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Mad Architects: The Latest Architecture and News

MAD's Lucas Museum of Narrative Art Approved by LA City Council

The Los Angeles City Council has unanimously voted to approve the construction of the long-awaited Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in LA’s Exposition Park, all but ensuring that the museum has finally found its permanent home after three years of searching.

The Best Architect-Designed Pieces from Design Miami/ Basel 2017

With Design Miami/ Basel 2017 well underway (from June 13-18), ArchDaily has compiled a list of the best architect-designed furniture pieces on display at the event. This year, notable items include works by MAD Architects, Christ & Gantenbien, Trix & Robert Haussman, John Lautner, Jonathen Muecke, Jean Prouvé and Sou Fujimoto.

New Renderings Revealed for MAD's Lucas Museum in Los Angeles

New renderings showing an updated design for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles have been revealed as part of a presentation to the LA city planning commission. Designed by MAD Architects, the building will house the Star Wars-directors’ expansive collection of art, illustrations and artifacts, showcasing the art of visual storytelling.

Courtesy of Los Angeles Department of City Planning Courtesy of Los Angeles Department of City Planning Courtesy of Los Angeles Department of City Planning Courtesy of Los Angeles Department of City Planning + 4

MAD Unveils Proposal to Transform Milan's Dilapidated Railyards

In an presentation at Milan Design Week 2017, MAD Architects has revealed their proposal for the Scali Milano project, which invited five international firms (MAD, Stefano Boeri Architetti, Mecanoo, MIRALLES TAGLIABUE EMBT, and Cino Zucchi Architetti) to design a community-reactivation masterplan aimed at transforming a series of Milan's neglected railyards into "productive social landscapes that establish a harmony between Milan’s citizenry, the larger metropolitan region, and the natural environment."

Titled Historical Future: Milan Reborn, MAD's scheme proposes reorganizing the railyards into a series of interconnected micro-systems that follow five spatial concepts: “City of Connections,” “City of Green,” “City of Living,” “City of Culture,” and “City of Resources.”

© Piero Cruciatti / La Presse © Piero Cruciatti / La Presse Councilor of Urban Planning, Green, and Agriculture for the City of Milan Pierfrancesco Maran, FS Urban Systems CEO Carlo De Vito, and Ma Yansong on MAD's exhibition site © Piero Cruciatti / La Presse + 21

Look Inside a Collection of Beijing-Based Architecture Offices, Photographed by Marc Goodwin

Architectural photographer Marc Goodwin has recently completed the third collection of his "ultra-marathon of photoshoots" – this time in Beijing. Following his unique insight into the spaces occupied by Nordic architectural offices (based in Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen and Helsinki) and his look at studios both large and small lived in by London-based practices, Goodwin has turned his lens to the burgeoning number of offices in the Chinese capital. From MAD Architects' magnificent old printing works to ZAO/standardarchitecture's purpose-built studio, here is a view into the places that architectural offices call home.

URBANUS Architecture & Design, Inc.. Image © Marc Goodwin Chiasmus Partners, Inc.. Image © Marc Goodwin ZAO/standardarchitecture. Image © Marc Goodwin C+ Architects. Image © Marc Goodwin + 24

Los Angeles Selected as New Site for MAD's Lucas Museum

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art has finally found a home. Following nearly a decade of searching, the museum’s board has announced that Los Angeles’ Exposition Park will serve as the site for the MAD Architects-designed building housing the life’s work and expansive art and media collection of one of history’s most celebrated filmmakers, George Lucas.

"MAD Works: MAD Architects" Introduced by Sir Peter Cook

The skylines of modern China are punctuated by architecture that amazes, inspires, and awes. Many of these towering structures are the work of the Beijing-based experimental practice MAD Architects, led by Ma Yansong.

People often ask what 'MAD' stands for; sometimes, I explain it stands for MA Design, but I like MAD (adjective) Architects better. It sounds like a group of architects with an attitude towards design and practice. I think it is important to practice architecture with an attitude, to be critical and sensitive to the issues and challenges in our world.

MAD Unveils Dual Lucas Museum Proposals for Los Angeles and San Francisco

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 Unveils Design for Translucent China Philharmonic Hall in Beijing

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.”

Bird's Eye View. Image Courtesy of MAD Architects Lobby. Image Courtesy of MAD Architects Main Concert Hall. Image Courtesy of MAD Architects Philharmonic Hall diagram. Image Courtesy of MAD Architects + 22

OMA, MAD Among 7 Architects Selected in Competition to Redesign Tour Montparnasse

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.

Videos: 16 Top Architects Discuss China's "Museum Boom"

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 Design Veiled Xinhee Design Center in Xiamen

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.”

Courtesy of MAD Architects Courtesy of MAD Architects Courtesy of MAD Architects Courtesy of MAD Architects + 19

OMA Releases Images of Alternative Design for Lucas Museum

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.

Courtesy of OMA New York Courtesy of OMA New York Courtesy of OMA New York Courtesy of OMA New York + 13

Lucas Museum Abandons Plans for Chicago Location

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 Unveils Organic and Asymmetrical Tower in Paris' Clichy-Batignolles

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.

Courtesy of MAD Architects Courtesy of MAD Architects Courtesy of MAD Architects Elevation + 12

Iwan Baan's Photographs of the Harbin Opera House in Winter

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.”

© Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan + 25

Iwan Baan on Capturing the Harbin Opera House

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.

The 14 Stories Behind the 2016 Building of the Year Award Winners

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.