China Wood Sculpture Museum by MAD

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China Wood Sculpture Museum in Harbin by MAD

Beijing architects MAD have unveiled their design for a 200m-long, icicle-shaped museum in Harbin, northeast China.

China Wood Sculpture Museum in Harbin by MAD

The museum, which will be dedicated to Chinese wood sculptures, is the first of a trio of cultural buildings in the city designed by MAD.

China Wood Sculpture Museum in Harbin by MAD

Construction work on the museum is already underway and an opera house and a cultural centre, both designed by MAD, will also be built in Harbin.

China Wood Sculpture Museum in Harbin by MAD

Harbin is capital of Heilongjiang Province in northeast China and is best known as home of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, which takes place each year in January.

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Here's some info from MAD:


MAD designs China Wood Sculpture Museum in Harbin

Beijing, January 08, 2011 – MAD today unveiled their new museum for Chinese wood sculptures in Harbin. As the main city of Northern China, Harbin is in the process of defining itself as a regional hub for the arts at a time when the historic city is rapidly expanding.

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Inspired by the unique local winter landscapes, the museum is a contrast between the elegance of nature and the speed of daily life. Its 200 meter long body is shaped as a frozen fluid that reflects and explores the relation between the building and the environment.

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The interior of the museum combines two different exhibitions connected by a centralized entrance which both separates the two museums while simultaneously joining them, achieving a symbiotic relationship. Skylights flood daylight into the voids adjacent to the galleries, creating optimum viewing conditions and scenic moments in and around the building.

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MAD was commissioned to design three cultural building in 2009; the structure of the museum was recently completed while the design for an opera house and cultural centre is to be finished in February.

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About MAD - Beijing based MAD is dedicated to innovation in architectural practice. As a leading voice in the new generation of design, MAD examines and develops unique futuristic solutions, exploring a renewed understanding of nature and advanced technology. MAD defines architecture as a man-made symbiosis, in harmony with nature, giving people the freedom to develop their own independent urban experience.

The work of MAD has been exhibited worldwide. Most recently founding Architect Ma Yansong was awarded with a RIBA International fellowship, making him the first Chinese architect to receive this prize.

MAD currently has 9 projects under construction including: the Absolute Towers near Toronto and the Erdos Museum in Inner Mongolia, the Sinosteel International Plaza, a 358M high-rise building in Tianjin, and the Urban Forest Highrise in Chong Qing.

  • CatScanBooked

    Am I the only one that sees a Batman silhouette in the window of the last image?

    • ubermaki

      Actually you're right, I see it too. :)

  • felix

    mmmm bilbao

  • tmms

    old zaha designs > new mad designs > new zaha designs

    Nice interior rendering. Will definitely be better than guangzhou opera.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1509616928 Watson Greg

    Looks neat! but this building seems to be all about the looks, ahh but it's a museum you are quite free to design what you want…..especially in China :P

  • blackswan

    nice space inside, like ice cave.
    curious to see MAD's opera house and culture center also. it's amazing that one city commissions all their culture projects to one architect.

    • DoDo

      come on. it's China. how could that be amazing!? :-)

      • Kerrie ho

        Dodo, what an ignorant reply.

  • gaque

    while i think the design will be cool in reality, its extremely disappointing that without the headline "china museum by MAD," one could very easily imagine this building being designed by a european architect for some northern european country…

  • southfeasterdelphia

    This is coming along nicely. I look forward to seeing more construction photos as the project moves along, specifically regarding the detailing. I'm curious how well detailing will be pulled off in the field (both at this project and others like it in the people's republic). Slick, gestural forms like this would seem to require the utmost care in that regard in order to live up to the formal qualities set forth in the renderings. Looking good though DG.

  • ArT

    looks great MAD! I might have to make a trip to Harbin to see it. what about these 9 other projects under construction?

  • kim

    Beautiful forms, like melting ice in a forest.
    So strange to read the same kind of rant about Form and Function, like a dogma, made 120 years ago…by people talking about context.
    Seriously, are we going to keep building these ugly functionalist white cubes or glass boxes for ever, copying a bitter puritan Swiss, or idealise a german master who trusted in minimalism as the ultimate ornament? time to move on…

  • luxor

    shaped as a 'frozen fluid'? why? is winter the only season in this part of china?

  • tarja nurmi

    my pasta yesterday evening looked a lot like the first image. it (the pasta) was hot – how will this building look and feel on a hot summer day?

    • http://guykeulemans.com guy

      you realise its in Harbin? Bloody cold place.

  • James

    Remember that movie where Bruce Willis had to drill through an asteroid before it destroyed Earth?

    I don't know why I just thought of that, but that movie was crazy.

  • JuiceMajor

    The front look something like the Kiasma by Steven Holl, while the rest look something I have seen before.

    That doesn't necessary mean this is bad. I like the interior beaucoup!

  • Kev

    Quite dispointing for its steel structure, as it is called "Wood" Sculpture Museum.

  • http://groups.yahoo.com/group/3D-Honeycomb-open/ Per Corell

    When you look a bit further the fancy forms only cover an outdated and silli structural thinking. Rigid "H" beams are forced into delivering curved shapes they newer was made to support. Fighting each beam just to force the form with a beam made for a compleatly different porpus, — there are no innovative edge there, it's plumber thinking not advanced structural works. 3dh would offer a smooth and rugid honeycomb structure at a fraction of the cost. each frame could be manufactored from sheet material on site and a brand new logistic, would tell the exact strength, cost and place for each section. — just look at the bare steel structure, it show engineering as a oldfasion rigid way of thinking the structure ; " we are going to build this building, well what is building usealy made of ?", and when deciding for "H" beams the decision are to use something that was newer ment and very difficult to use for blob forms.

    • ph 4 mild acidic

      this is because they're not designing anything. is anyone in this project doing anything beyond modeling a surface and packing stuff inside? this is the typical mad project: its sole purpose is to pose for a photograph.

  • bolweevil

    shark egg(TM)

  • http://www.passivhausarchitects.org.uk/ passivhaus

    It is a good idea to keep bandages on hand. Also, take your time while carving. Haphazardly working as fast as you can may cause problems. Woodcarving is a time-honored art not an assembly line craft.

  • Ceci

    I don't see any relationship in between "China wood sculpture" and the form of this building…