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MAD Breaks Ground on Complex that Redefines Beijing’s “City Landscape”

Construction has commenced on MAD’s Chaoyang Park Plaza within one of Beijing’s largest public parks and central business district. A continuation of Ma Yansong’s “Shan-Shui City” concept, which aims reintroduce nature into the urban realm, the mixed-use complex reinterprets natural formations illustrated in traditional Chinese paintings as contemporary “city landscapes.” 

“Like the tall mountain cliffs and river landscapes of China, a pair of asymmetrical towers creates a dramatic skyline in front of the park,” described MAD. “Ridges and valleys define the shape of the exterior glass facade, as if the natural forces of erosion wore down the tower into a few thin lines.” 

The Forbidden City Red-wall Teahouse / CutscapeArchitecture

  • Architects: CutscapeArchitecture
  • Location: Beijing, China
  • Architect in Charge: Hong ZHANG, Hetian ZHANG
  • Design Team: Cheng ZHANG, Hongbin PAN, Cheng LIAN, Ziyue LIU, Penghao AN, Jihua SUN, Jie JING, Xiaowei HAN
  • Area: 280.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Wang Yi, Zhang Hetian, Chen Su

© Zhang Hetian © Wang Yi © Wang Yi © Wang Yi

An Interview with MAD Architects' Ma Yansong: Constructing Icons, Identity & China's Future Cities

I look into myself, trying to express myself. I think sometimes maybe you have an idea from a dream. It sounds ridiculous but you draw something out of your dream. Where does this dream come from? It must somehow relate to some situation. So what I'm interested in is to keep discovering what is really inside of me. I'm not a genius that from the first moment I already know what I want. - Ma Yansong -

Beixinqiao district, in Beijing, is changing fast: the ancient urban tissue is being demolished as new high-rises are growing.Located in this environment, Ma Yansong’s office sits within an old and anonymous construction. In contrast to its exterior, the inside is characterized by wood, white walls and plants that transform the place into a sophisticated environment.International young architects are busy modeling new organic-shaped buildings on the other side of the world; meanwhile a golden fish swims in the eternal loop of the “fish tank” in the centre of the room.

In the following interview, Ma Yansong explains contemporary cities as environments that are out-of-scale with nature. He believes a new approach must be used, one that breaks the monotonous “chessboard” of contemporary Urban China and re-establishes the balance between human beings and the natural world.

Vanke Orange City Sales Center / Sunlay Design Group

© Shu He
© Shu He
  • Architects: Sunlay Design Group
  • Location: Beijing, China
  • Architect in Charge: Zhang Hua
  • Design Team: Fan Li, Tan Qingjun, Sun Rui, Zhang Yong
  • Area: 5100.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Shu He

© Shu He © Shu He © Shu He © Shu He

Perspective on The Cube by Oyler Wu Collaborative

From the architect. The Cube, a sixteen meter tall painted steel and rope installation designed for the 2013 Beijing Biennale by the Oyler Wu Collaborative, challenges the volumetric perception of its own archetypal geometry. The aspiration of the installation is to achieve the transcendence of the first dimension - the line - by simulating warping two-dimensional planes, which penetrate and populate the object framework, to create the perception of inhabitable three-dimensional space.

Latitude Studio Designs "Future Mall" Exhibition Space in Beijing

Latitude Studio, based in Barcelona and Beijing, have unveiled designs for a showroom exhibition centre in China's capital city. Integral to the design is how visitors circulate and interact with the spaces centred around the "future shopping mall". Including an auditorium, model spaces and views onto an area which is expected to see enormous retail development, the building's central atrium and "thematic sightseeing walk" offer a unique journey for the visitor.

Guodian New Energy Technology Research Institute Beijing / BIAD 3A2 Studio

  • Architects: BIAD 3A2 Studio
  • Location: Changping, Beijing, China
  • Design Team: Ye Yiqian, Liu Weigang, Xue Jun, Duan Wei, Cong Zhen, Huo Jianjun, Wang Yazhao, Xu Xiaoying
  • Area: 240000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Yang Chaoying

© Yang Chaoying © Yang Chaoying © Yang Chaoying © Yang Chaoying

1/2 Stadium / Interval Architects

  • Architects: Interval Architects
  • Location: Beijing Huangzhuang Vocational Senior High School Branch School, Shijingshan, Beijing, China, 100040
  • Project Architect: Oscar KO, GU Yunduan
  • Area: 17000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: GU Yunduan

© GU Yunduan © GU Yunduan © GU Yunduan © GU Yunduan

OPEN Prototype for Temporary Sales Pavilion / OPEN Architecture

© Su Shengliang
© Su Shengliang
  • Architects: OPEN Architecture
  • Location: Beijing, China
  • Architect in Charge: Li Hu, Huang Wenjing
  • Area: 1115.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Su Shengliang

© Su Shengliang © Su Shengliang © Su Shengliang © Su Shengliang

Green Design for the Future: Tsinghua-ECGB Asia Architecture Summit & Exhibition

Tsinghua-ECGB Asia Architecture Summit & Exhibition will be held December 12-13, 2013 at Tsinghua University in Beijing City. Jointly sponsored by School of Architecture, Tsinghua University, Tsinghua Holdings Human Settlements Construction (Group) Co., Ltd, Editorial Office of Eco-city and Green Building (ECGB) magazine, the Summit will bring together eight award winning Asian architects to share their design thinking and key projects on creative sustainability. Keynote speakers include Vo Trong Nghia, Principal Architect of Vo Trong Nghia Architects and Shigeru Ban, Founder of Shigeru Ban Architects.

Daxing Factory Conversion / Nie Yong + Yoshimasa Tsutsumi

  • Architects: Nie Yong + Yoshimasa Tsutsumi
  • Location: Daxing, Beijing, China
  • Area: 4964.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Misae Hiromatsu

© Misae Hiromatsu © Misae Hiromatsu © Misae Hiromatsu © Misae Hiromatsu

Outdoor Room / MODU

  • Architects: MODU
  • Location: Beijing, China
  • Collaborators: Ho-Yan Cheung, Arup
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Matthew Niederhauser

© Matthew Niederhauser © Matthew Niederhauser © Matthew Niederhauser © Matthew Niederhauser

An Interview with Yung Ho Chang, Atelier FCJZ

"When you find a piece of stone which is three or four hundreds years old, then you understand the notion of time as more than what we can experience as human beings. At that moment the old thing might be beautiful, it might be ugly. It doesn't matter, but it gives you a sense of profound time, and then you understand your history and ancestors that lived in a different world, different from the one we are in now."-Yung Ho Chang

Located in Beijing’s Yuanming Yuan Park, next to the ruins of the mixed-style Baroque Palace, Yung Ho Chang's office is in an ancient wooden dwelling, surrounded by vegetable gardens grown by the architects of the studio.

In this conversation, Yung Ho, who established China’s first independent architectural office, Atelier FCJZ in 1993, laying the foundation of contemporary practice in China, talks about his story, describing a Beijing which has disappeared as well as the contemporary Beijing and its "New Beijing Sky." He talks about architecture using references from movies, literature, art and artists, describing his approach to architecture in accordance with his philosophy of life.

West Street Number 1 / 6A2 Studio, Architectural Design & Research Institute of Tsinghua University

  • Architects: 6A2 Studio, Architectural Design & Research Institute of Tsinghua University
  • Location: Wudaokou, Haidian, Beijing, China
  • Architect in Charge: Wenqing Li
  • Design Team: Wenqing Li, Guodong Yin, Zhe Li, Yijun Qiao, Jintao Jia
  • Collaborators: Yan Zhang, Hongyan Li, Zhixin Xu
  • Area: 1200.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Archexist

© Archexist © Archexist © Archexist © Archexist

CCTV Headquarters Named “Best Tall Building Worldwide”

OMA’s CCTV Headquarters in Beijing, ArchDaily’s 2012 “Building of the Year,” was deemed “Best Tall Building Worldwide” by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). Selected from a shortlist of four deserving skyscrapers, CCTV was awarded “best” due to its “unusual take on skyscraper typology.”

The jury stated: “Instead of competing in the race for ultimate height and style through a traditional two-dimensional tower soaring skyward, CCTV’s loop poses a truly three-dimensional experience, culminating in a 75-meter cantilever."

Ole Scheeren in Beijing, from Nowness

Ole Scheeren: A Beijing Essay  on

In the latest of NOWNESS' spectacular videos, Ole Scheeren - a former partner at OMA and now principal of Büro Ole Scheeren in Beijing - reflects on the past decade he has spent in China overseeing construction of the CCTV Headquarters. He muses over the delicate balancing act that Western architects maintain when they work in China, simultaneously bringing change to the city and allowing the city to change who they are and how they see the world. In this context, where change is "something that you are immediately and instantly confronted with" he believes that the CCTV Building is "both confrontational and complicit".