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.”
The plan of the complex takes the shape of a six-pointed star, mixing office and garden spaces along each of the “organically-formed arms.” Vertical gardens run up the height of the arms, veiled by a PTFE envelope, which acts as a sun-shade to diffuse light and provide ventilation to the building during the hot season. The lightweight skin also gives the building an elegant, floating appearance, like “a piece of delicate, thin, soft skin covering the “bone” structure of the building body.”
Ma Yansong elaborates, “It’s interesting for a building with such an intrinsically logical structure to look floating and free.”
One wing of the building is designated to each of Xinhee’s brands to foster office efficiency, while the layout creates flexible spaces that allow the different departments to freely interact and communicate. The radial plan allows the building to be highly efficient, while still providing natural light, ventilation and immediate access to landscape. The atrium is open to both staff and visitors, and includes a footbridge which provides air circulation and doubles as a runway for fashion events.
The design center has been designed for maximum environmental awareness by adapting to the local climate. The first floor consists of public garden and water features to help provide ventilation to the structure, which has been lifted to reduce the first floor footprint by two-thirds. In the summer months, cool air is circulated through the atrium; in the winter, the glass room transforms into a solar greenhouse to keep the building warm. A translucent coating on the exterior glazing will decrease solar radiation, and an array of solar panels will line the rooftop to provide electricity for daily operations.
Xinhee design center is currently under construction and is expected to be completed by 2017.
LocationXiamen, Fujian, China
DirectorsMa Yansong, Dang Qun, Yosuke Hayano
Design TeamJ Travis Russett, Flora Lee, Liu Huiying, Fu Changrui, Xu Chen, Li Yuanhao, Julian Sattler, Jei Kim, Jakob Beer, Younjin Park, Liu Ling, Ma Ning, Sear Nee, Zhu Jinglu, Liang Zhongyi, Sarita Tejasmit, Natalia Giacomino, Zeng Lingyue
PhotographsCourtesy of MAD Architects