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Shanshui City Exhibition

Wednesday, 30 July 2014 - 9:00am to Friday, 15 August 2014 - 5:00pm

This selection of projects by MAD Architects visually explores the architectural idea of Shanshui City, core to the firms work, and the title of the next Dean's Lecture which will be presented by Ma Yansong on Tuesday 5 August. The Shanshui City concept adapts the traditional ethos of spiritual harmony between nature and humanity to the modern urban environment.

Come along to the Wunderlich@ 757 to see the exciting built work of this innovative practice.


Absolute Towers: Two residential towers situated in Mississauga, Canada. Completed 2012.
In place of the simple, functional logic of modernism, our design expresses the complex and multiple needs of contemporary society. This building is more than just a functional machine: it responds to the significance of being located at the junction of two main streets, elegantly bearing its landmark status and acting as a gateway to the city beyond. It is something beautiful, sculptural and human.

Nanjing Zendai Himalayas Centre: A city-scale urban project with an overall building area of approximately 560,000sqm. Under Construction.
Working at this scale, MAD strives to capture a fully realised "Shanshui City", to achieve a balance of the city's historic past and its high-tech future. Curving, ascending corridors and paths weave through the undulating commercial complexes, bringing people from the busy ground level to the vertical park. At the centre of the site is a village-like community of low buildings, connected by footbridges and nestled into the landscape.The scene of footbridges, artificial hills and flowing water together creates a poetic moment at the heart of the project.

Urban Forest: A high rise tower for the youngest urban centre of China, Chongqing. Design in Progress.
Through the design MAD proposes a shift in the understanding of sustainability. It is a tower that reincorporates nature into a high-density urban environment and evokes affection for nature now lost in modern global cities. Urban Forest represents the most challenging aspirations of contemporary Chinese architecture - an urban landmark that expresses a devotion to nature, a living organ that breathes new life into the steel and concrete city.

Fish Tank: One of MAD's first projects which won the 2006 Architectural League of New York's Young Architects Award.
We treat people the same way as fish - they have to feel the space. The practice seeks the living space for fish in the city, and the conditions of human being and the fish have to be inverted: the fish should dominate.

Fake Hills:  Residential development, located on the coastal city of Beihai, South of China, on an 800 metre long, narrow oceanfront site. Under Construction.
Aiming for a high-density solution and a new landmark for the city, Fake Hills provides a heightened experience of the coastline and an opportunity for unhindered interaction with the city and the vast nature ahead. The geometry of the scheme combines two common yet opposed architectural typologies, the high rise and the groundscraper, producing an undulating building typology, resulting in the form of a hill.

Huangshan Mountain Village: Urban residential space located near Huangshan Mountains, the site of verdant scenery and limestone cliffs offering sheltered spaces for comtemplation and reflection, 2014.
MAD's design affirms the inherent significance of the landscape. Composed in deference to the local topography, the village provides housing, a hotel and communal amenities organised in a linked configuration across the southern slope of Taiping Lake. As its form evokes the geology of the region, the village blurs the boundaries between the geometries of architecture and nature.

Chaoyang Park Plaza: 120,000 square metres of commercial, office and residential buildings in Beijing's CBD. Under Construction.
This project pushes the boundaries of the urbanisation process in modern cosmopolitan life by creating a dialogue between artificial scenery and natural landscapes. By transforming features of Chinese classical landscape painting, such as lakes, springs, forests, creeks, valleys, and stones, into modern "city landscapes", the urban space creates a balance between high urban density and natural landscape. The forms of the buildings echo what is found in natural landscapes, and re-introduces nature to the urban realm.

Hutong Bubble 32: MAD first revealed it's vision for the future of Beijing at the exhibition MAD IN CHINA and then as part of the 2006 Venice Architecture Biennale. Their concept the future of hutongs featured metallic bubbles scatteed throughout Beijing's oldest neighbourhoods. The first hutong bubble appeared in a small courtyard in Beijing in 2009.
Hutong Bubble 32 provides a toilet and a staircase that extends onto a roof terrace for a newly renovated courtyard house. It's shiny exterior renders it an alien creature, and yet at the same time, it morphs into the surrounding wood, brick and greenery. The past and future coexist in a finite, yet dream-like, world. The real ambition is for the hutong bubble to connect to the culturally rich urban environment, to connect to each individual's vision of a better Beijing.

Ordos Museum: A museum that provides locals with a place to embrace and reflect upon the fast paced development of their city. Completed 2011.
Influenced by Buckminster Fuller's geodesic domes, MAD envisioned a mysterious abstract form capable of fostering an alternate, timeless development of Chinese tradition and future. People meet organically in the naturalistic landscapes of the museum, an intersection of natural and human development.

Pingtan Art Museum: Largest private museum in Asia and the third museum design by MAD Architects. Under Construction.
Pingtan, currently home to fisheries an a military base, will quickly be transformed into a large-scale urban development zone. The museum itself acts as a smaller scale island off the Pingtan island, connected to land only by a slightly undulating pier, which, in turn, bridges artificial and natural, city and culture, as well as history and future. After it's completion, the museum will create a new space for the city and the city's inhabitants and further inspire them to reflect on the impact made by time and nature.

Taichung Convention Centre: A futuristic vision based on the naturalistic philosophy of the Eastern world. Proposal.
The Taichung Convention Centre is conceived as a continuous weave of architecture and landscape that blurs the boundary between architecture, public space and city landscape. It supersedes the block forms long prescribed for projects of this scale. It exists in a natural order of air, wind and light, fostering a resonance between human and nature.