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MAD Architects Design Panoramic Viewpoint for Historic Warehouse in Rotterdam

MAD Architects has unveiled images of their proposed panoramic viewpoint for the Fenix Warehouse in Rotterdam, commissioned by the Droom en Daad Foundation. The scheme represents MAD’s first public cultural project in Europe, which sees them tasked with uncovering the forgotten history of what was once one of the biggest warehouses in the world.

The viewpoint is to form part of a restoration project of the historic warehouse itself, to be led by Rotterdam-based Bureau Polderman. The scheme is situated on the site of one of the oldest Chinatowns in Europe, on the southern banks of the port of Rotterdam.

Spotlight: Ma Yansong

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.

Harbin Opera House. Image © Iwan Baan Absolute Towers. Image © Iwan Baan © MAD Architects Harbin Opera House. Image © Hufton+Crow + 13

MAD's First European Project Wins Planning in Rome

Four years after winning a competition to rebuild 71 Via Boncompagni in the heart of Rome, MAD Architects has been awarded approval and will now enter the implementation phase of their first European project. This approval will allow the Chinese practice to transform an incongruous 1970s commercial courtyard building into a 145-unit residential complex that reutilizes the building’s “bookshelf” structure by stripping away its facade and inserting new living quarters, giving it an entirely new look and function.

View from Street. Image © MAD Architects © MAD Architects Interior. Image © MAD Architects Interior. Image © MAD Architects + 19

CTBUH Names One Central Park “Best Tall Building Worldwide” for 2014

This year’s title of “Best Tall Building Worldwide” has been awarded to One Central Park, in Sydney, Australia. The award, presented by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), was chosen after a year long selection process across 88 entries in four regions. Senior representatives of each of these four winners presented at the CTBUH Awards Symposium on November 6th at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, and the winner was announced at the Awards Dinner following the Symposium. Read on after the break to learn more about the winning building.

One Central Park. Design architect: Ateliers Jean Nouvel. Collaborating architect: PTW Architects. Image © Murray Fredericks © Richard John Seymour © Tim Griffith Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building / SERA Architects + Cutler Anderson Architects. Image © Nic Lehoux + 19

Why China's President Says "No More Weird Buildings"

The President of the People's Republic of China, Xi Jinping, has reportedly called for an end to the "weird buildings" being built in China, and particularly in the nation's capital, Beijing. In a two hour speech at a literary symposium in Beijing last week, Mr Xi expressed his views that art should serve the people and be morally inspiring, identifying architectural projects such as OMA's CCTV Headquarters as the kind of building that should no longer be constructed in Beijing.

With China's construction boom being one of the most talked about features of today's architecture scene - and many a Western practice relying on their extravagant projects to prop up their studios - the Chinese leader's comments have the potential to affect the landscape of architectural practice worldwide. But what is behind these sentiments? Read on after the break to find out.

An Interview with MAD Architects' Ma Yansong: Constructing Icons, Identity & China's Future Cities

I look into myself, trying to express myself. I think sometimes maybe you have an idea from a dream. It sounds ridiculous but you draw something out of your dream. Where does this dream come from? It must somehow relate to some situation. So what I'm interested in is to keep discovering what is really inside of me. I'm not a genius that from the first moment I already know what I want. - Ma Yansong -

Beixinqiao district, in Beijing, is changing fast: the ancient urban tissue is being demolished as new high-rises are growing.Located in this environment, Ma Yansong’s office sits within an old and anonymous construction. In contrast to its exterior, the inside is characterized by wood, white walls and plants that transform the place into a sophisticated environment.International young architects are busy modeling new organic-shaped buildings on the other side of the world; meanwhile a golden fish swims in the eternal loop of the “fish tank” in the centre of the room.

In the following interview, Ma Yansong explains contemporary cities as environments that are out-of-scale with nature. He believes a new approach must be used, one that breaks the monotonous “chessboard” of contemporary Urban China and re-establishes the balance between human beings and the natural world.

MAD Envisions More 'Natural' Chinese Cities in the Future

Ma Yansong of MAD recently presented a 600,000 square meter urban design proposal for the city of Nanjing titled, "Shanshui Experiment Complex," at the 2013 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism / Architecture in Shenzhen, China. The concept takes into account the culture, nature and history of Nanjing while reconsidering the methodology in which Chinese cities are built.

Harbin Cultural Center / MAD Architects

Render. Image © MAD Architects © MAD Architects Render. Image © MAD Architects © MAD Architects + 34

  • Architects

  • Location

    Harbin Xiangfang Cultural Center, Zhujiang Road, Xiangfang, Haerbin, Heilongjiang, China, 150090
  • Directors

    Ma Yansong, Dang Qun, Yosuke Hayano
  • Area

    1800000.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

    MAD Architects

Chaoyang Park Project / MAD Architects

© MAD Architects
© MAD Architects

As a continuation to his “Shan-Shui City” concept, which envisions a “city of mountains and water,” Ma Yansong of MAD Architects has proposed an interpretation of China’s ancient natural philosophy in the contemporary city: the Chaoyang Park project. Situated in the world’s second largest city park and surrounded by a typical Chinese business district, the Chaoyang Park project seeks to infuse the “vigorous Shan-Shui culture” with a new urban typology that unites architecture and nature as a single entity. 

'Shanshui City' Book Launch and Exhibition / Ma Yansong of MAD Architects

Displayed earlier this month in a Qing Dynasty courtyard garden at Wu Hao in Beijing, Ma Yansong's 'Shanshui City exhibition featured more than twenty architectural models and works of art that are scattered around the ancient courtyard. Among rocks, screen walls, bamboo groves, pools of water and beneath the sky, the scale of each piece varies and collectively they form a futuristic utopian urban landscape. The newly issued book "Shanshui City" - released simultaneously with the exhibition - is an important turning point for Ma Yansong's ten years of architectural practice and theory. More images and information on the exhibition after the break.

China Wood Sculpture Museum / MAD Architects

© Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Xiazhi + 18

Harbin, China
  • architects Authors of this architecture project MAD Architects
  • Area Area of this architecture project
    12959.0 sqm
  • Project Year Brands with products used in this architecture project
    2013

Absolute Towers / MAD Architects

© Iwan Baan       © Tom Arban © MAD Architects © Iwan Baan       + 10

Mississauga, Canada
  • Architects Authors of this architecture project MAD Architects
  • Project Year Brands with products used in this architecture project
    2012