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.
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 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.”
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.
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 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.”
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.
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.
MAD’s first residential project in Europe was revealed by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo earlier today. The building, called UNIC, will be located in the newly developed neighborhood of Clichy-Batignolles, a former brownfield site in the northeast of the seventeenth arrondissement, covering over fifty hectares. The tower will be adjacent to Martin Luther King Park and a courthouse by Renzo Piano that is currently under construction. MAD was awarded the design through an international competition, and the project is being developed in collaboration with Biecher Architectes.
Iwan Baan has unveiled a new series of images depicting a snow-covered Harbin Opera House by MAD Architects and its surrounding landscapes. The northern Chinese city of Harbin is known for its brutal winters where temperatures can reach -22°F (-30°C). In the photographs, the Opera House's sinuous white aluminum cladding echoes the ice formed in the adjacent river. “Harbin is very cold for the most of the year,” says MAD principal and founder Ma Yansong. “I envisioned a building that would blend into the winter landscape as a white snow dune arising from the wetlands.”
In a new film by NOWNESS, Dutch photographer Iwan Baan explains his process for photographing MAD architects’ Harbin Opera House in the northern region of China. The short documentary describes the power of architectural photography and how Baan aims to capture the present moment of a place, instead of creating a timeless scene.
Last week, ArchDaily unveiled the 14 winners of this year’s Building of the Year award. Selected by ArchDaily readers from a pool of over 3,000 candidates, these 14 projects represent the best designs published by ArchDaily in the past year, as determined by an unbiased network of 55,000 voters who took part - each of them a judge in one of the world's most democratic architecture awards.
Representing a diverse field of architects, locations and project types, each design has a very different story about how it came into being, how its design responds to its context, how it fits into an architect's oeuvre, or what it says about the direction which architecture is traveling in. But despite the many different types of story represented, each of the stories behind the Building of the Year winners is a fascinating architectural tale. Here are those 14 stories.
After two weeks of nominations and voting, we are pleased to present the winners of the 2016 ArchDaily Building of the Year Awards. As a peer-based, crowdsourced architecture award, the results shown here represent the collective intelligence of 55,000 voters, filtering the best architecture from over 3,000 projects featured on ArchDaily during the past year.
As is so often the case with the Building of the Year award, the list of winners represents great diversity. It features two Pritzker Prize winners, Renzo Piano and Herzog & de Meuron (the first practice to ever receive two Building of the Year awards in the same year), but also small, young practices such as Tim Greatrex and Elisabete de Oliveira Saldanha. The buildings which garnered these prizes also range in effect: from the tremendous poise demonstrated by projects such as NAP Architects' Ribbon Chapel and MAD's Harbin Opera House to the rustic charms of Terra e Tuma Arquitetos' Vila Matilde House or Sharon Davis Design's Partners In Health Dormitory.
By publishing them on ArchDaily, these exemplary buildings have helped us to impart inspiration and knowledge to architects around the world, furthering our mission. So to everyone who participated by either nominating or voting for a shortlisted project, thank you for being a part of this amazing process, where the voices of architects from all over the world unite to form one strong, intelligent, forward-thinking message.
And of course, congratulations to all the winners!
The Chicago City Council has voted to approve zoning for George Lucas' controversial, MAD-designed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. Planned for a lakefront site on Chicago's Museum Campus park, near the Shedd Aquarium and Field Museum, the "mountainous" design faced opposition from environmentalists who claim the building is a "confiscation of public land." Despite this, and according to reports on NBC News, the Star Wars director won the Council's approval by promising more parking and tailgating space to Chicago Bears fans.
“The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will be an incredible addition to Chicago’s Museum Campus,” said Mayor Emanuel in an official statement. “The Lucas Museum will join the 56 other museums in Chicago to provide new cultural and educational benefits for generations to come. And the new parkland will add more open greenspace that will be enjoyed by residents across the city.”
Ma Yansong, Founder and Principle Partner of MAD Architects, will launch his most recent book Shanshui City on October 13th at The Architecture & Design Museum, Los Angeles. The free event will begin with a brief presentation on Shanshui City by Ma Yansong at 7:00 p.m. and will be followed by a conversation with Frances Anderton of KCRW’s DnA: Design and Architecture, and Dean Qingyun Ma from the USC School of Architecture.
Beijing-born architect Ma Yansong, founder and principal of MAD Architects, will be delivering a lecture at LACMA on September 15th at 7:30pm. He will discuss his work and his concept of "Shanshui City," which is his vision to create a new balance between society, the city, and the environment through new forms of architecture. Ma is recognized as an important voice in the new generation of architects with projects in Asia, Europe, Canada, and the US. Works include Absolute Towers; Beijing 2050; China Wood Sculpture Museum; Harbin Cultural Island; Hutong Bubble 32; Ordos Museum; and Pingtan Art Museum.
Concerns regarding the environmental sensitivity of George Lucas’ proposed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Chicago has caused the project to halt, and may even prevent it from being realized. According to a suit filed against the museum by the Friends of the Parks, environmentalists believe that the “mountainous” lakefront proposal, designed by MAD Architects, will disrupt the site’s ecosystem.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, Lucas’ hasn’t given up on Chicago yet. However, considering that Lucas wants to see the museum built within his lifetime, the 70-year-old Star Wars director is starting to reconsider a University of Southern California (USC) campus site in Los Angeles.
The current state of architectural design incorporates many contemporary ideas of what defines unique geometry. With the advent of strong computer software at the early 21st century, an expected level of experimentation has overtaken our profession and our academic realms to explore purposeful architecture through various techniques, delivering meaningful buildings that each exhibit a message of cultural relevancy.
These new movements are not distinct stylistic trends, but modes of approaching concept design. They often combine with each other, or with stylistic movements, to create complete designs. Outlined within this essay are five movements, each with varying degrees of success creating purposeful buildings: Diagramism, Neo-Brutalism, Revitism, Scriptism, and Subdivisionism.