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Mad Architects

Sneak Peek: MAD's Chaoyang Park Plaza Project is Almost Complete

06:00 - 5 September, 2017
© Khoo Guo Jie/Studio Periphery
© Khoo Guo Jie/Studio Periphery

If you follow MAD Architects on social media, the chances are good that in recent months you've seen a number of updates regarding their Chaoyang Park Plaza project in Beijing. Located at the southern edge of the largest park in Beijing, the project comprises a complex of 5 buildings, including a pair of asymmetric towers that reach 120 meters tall. Now, with the building almost complete, photographer Khoo Guo Jie of Studio Periphery has provided us with this sneak peek of the project.

© Khoo Guo Jie/Studio Periphery © Khoo Guo Jie/Studio Periphery © Khoo Guo Jie/Studio Periphery © Khoo Guo Jie/Studio Periphery + 15

#donotsettle Visits MAD’s "Out-of-this-World" Harbin Opera House

09:30 - 25 August, 2017

Welcome to the latest installment of #donotsettle extra, the series in which Wahyu Pratomo and Kris Provoost accompany some of their #donotsettle videos with in-depth textual analysis of the buildings they visit.

After last month’s visit to OMA’s first building in Shanghai, we stayed in China and headed north—far north. We are happy to take you to a building that has been high on our “to-do list.” Harbin, a provincial capital city in the north-east of China, has previously only been known for the large-scale ice sculptures that appear during the winter months. In the past two years, this has changed, at least for the architecture geeks spread around the world.

Ma Yansong and his team at MAD Architects designed and built the Harbin Opera House in a new part of the city. First announced in 2013, the building was completed at the end of 2015. Since then, an endless stream of breathtaking photos has been shared on the internet. We had to see this project with our own eyes! We ventured out to Harbin and spent a day at the Opera.

© Wahyu Pratomo and Kris Provoost © Wahyu Pratomo and Kris Provoost © Wahyu Pratomo and Kris Provoost © Wahyu Pratomo and Kris Provoost + 13

MAD Architects Designs Futuristic Headquarters for the "World’s Fastest-Accelerating Electric Car"

11:10 - 18 July, 2017
MAD Architects Designs Futuristic Headquarters for the "World’s Fastest-Accelerating Electric Car", Courtesy of MAD Architects
Courtesy of MAD Architects

MAD Architects has unveiled designs for a new campus for Faraday Future (FF), makers of “the world’s fastest-accelerating electric car.” Located on the site of a former Naval base on Mare Island, adjacent to the Napa River in Northern California, the campus has been envisioned as a “zero-emission base” that will support not only the company’s research, development, and manufacturing headquarters, but also public outreach programming and ecological restoration of the river.

Courtesy of MAD Architects Courtesy of MAD Architects Courtesy of MAD Architects Courtesy of MAD Architects + 11

MAD's Lucas Museum of Narrative Art Approved by LA City Council

12:25 - 29 June, 2017
MAD's Lucas Museum of Narrative Art Approved by LA City Council, Courtesy of Lucas Museum of Narrative Art
Courtesy of Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

The Los Angeles City Council has unanimously voted to approve the construction of the long-awaited Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in LA’s Exposition Park, all but ensuring that the museum has finally found its permanent home after three years of searching.

The Best Architect-Designed Pieces from Design Miami/ Basel 2017

14:00 - 16 June, 2017
The Best Architect-Designed Pieces from Design Miami/ Basel 2017, Table, MAD Martian Collection by MAD Architects. Image Courtesy of MAD Architects
Table, MAD Martian Collection by MAD Architects. Image Courtesy of MAD Architects

With Design Miami/ Basel 2017 well underway (from June 13-18), ArchDaily has compiled a list of the best architect-designed furniture pieces on display at the event. This year, notable items include works by MAD Architects, Christ & Gantenbien, Trix & Robert Haussman, John Lautner, Jonathen Muecke, Jean Prouvé and Sou Fujimoto.

New Renderings Revealed for MAD's Lucas Museum in Los Angeles

15:15 - 5 May, 2017
New Renderings Revealed for MAD's Lucas Museum in Los Angeles, Courtesy of Los Angeles Department of City Planning
Courtesy of Los Angeles Department of City Planning

New renderings showing an updated design for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles have been revealed as part of a presentation to the LA city planning commission. Designed by MAD Architects, the building will house the Star Wars-directors’ expansive collection of art, illustrations and artifacts, showcasing the art of visual storytelling.

Courtesy of Los Angeles Department of City Planning Courtesy of Los Angeles Department of City Planning Courtesy of Los Angeles Department of City Planning Courtesy of Los Angeles Department of City Planning + 4

MAD Unveils Proposal to Transform Milan's Dilapidated Railyards

10:30 - 10 April, 2017
MAD Unveils Proposal to Transform Milan's Dilapidated Railyards, Historical Future: Milan Reborn, Scalo Farini and Valtellina
Historical Future: Milan Reborn, Scalo Farini and Valtellina

In an presentation at Milan Design Week 2017, MAD Architects has revealed their proposal for the Scali Milano project, which invited five international firms (MAD, Stefano Boeri Architetti, Mecanoo, MIRALLES TAGLIABUE EMBT, and Cino Zucchi Architetti) to design a community-reactivation masterplan aimed at transforming a series of Milan's neglected railyards into "productive social landscapes that establish a harmony between Milan’s citizenry, the larger metropolitan region, and the natural environment." 

Titled Historical Future: Milan Reborn, MAD's scheme proposes reorganizing the railyards into a series of interconnected micro-systems that follow five spatial concepts: “City of Connections,” “City of Green,” “City of Living,” “City of Culture,” and “City of Resources.”

© Piero Cruciatti / La Presse © Piero Cruciatti / La Presse Councilor of Urban Planning, Green, and Agriculture for the City of Milan Pierfrancesco Maran, FS Urban Systems CEO Carlo De Vito, and Ma Yansong on MAD's exhibition site © Piero Cruciatti / La Presse + 21

Look Inside a Collection of Beijing-Based Architecture Offices, Photographed by Marc Goodwin

04:00 - 20 January, 2017
Look Inside a Collection of Beijing-Based Architecture Offices, Photographed by Marc Goodwin, ZAO/standardarchitecture – one office interior photographed by Goodwin. Image © Marc Goodwin
ZAO/standardarchitecture – one office interior photographed by Goodwin. Image © Marc Goodwin

Architectural photographer Marc Goodwin has recently completed the third collection of his "ultra-marathon of photoshoots" – this time in Beijing. Following his unique insight into the spaces occupied by Nordic architectural offices (based in Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen and Helsinki) and his look at studios both large and small lived in by London-based practices, Goodwin has turned his lens to the burgeoning number of offices in the Chinese capital. From MAD Architects' magnificent old printing works to ZAO/standardarchitecture's purpose-built studio, here is a view into the places that architectural offices call home.

URBANUS Architecture & Design, Inc.. Image © Marc Goodwin Chiasmus Partners, Inc.. Image © Marc Goodwin ZAO/standardarchitecture. Image © Marc Goodwin C+ Architects. Image © Marc Goodwin + 24

Los Angeles Selected as New Site for MAD's Lucas Museum

08:30 - 11 January, 2017
Los Angeles Selected as New Site for MAD's Lucas Museum, Courtesy of Lucas Museum of Narrative Art
Courtesy of Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art has finally found a home. Following nearly a decade of searching, the museum’s board has announced that Los Angeles’ Exposition Park will serve as the site for the MAD Architects-designed building housing the life’s work and expansive art and media collection of one of history’s most celebrated filmmakers, George Lucas.

"MAD Works: MAD Architects" Introduced by Sir Peter Cook

04:00 - 21 December, 2016

The skylines of modern China are punctuated by architecture that amazes, inspires, and awes. Many of these towering structures are the work of the Beijing-based experimental practice MAD Architects, led by Ma Yansong.

People often ask what 'MAD' stands for; sometimes, I explain it stands for MA Design, but I like MAD (adjective) Architects better. It sounds like a group of architects with an attitude towards design and practice. I think it is important to practice architecture with an attitude, to be critical and sensitive to the issues and challenges in our world.

Spotlight: Ma Yansong

03:30 - 26 November, 2016
Spotlight: Ma Yansong, Harbin Opera House. Image © Iwan Baan
Harbin Opera House. Image © Iwan Baan

Founder of the innovative architecture firm MAD Architects, Ma Yansong (born 26 November 1975) has helped to give China a name in the international architecture scene. The first Chinese architect to receive a RIBA fellowship, Ma explores contemporary architecture in relation to traditional eastern values of nature, resulting in buildings that are complex and contextually aware, but sometimes even surreal. 

MAD Unveils Dual Lucas Museum Proposals for Los Angeles and San Francisco

12:30 - 27 October, 2016
MAD Unveils Dual Lucas Museum Proposals for Los Angeles and San Francisco, Courtesy of Lucas Museum of Narrative Art
Courtesy of Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

In the latest episode of what has become a dramatic narrative worthy of its own space opera, The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art has revealed plans for their two newest hopes: prospective museum designs, one in Los Angeles and one in San Francisco, that could serve as the new home of filmmaker George Lucas’ eclectic personal collection of artworks, costumes and artifacts.

After their failed proposal for a mountain-shaped museum along the Chicago Waterfront, the museum has again tapped architect Ma Yansong and his firm, MAD Architects, to design both proposals for the California sites, the first along the water on Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay, and the second for a site in Exposition Park in Los Angeles, adjacent to the city’s Natural History Museum and the Coliseum.

MAD Architects Unveils Design for Translucent China Philharmonic Hall in Beijing

09:35 - 18 October, 2016
MAD Architects Unveils Design for Translucent China Philharmonic Hall in Beijing, Exterior View. Image Courtesy of MAD Architects
Exterior View. Image Courtesy of MAD Architects

MAD Architects has unveiled the design of the new China Philharmonic Hall in Beijing. Conceived in collaboration with renowned acoustic expert Yasuhisa Toyota (Walt Disney Concert Hall, Philharmonie de Paris, Suntory Hall, etc.), the concert hall will serve as the China Philharmonic Orchestra’s first permanent residency while becoming “a cultural exchange and China’s new locus for classical music.”

To be located at the south side of the Workers Stadium East Gate in Beijing’s Central Business District, the 26,587 square meter (286,000 square foot) building has been envisioned as a “hidden gem” and a place of peaceful respite within the city.

“We wanted to create a pure and sacred oasis in the midst of the bustling city,” says Ma Yansong, founder & principal partner of MAD Architects. “From the moment you enter the building, you will be taken to another time and space.”

Bird's Eye View. Image Courtesy of MAD Architects Lobby. Image Courtesy of MAD Architects Main Concert Hall. Image Courtesy of MAD Architects Philharmonic Hall diagram. Image Courtesy of MAD Architects + 22

OMA, MAD Among 7 Architects Selected in Competition to Redesign Tour Montparnasse

14:00 - 17 October, 2016
OMA, MAD Among 7 Architects Selected in Competition to Redesign Tour Montparnasse, © flickr user xispics. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
© flickr user xispics. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Ensemble Immobilier Tour Maine-Montparnasse (EITMM) has selected 7 notable firms to continue to the second round in a competition for the renovation of Tour Montparnasse in the Montparnasse district of Paris, France.

Often cited as one of the architecture world’s most hated buildings, Tour Montparnasse has been criticized for its discordance with the Parisian urban landscape – just two years after its completion, new buildings over seven stories high in the city centre were banned, leaving the tower as an alien presence on the skyline.

With the launching of the competition, the EITMM hopes to transform Tour Montparnasse into a beloved landmark with a complete renovation of the facade, the building entry and all interior spaces. The budget for the project is estimated to reach over 300 million Euro ($330 million USD), and will be funded in entirety by the building owners.

Videos: 16 Top Architects Discuss China's "Museum Boom"

16:30 - 26 September, 2016
Videos: 16 Top Architects Discuss China's "Museum Boom", Ordos Art & City Museum / MAD Architects. Image © Shu He
Ordos Art & City Museum / MAD Architects. Image © Shu He

Currently on display at the Aedes Architecture Forum Berlin, "ZÀI XĪNG TǓ MÙ: Sixteen Chinese Museums, Fifteen Chinese Architects," takes an in-depth look at China’s recent museum boom and its effects on the socio-political and cultural landscape of modern China.

As part of the exhibition, filmmaker Moritz Dirks sat down with 16 of the top architects working in China today, including Wang Shu, Dang Qun of MAD Architects, and Zhu Pei of Studio Pei-Zhu, to discuss the challenges of creating cultural spaces that relate both to the global, digital, urban contexts of the contemporary world and to the strong heritage and identity of Chinese culture.

Continue after the break for the 16 interviews.

MAD Architects Design Veiled Xinhee Design Center in Xiamen

09:00 - 10 August, 2016
MAD Architects Design Veiled Xinhee Design Center in Xiamen, Courtesy of MAD Architects
Courtesy of MAD Architects

MAD Architects has conceived a new design center for international fashion group Xinhee in the coastal Chinese city of Xiamen. Designed as six petals growing from a central atrium, the 61,000 square meter building will sit on a 15,000 square meter site, and will serve as the home of Xinhee and its six subsidiary brands.  

“We envision it as a building with skin-and-bones,” reveals MAD founding principal Ma Yansong, “the correspondence of clothing and architecture is they both explore the relationship between the interior and the exterior.”

Courtesy of MAD Architects Courtesy of MAD Architects Courtesy of MAD Architects Courtesy of MAD Architects + 19

OMA Releases Images of Alternative Design for Lucas Museum

07:00 - 13 July, 2016

UPDATE: We've added the video produced for the proposal! (via Brooklyn Digital Foundry)

Following the news last week that the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will abandon plans for their Chicago location, OMA has released images of their proposal for the museum, which had been beaten out in the original competition by MAD Architects' Volcano-like entry. OMA’s design attempts to preserve as much of the lakefront park space as possible, lifting the majority of gallery and educational spaces into the air and capping them with a sky garden enclosed within an ETFE envelope. The plan would have offered up to 8 times more public space than the footprint it occupies.

Courtesy of OMA New York Courtesy of OMA New York Courtesy of OMA New York Courtesy of OMA New York + 13

Lucas Museum Abandons Plans for Chicago Location

12:00 - 28 June, 2016
Lucas Museum Abandons Plans for Chicago Location, Courtesy of Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts
Courtesy of Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts

The Lucas Museum has been looking for a home in all the wrong places. Following months of fiery debate over the future of the museum’s proposed lakefront location, George Lucas announced that he is abandoning plans to build the project in Chicago and will instead return to looking for a site in California. This is the second failed location for the museum, after being rejected by San Francisco’s Presidio Trust in early 2014.