Taichung Convention Center by MAD


Beijing architects MAD have designed a convention centre for Taichung, Taiwan.

The project will consist of a series of mountain-like buildings with pleated exterior surfaces, allowing natural ventilation and accommodating photovoltaic panels.

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The architects wanted to seamlessly integrate the topology of the landscape and the architecture.

Here are some more details from Mad:



Beijing based MAD Architects has recently completed the design for the Taichung Convention Center, its first project in Taiwan commissioned by the Taiwanese government.

Taichung requires a metropolitan landmark that can go beyond the local to renew urban life and redefine the cultural landscape of the city, launching Taichung into the arena of world class cultural cites.

This requires unique architectural concepts and a new kind of architectural philosophy.

No longer characterized by mere considerations of height or visual impact, landmark buildings must first and foremost foster public recreation and inspire communication and imagination, redefining our relationship to culture and nature.

This project is conceived as a continuous weave of architecture and landscape, a futuristic vision based on a naturalistic spirit.  The design inherits Chinese architecture’s long-standing attitude towards holistic integration and order of space, employing the essence of the East’s philosophy of a harmonized cycle between human and nature.

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In the face of the project’s enormous scale, the architecture no longer exists as a series of individual blocks, but instead is rendered as a collective form.

The resultant spaces come into focus in a natural order emerging from air, wind and light, fostering a resonance between human and nature.

The site and the program of this project are inherently high-energy. The 'mountains' provide a calming and unifying skin, and yet, under its calm surface, there are topological potentials waiting to be discovered.

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On the one hand, the architecture’s crater-shaped formation and resulting rotundas are the outcome of found site conditions.

On the other, it simultaneously shapes and influences the surrounding environment, opening up a dialogue between architecture and landscape.

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The surface of the ‘mountains’ is a high-tech, eco-friendly pleated skin system. The smocking-like envelope provides air flow to the building while keeping energy consumption at a minimum by utilizing solar energy.

The open courtyards that connect the individual mountains are integrated into a natural sequence of outdoor spaces.

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Like the quest for a harmonic coexistence between people and nature exemplified by Forbidden City and ancient Chinese gardens, this project seeks greater meaning in its non-material qualities, spaces encircled with the upmost naturalistic spirit.

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A single tree, a patch of bamboo, or a pond become central figures of the space. This approach to sustainable development is based not on technology, but on traditional philosophy and aesthetics.

Tai Chung, Taiwan
Type: Exhibition, Convention Halls, Office, Hotel, Retail
Site Area: 70,318 sqm
Building Area: 216,161 sqm
Building Height: 39m-85m
Skin: Pleated Skin System with Double Photvoltaic Glass

Posted on Friday September 25th 2009 at 12:03 am by Brad Turner. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Seth

    some of the interior shots are compelling, but formally reminds me of
    Alisa Andraseks Seroussi Pavillion.

  • As we say in Shanghainese “LO LING”

  • NURBs barnacles.

  • Ben
  • It remembers MOS’s project…ten times bigger!

  • amp intern

    thomas tsang?

  • testek

    andrasek or mad or whoever; at the end it’s all students who are developing the design. i propose we should give them the credits for the work.

  • Weir


  • isn’t everyone bored by now of all these meaningless projects that will never get built anyway?

  • t

    sweet! love when people put up links :)

  • melon

    As Captain Haddock would say “Blistering Barnacles!” lol

  • Let’s hope this one actually gets built! keep em coming.

  • j

    who cares if it’s not going to get built. the more “crazy” stuff that gets proposed, maybe people will quit building boring architecture elsewhere.

  • max

    good!hope it can be built too!

  • Cordelia Kristofferson

    In regards to some comments above: young and established practices face during their practice the often frustrating process of design without evr coming to construction. This is unfortunatly nature of the business. Therefor these project are not meaningless at all, but contribute to the progress of thinking and exploring new ideas.
    Zaha Hadid might be the best example, by influencing design in all fields before the actual breakthrough finally happened. At least, it takes a lot to go this way and endure, than just sitting in ones chair, writing meaningless comments and never come out with some meaningful design yourself…

    i think, this is a rich design, full of potential for Taiwan. And it is for sure a succesful step forward.

  • Sissie

    don’ t you think this project is terrible from the birds-eye view?

  • Nutrilite

    i like the gardens and green spaces between the moutains from the bird eye view. it is very new concept, making gardens, not buildings.
    I don’t think this is so difficult to build though, at least from their construction diagrams. Seems a lot of big projects under construction from MAD.

  • Matt


    Dezeen has installed click for larger image! I haven’t been looking closely of late, this may have happened a while ago. Thankyou! Now if you could make it happen using a cleaner method better aligned with the site layout I’d be really impressed. This is a design blog, jumping to load onto another page is just not sexy! Very well, as you were.

  • bibo architect

    YooHoo!! finally enlarging images in Dezeen

  • Moonchild

    it seems, the better you do, the more people stand up to ask you to do more average and common….

    great design!

  • Azeem

    Dezeen: Hurray!! for improving the image quality! Thanks!

  • rdeamer

    nice in renders. no idea what it would actually look like built. Calatrava white painted steel? who knows? too digital..

  • jzi

    chuy au bai… well it very comfortable to look at… shades of blue reminds me of the traditional Asiatic dream…

  • b

    In reference to “don’ t you think this project is terrible from the birds-eye view?”

    we are not birds.

  • Daniel from Ireland

    This typically is a project that looks great as a digital image but if built we will see a lot more steel structure, glass framing and colums. Will the form be still as light and free flowing as suggested on the pictures? It looks to me like old fashioned lampshades stored above a heater……. Interesting yes, but realistic as presented, I don’t think so….

  • Moll

    … it’s just a plagiary of natural forms !.. i think that better would be preserve Nature and point up it’s beauty …

  • yrag


  • I would like to be in correspondence with those who could provide more details about costs and so forth. We have 27 acres right on the river in Eugene, Oregon that is “available” for something like this. Who can help?

  • Young Ho


  • Alberto

    It is sad to see so many people saying its a great design, comparing this to Zaha, as if Zaha was actually great? I only see a nice render, so congrats to the renderer. Now, if we talk about “architecture”, give me a plan and show me diagrams on the concept, tell me how this project is linked to Taiwan and to the program, tell me what makes this design unique for the place where it is, because if you can’t tell me these things then you are just making a huge sculpture with no more meaning than being attractive to the eye.