Huaxi city centre by MAD and others

| 97 comments

squ-huaxi-urban-nature_nort.jpg

Architects MAD have revealed a masterplan created when they invited 11 young architecture practices - including BIG, JDS, Mass Studies, Serie and Sou Fujimoto Architects - to design conceptual projects for Huaxi city centre in Guiyang, China.

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-mad_03.jpg

The architects took part in a three-day workshop in Huaxi last summer and each provided an independent design for part of the masterplan. The masterplan was developed by MAD in collaboration with Shanghai Tongji Urban Planning and Design Institute, Studio 6.

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-huaxi-urban-nature_north-5.jpg

"The city is no longer determined by the leftover logic of the industrial revolution (speed, profit, efficiency) but instead follows the ‘fragile rules’ of nature," say MAD.

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-huaxi-urban-nature.jpg

"This urban experiment is not intended as an idealized urban reality, but as an attempt to push these trends to their purest forms, with all of the benefits and problems that this brings."

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-huaxi-urban-nature_north-2.jpg

Here's some more information from MAD:

--

YOUNG INTERNATIONAL ARCHITECTS COLLABORATE TO
DESIGN HIGH-DENSITY URBAN NATURE IN CHINA

In 2008, MAD organized and invited 11 young international architects to carry out an urban experiment: to design the Huaxi city centre of Guiyang, in South Western China. The architects invited by MAD included: Atelier Manferdini (USA), BIG (DENMARK), Dieguez Fridman (ARGENTINA), EMERGENT/Tom Wiscombe (USA), HouLiang Architecture (CHINA), JDS (DENMARK/BELGIUM), MAD (CHINA), Mass Studies (KOREA), Rojkind Arquitectos (MEXICO), Serie (UK/INDIA), Sou Fujimoto Architects (JAPAN). The masterplan was developed by Shanghai Tongji Urban Planning and Design Institute, Studio 6, together with MAD.

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-huaxi-urban-nature_southwe.jpg

In the past 15 years, around 10 billion sqm of built space has been created in the urban areas of China. In 20 years time, another 200 to 400 new cities will be built. Until now, the results of this overwhelming urbanization have been defined by high-density, high-speed and low-quality duplication: the urban space is meaningless, crowded and soulless. Below: Atelier Manferdini

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-atelier_manferdini_01.jpg

Are we going to continue copying the skyline of Western cities created over a hundred years of industrial civilisation? Will Manhattan and Chicago continue to be our model city, even after 15 years of urban construction in China? Is there an alternative future for our cities that lies in the current social condition, where new technologies leave the machine age behind, and where the city increasingly invades the natural space? Based on an Eastern understanding of nature, this joint urban experiment aims to explore whether we can use new technologies and global ideas to reconnect the natural and man-made world.

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-atelier_manferdini_03.jpg

The site of Huaxi is famous for its dramatic and beautiful landscape, as well as a diverse mix of minority cultural inhabitants during its history. Its future is defined by the local government’s urban planning as a new urban centre for finance, cultural activities and tourism. MAD brought the young architects together here in the summer of 2008, for a 3-day workshop to create an experimental urban vision for Huaxi. Below: BIG

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-big_01.jpg

Each architect provided a unique design for a single part of the masterplan, based on their own understanding and interpretation of the local natural and cultural elements. The result is a series of organic individual buildings, growing from the natural environment, and working together to produce a compound of diverse urban activities. In this high density urban environment, the limits of urbanization are controlled and set by nature; the buildings take on the dynamic topography of the site, touching the landscape in a more interactive way.

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-big_02.jpg

Generic verticality is replaced by a complex taxonomy of urban activities, defined by a multiplicity of connections, detours and short cuts. The natural and the artificial are fused together, revealing an image of a future architecture. The ecological method here is not just focused on saving energy; rather, the goal is to create a new, balanced urban atmosphere which can evoke the feeling of exploring the natural environment. The city is no longer determined by the leftover logic of the industrial revolution (speed, profit, efficiency) but instead follows the ‘fragile rules’ of nature.

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-big_03.jpg

This collaborative experiment thus provides an alternative, responsive model for the development of the urban centre: a man-made symbiosis, in harmony with nature, in which people are free to develop their own independent urban experience.

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-big_04.jpg

China has become the global laboratory for urbanization, where the logical endpoint of current architectural trends can be seen, and the effects of leaving private developers to create cities can be most keenly felt. This urban experiment is not intended as an idealized urban reality, but as an attempt to push these trends to their purest forms, with all of the benefits and problems that this brings. MAD is aware of, and actively encouraging, the failings and successes of this project. Below: Dieguez Fridman

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-dieguez_fridman_01.jpg

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-dieguez_fridman_02.jpg

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-dieguez_fridman_03.jpg

Below: Emergent

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-emergent_04.jpg

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-emergent_01.jpg

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-emergent_02.jpg

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-emergent_03a.jpg

Below: HouLiang Architecture

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-houliang_02.jpg

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-houliang_03.jpg

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-houliang_01.jpg

Below: JDS

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-450-jds-replacement-image.jpg

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-jds_02.jpg

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-jds_03.jpg

Below: MAD

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-mad_01.jpg

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-mad_02.gif

Below: Mass Studies

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-mass_studies_01.jpg

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-mass_studies_02.jpg

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-mass_studies_03.gif

Below: Rojkind Arquitectos

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-rojkind_01.jpg

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-rojkind_02.jpg

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-rojkind_03.jpg

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-rojkind_04.jpg

Below: Serie

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-serie_01.jpg

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-serie_02.jpg

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-serie_03.gif

Below: Sou Fujimoto Architects

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-sou_fujimoto_01.jpg

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-sou_fujimoto_02.jpg

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-sou_fujimoto_03.jpg

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-huaxi_masterplan.jpg

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-huaxi_site.jpg

huaxi-city-centre-by-mad-and-others-01-architects_on_site.jpg

  • DCV

    JDS’s is the best one, or at least makes sense. I like also MAD’s, Foujimoto, and Dieguez-Friedman’s.

    Honestly I expected more from BIG and MASS, the other’s…

    Can someone explain me the “fragile rules of nature” and how they would work in a city? (sounds like bs)

  • Min

    To exercise one’s baseless imagination without respect to the history, culture, and need of local people is costy, inhuman, and imperialistic (just because u r a western architecture firm with money?? and some stupid corrupted Chinese officials’ invitation????)

  • Min

    To exercise one’s wild imagination without respect to the history, culture, environment, and needs of local people is costly, imprudent, and stupid, even more so when the plans look sooooooooooo ugly.

    The Chinese government is just as corrupted and crazy as the architects, for different reasons though, one for power and political record, the other for fame and money.

  • yrag

    “This urban experiment is not intended as an idealized urban reality, but as an attempt to push these trends to their purest forms, with all of the benefits and problems that this brings.” —MAD

    What kind of statement is that to make in a place that tens of thousands must live?
    ” . . with all of the benefits and problems that this brings.”

    It’s the duty of architects and urban planners to anticipate and do their utmost to prevent the “problem”.

    Ruralism, my sincere condolences.
    If some one or entity made such a blase comment when presenting, I’d throw them off the project!

  • p

    BIG’s proposal is good

  • jc

    “China has become the global laboratory for urbanization, where the logical endpoint of current architectural trends can be seen, and the effects of leaving private developers to create cities can be most keenly felt. This urban experiment is not intended as an idealized urban reality, but as an attempt to push these trends to their purest forms, with all of the benefits and problems that this brings. MAD is aware of, and actively encouraging, the failings and successes of this project.” (from the text above)

    a whole bunch of haters on here. instead of complaining about the downfall of architecture as personified by these outrageous designs why not try to think of any of the positives. how about the fact that MAD, as an architecture firm, not as a developer, is able to spearhead this project and allow for something different to be built, and if nothing else a dialogue about different possiblities? how many architecture firms can muster that kind of design and development freedom for themselves and their contemporaries?

    instead of crying foul let’s see a more evolutionary proposal from anybody if you think you have it. let’s see you put the time in to create something with beauty that could alter the way people use space whether it be in a stunning or practical sense.

    step up or shut up.

  • g22

    each individual building is nice on its own,
    when they’re combined with the others they create a psychotic mess

  • SOS

    I think there is no architects would say no to China today. But the question is how to present ‘yes’ to China. What drives these young internation architects to such a obivously naieve masterplan? And all the people who laughed here, if you are invited, will u say, no, i feel shamed to participate?

    I feel pity too, it could be a very interesting project if those 11 ambitious and essential architects could really work together. Obviously, they are too politeness to accept the masterplan, so that they could keep their own territory in this situation. The lifeboat is sinking because the captain is mad and the crews only want to save themselves.

  • http://www.earthmann.com johnny lewis

    I love the sound of a jealous honkey.

    Any commenter here would love to have any of these designs as part of hes/hir local skyline.

  • LI

    but guizhou is really poor!

  • james

    if you look at them individually, looks quite good, however looking at it all together..not too impressive. each building looks like they are fighting for attention

  • aloecho

    I’m dizzy!

  • Assion

    OMG,this should never come true
    China is not a colony conquered by aliens…not to mention this southwestern city of Guiyang which is the capital of one of the poorest pronvices in China

  • A.R

    I am agree with the one who critisizes the gathering of all these huge buildings, but individually, any of them seems as a matter of creativity, with breathtaking 3d efforts !!

  • orlovsky

    Must say this all looks frightfully old-fashioned. It is apparent that absolutely no consideration has been given to the rural context here. It looks like a bunch of egotist’s have been left to play in their own CGI version of reality. I pity the real people who will have to live with this dated ‘vision of the future’.

  • architeria

    All ugly shapes . i can only commend.

    PLease DON”T ever realise these junk jungle. PLeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease

    CHINA Is NOT for alien experiment. KEEP those ugly shapes in YOUR own country!!!!!!!! send them back to your own countries!!!!

    rest in peace.

  • http://hi.baidu.com jcs_

    well.good idea .great designer and hard to be real.

  • Du Cheng

    I agree with Assion, these building don’t belong there but on Mars or some other cold planet. And the same goes for the CCP.

  • pat j

    I think this looks great, i cant understand why everyone is so negative, really nice creative concepts and beautifully presented

  • Richie

    I would agree with what seems to be the prevailing sentiment that each of these buildings individually would be impressive if dotted around a cityscape, but having them clustered together in a small area like this creates a kind of nauseous overload and cartoonish architectural theme park.. I will still be very interested to see the built result, in any case.

  • Partick Bateman

    johnny lewis Says:
    Any commenter here would love to have any of these designs as part of hes/hir local skyline.

    —————————————-

    yes, i would love to walk to the shops through a pseudo-paddy field whilst gazing lovingly across wind blown deserted public spaces at the architectural erections of some ego driven architects.

    architecture is dead… long live landscape.

  • sid

    I think its a great utopian idea, the best part being the collaboration of architects and designers from a wide spectrum, just imagine the coordination required in creating a vision which defines so many different creative endeavors, i think this is prolific without any stararchitects.
    it should be celebrated, i hope something liek this can be realised someday

  • Du Cheng

    Actually I dont know anything about modern architecture so I am not really in the position to judge it as such. My apology to the creator of it. It may be very good, but I personally prefer the architecture of ancient China. It would really be an invention if such (ancient) beauty could be applied in a more practical manner.

    But I do think that this style of architecture is not (as it claims) according nature, at least not in accordance with the nature of the Chinese people. Furthermore it is kind of weird to have such outer hightech demonstrated while the basic living conditions and dignity of too many Chinese people is far below zero and repressed. Isnt it? This is is the main reason why I react negative to this project..

  • zebra pl3co

    I really like the background, those montains looks really cool and beautiful. Now if only there wasn’t so much garbage concrete and glass junks obstructing the view, it would’ve been absolutely beautiful looking at that mountain scape.
    Honestly, in my view, this project just show how much these companies didn’t get it. They are completely out of touch with the land. They are so centre in their own garbage concrete that they are oblivious to their surounding landscape. Just complete garbage. They all hurt my eyes when I look at them. It just shows how little you respect your land.
    The only one worth looking into is the MAD Studies. But even this one, there too much concrete, you need more green to blend in with the land.

  • dubai

    way too much money… would they be interested in buying sub-prime CDOs instead? We can offer them *lots* of those! :D

  • Juampi Z

    Dieguez-Fridman are one of the best young arquitectects y Argentina. please visit your website… they have a lot of great work… much more than this building. It’s a shame because they are really good! (by the way, I’m from Argentina)

  • http://www.experiencenotlogic.com Will Lewis

    Damn those efficient Manhattan and Chicago skylines! The people demand they should be replaced by wasteful, less sound designs!

  • methodlab

    it’s amazing that for many posts here the same arrogance you chastise, is the same you express in your opinions. clearly this is a conceptual piece to open further dialog elsewhere… some being purely form and some exploring new ideas of occupying space and it should be left at that

  • choadbag

    Ebenezer Howards garden city, with added phallus.

    crack cocaine… always a bad idea

  • http://www.session23design.com Michael

    methodlab,
    Clearly the experiment is not panning out to public opinion. They explored, we rejected. While we respect the involved firms, this “study” or “game” will end in failure.

  • Scott

    “we rejected”
    who are you?
    an mediocre architecture student?
    get a grip

  • SOS

    # methodlab Says:
    February 19th, 2009 at 1:52 am

    it’s amazing that for many posts here the same arrogance you chastise, is the same you express in your opinions. clearly this is a conceptual piece to open further dialog elsewhere… some being purely form and some exploring new ideas of occupying space and it should be left at that

    —–the only real comment I saw in this post

  • Focaccia

    This ‘masterplan’ is obsolete the moment the schematic design is out.

    Considering that the design workshop took place last summer, the proposal is not really as ‘visionary’ or ‘utopic’ the participants or its promoters made it out to be. It is just one of the many architectural ‘follies’ in the same vein as those in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and in the same league of numerous object-buildings that has mushroomed in East and South Asia in the recent decade, that do not contribute meaningfully to the rest of the city and the man in the street, or the cultural and natural heritage of the context. There is no inkling of the resources that these energy guzzling developments would consume – the sky is the limit when it comes to greed and conflated egos of developers, planners and architects.

    These are ‘memorials’ to the crazy days of wildly ballooning financial and property markets, before the bubble burst in Sept 2008, plunging the world into the Great Depression of the 21st century.

    In an ironic way, one consolation out of our current crisis is that many of these jobs in the Middle East and overheated economies elsewhere have since been shelved or aborted. Perhaps this is a timely opportunity for us to go back to the drafting table to reflect upon how to create our future cities in a responsible, ethical and sustainable manner.

  • Jelle

    If I see this, I’d like to say that the ‘generic’ has more qualities.

  • tokyo_kenchiku

    The ammount of minless bitching on this page sickens me.
    Almost nobody on this page has made any sort of real critique of the work. NOBODY GIVE A DICK IF YOU ‘Don’t like it’ or ‘dont get it’.

    Get off your high-horse, people. You are all so quick to condimn designed buildings because they are “Object Buildings”….Without ever actually looking into the ideas behind the project. To me, it is YOU who have objectified the buildings.
    The ideas here are very valid, and I am thankful that at least someone is taking a chance and making a move towards the future…

  • fitty

    all you guys on dezeen are pathetic. All you guys care if it looks good, or if its ugly.

    thats not what architecture is about.

    continue worshipping your zaha hadid’s and libeskind’s

  • zator

    cut them hands offfff!

  • http://dezeen SYED HASAN NASIR

    Ix q’yt intresting to see it! I hope to see them in future and I believe that it would be presented by them very soon. but watever the effort behind even if it is imaginations, I think the reality would be depend upon those imaginitions!

  • CPH

    BIGs project is fantastic. Keep an eye on the project leader Niels Lund Petersen, who designed it. He is extremely talented, and just opened his own office…

  • http://www.malikarchitecture.com arjun

    im pretty sure most of these guys realised the whole scheme was a parody, and if they did not, then im truly terrified.

  • Laurent

    best collection of junkarchitecture i have seen in a long time.

  • http://bluria.com Charles

    very nice description. it seems more like a SF movie then reality. We will see if this will become true

  • Artisticidea

    These designs are simply brilliant.
    My favorites are the "interlaced terrace green" approaches of Serie, Mass Studies and JDS. The MAD tower is of a superlative elegance and is hard to pass up.

    Brilliant minds, beautiful, enveloping, creative and symbiotic designs. It would be interesting to read about the ecology of the Mass Studies plan, in particular..
    Would that the world's imaginative & productive energies be released from the artificial constraints of the profit system, whose closest kin is scarcity and whose greatest enemy is plentitude.

  • http://dezeen.com jonsia

    Seems like China has become a “sketch pad” for some architects.

  • http://enhanceye.com terminationshok

    This is really cool. I like the abundance of plants and nature in these designs. I don't enjoy living and working in boxy, uninspired buildings. I love the beauty and intricacy of nature, but I love the density and livelihood of cities.

    There is no reason for our cities to be polluted and filled with hard concrete and giant box shaped buildings. Our cities are a drain on the area they occupy. They need to pipe in water. They need to be supplied with food trucked in from vast acres of farmland. Often they dump trash and chemical waste in the air, water, and land around them. It's about time for the world's cities to be self sufficient.

    I don't suppose they made these plans to actually be built, but to inspire creative thinking about cities. If we continue to follow the methodologies that led to the problems we are experiencing with economy and ecology, these problems will only continue to get worse. Ignore all the haters, they are afraid to evolve and adapt to changing times. They are afraid to try anything that might not work. If nobody ever tries anything new, we will continue to decline until we are not here at all. We must strive to create the future we want to live in.

  • Western Chinalover

    If any country in the world would ever do such a crazy cool thing, it's China. Nowhere else are people and government as open to new ideas as in China. I'd love to live there, so green, so good for the air quality.