When we first saw MAD’s Erdos Museum for Inner Mongolia, the renderings teased us with a futuristic blob-like form that was planned for Ordos’ designed, but yet not constructed, urban masterplan. Now, a few years later, the firm is celebrating the museum’s completion and the finished effect of both the form and its materiality can be fully appreciated. MAD shared a video on the finished project with us and we hope you enjoy it!
More info about the project after the break.
Designed to foster new spirits in a city that was nothing but Gobi, the Art and City Museum is a crossroads for a community working to interpret its local traditions in a new urban context. The Erdos Museum serves as the heart of this new center and the building concept is a reflection and a reaction to the masterplan.
Although the design was met with criticism when first proposed, MAD Architects were confident that the irregular form would provide an identity for Ordos which would slowly become accepted and loved by its residents. “It works because it has a human scale, even if the building seems alien. My impression is that in time, when the city matures, the museum will become part of a new culture that integrates local history but also inspires something new,” explained the architects.
The dome shape of the building was envisioned as a type of shell as a symbolic means of protection, and is clad in curved rectangular aluminum panels to complement the landscape. “The lines of the museum are wavy, which gives it a sense of movement. The landscaping is meant to evoke the desert: no trees, no grass – only a wavelike shape made of yellow stone. This space is a very important part for the project, in fact,” added MAD.
The interior will become a new public space, divided into several exhibition halls, connected by continuous white curvilinear walls. The glazed roof will let light into this space, whilst the louvers will allow natural ventilation. Connecting the east and west entrances, services and the information counter are scattered informally around the canyon like public street. This street weaves into a network of flexible internal routings with scripted views trough the building that is either intimate or grand. The sense of walking through an abstracted landscape is enhanced by glass skylights that draw light into this environment, which is then reflected through the building by the luminescent walls.
“The design is a natural, irregular nucleus, to contrast with the planned city; to provide interior scenery completely separate to that which is outside,” concluded the team.