MAD Architects, led by Ma Yansong, has unveiled its design for the Aranya “Cloud Center” in Qinhuangdao, China. The floating-like design will offer Aranya, a vibrant seaside arts and culture community, a new multi-purpose public space with a a variety of functions and sculptured landscapes imagined as a “white stone garden".
The proposed building is situated near the scenic Beidaihe coastline in northeastern China. From a distance, it appears as though the building is a "cloud floating in the forest". The structure's polished white-stained glass exterior reflects the sunlight, sky, and landscape, changing light and color with respect to its surroundings. At its entrance, visitors are met with a reflective pool amidst the lush landscape.
The floating effect is supported by a series of structural overhangs, with some reaching 30 meters high. The cloud’s mass is balanced and suspended from the building’s central core, which provides support for the entire structure and its open plan column-free interior. A low circular wall surrounds the building's exterior, forming a tranquil landscape that "detaches visitors from reality".
The project is designed to host a variety of public functions, with a press conference room, a small theater, and exhibition spaces. The building’s primary interior space, the multi-purpose room, extends upwards through a swirling ceiling. A series of skylights were implemented in the ceilings to allow as much natural light as possible into the space. The building also includes open spaces and movable walls to provide optimum spatial flexibility that meet the needs of exhibitions, theatrical performances, and conferences.
Construction of the Cloud Center began in March 2021, and is expected to be completed and opened in 2022.
MAD Architects have won an international competition to design the new Zhuhai Cultural Arts Center. Their proposal, titled "Village Under the Dome", will be situated within China’s Pearl River Delta in the Yinkeng Village, a historic town that has recently been demolished and relocated by the municipality to make room for new projects. Instead of rebuilding over the demolition, their design offered a conservation and renewal of the village, creating a new function of the original site.