings too small…they need more of a skin specialist than an architect to conceive this…


  • 2MACoff


    • ferran10


  • http://www.ess.com The Ess

    This is just beautiful in every way.

  • Katsudon

    Hahaha… Again, not formally ugly (this depend on each persons tastes) but, why??? “a continuous weave of architecture and landscape that blurs the boundary between architecture, public space and urban landscape…” I understand this statment, but to me it miss its target. If it’s to reproduce a natural landscape feeling, let the nature do, because it’s far better. It could be much more metaphoric… If it’s to give an urban landscape, then it’s not harmonized with the rest of the city and breaks obviously the limit with existing city. I don’t see any boundaries bluring here, just a beautiful furniture. City is not a living room, architecture is not just about skins and urban design is not museum curating!
    Once again i’m not disliking this project for it’s shape, i just think the concept lacks of depth! I have exactly the same feeling with BIG’s Astana’s library, beautiful but what if you look at it further than it’s plot limits.
    Just 3D’tecture?
    And all this pasted green blablah…

  • salton


  • Chenko

    if you want the “utmost naturalistic spirit” go for a bush walk.

    • http://www.vitsee.wordpress.com Vitsee

      or even just a bush

  • João

    What´s interesting about this project is the originality and the ability to allow us to explore other ways to appropriate the space, not if is beautiful or ugly.

    • Filipe

      that´s it!

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  • Gorgos

    I think this project is hopelessly screaming for attention. From the inside, as well as from the outside. I havent been able to discover a straight line, in plan as well as in section. I cant find any subtleties.

    If the goal was to integrate, I cant see how it succeeded. It stands out completely compared to the surrounding city as well as compared to the surrounding nature. It looks more like coral-reef, or some sort of sea plant, if anything.

    Im getting tired of all this eco-stuff. Cant we think of any other justifications anymore? My next building will be eco-unfriendly.

    • João

      I just hope you don´t find a client for it…

      • Gorgos

        I was being ironic

  • wartian

    i am not MAD fan but i like the mysterious effect of the void inside the building!almost like john portman building, in more contemporary way..!

  • http://www.sunflowerdesigns.hu/ Andrew Geber

    I honestly think that 10-20 years from now we will have HUNDREDS of books full of THOUSANDS of pictures of whats happening in china today. Every other day its a new beautiful bridge or building or something. Awesome

    • pfunla

      this is in TAIWAN, an independent and sovereign country east of china across the taiwan strait, NOT china.

      there’s so many uneducated people in this world even in this day and age of unlimited access to abundant information. it’s really sad.

      • ruihan peng

        I would like to know that how you drew the conclusion,if an educated people don’t know that only 24 countries in the world acknowledged that taiwan is an independent country ,it’s also sad.I’m chinese.taiwanese is chinese.

  • Happy_Robot

    Безе что-ли?

  • NMiller

    Visually, I think it is an interesting approach to convention center design which is typically exemplified by an arrangement of large box expo halls.

    For an “eco” convention center there sure seems to be a lot of hardscape plazas with very little shade. Where is the landscape concept to compliment the natural forms?

    Also, how does the structure work? It seems conveniently missing from all images, sections, and diagrams.

  • aa

    wow, pretty scary…
    but what else would you expect from an office called ‘mad architects’?… i don’t think they even take themselves seriously

  • João

    This is not to be built, it´s to open our minds.

  • http://www.contractor-city.com ErickMcG

    Looks like a cluster of barnacles.

  • Guilherme

    Last week’s Piano’s Volcano is so much more elegant than these ones…Piano’s got so much to teach us

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  • William Chung

    I would like to know how contractors build this building. According these renderings, it requires innovative construction method which Taiwanese contractors are lack of these technology and experience.