China Wood Sculpture Museum
by MAD

| 26 comments
 

Chinese studio MAD has unveiled the first photographs of its icicle-shaped museum for wooden sculptures in Harbin, northeast China (+ slideshow).

China Wood Sculpture Museum by MAD

Above: photograph by Xia Zhi

Nicknamed the Ice City, Harbin experiences regular snowfall, so MAD designed the China Wood Sculpture Museum with a twisted 200-metre-long body modelled on the shapes made by frozen liquids.

China Wood Sculpture Museum by MAD

Above: photograph by Xia Zhi

Plates of polished steel clad the exterior of the building and are only interrupted by curving strips of glazing that form windows, skylights and a central entrance.

China Wood Sculpture Museum by MAD

Above: photograph by Xia Zhi

"The museum embodies some of the foremost conceptual and formal ideals that define the work of MAD, bringing out an expression and abstraction of nature to an otherwise quotidian surrounding," say the architects. "The boundaries between solid and liquid are blurred throughout [the] building, referencing the local natural scenery and landscape."

China Wood Sculpture Museum by MAD

The museum's three galleries are dedicated to wooden sculptures made by Chinese artists, but will also exhibit paintings depicting the icy landscape of the region.

China Wood Sculpture Museum by MAD

The China Wood Sculpture Museum is the first completed structure in the Harbin Cultural Island development - a trio of buildings all designed by MAD and including an opera house and cultural centre.

China Wood Sculpture Museum by MAD

Beijing-based MAD first revealed images of the China Wood Sculpture Museum in 2011, when construction began. Other recent projects by the firm include a pair of curvaceous twisted skyscrapers in Canada and a bulbous museum in Inner Mongolia. See more architecture by MAD.

China Wood Sculpture Museum by MAD

Photography is by Iwan Baan, apart from where otherwise stated.

China Wood Sculpture Museum by MAD

Here's a project description from MAD:


MAD China Wood Sculpture Museum Complete

MAD Architects unveiled the completed China Wood Sculpture Museum located in Harbin, China. The 200-metre long building, sheathed in metal, sits nestled in a densely residential area, adding a cultural and surreal essence to the surrounding urban context.

China Wood Sculpture Museum by MAD

Above: ground floor plan - click for larger image

Appearing so evident amidst a thriving metropolitan district of Harbin, China, spanning 200 metres in length, the China Wood Sculpture Museum sits as a locational anomaly, seemingly out of place, surrounded by a densely populated Chinese-style neighborhood and residential complexes. The museum embodies some of the foremost conceptual and formal ideals that define the work of MAD, bringing out an expression and abstraction of nature to an otherwise quotidian surrounding. The boundaries between solid and liquid are blurred throughout this 13,000 sqm building, referencing the local natural scenery and landscape.

China Wood Sculpture Museum by MAD

Above: first floor plan - click for larger image

The building's exterior is covered by polished steel plates, mirroring the surroundings and the changing light. The solid walls ensure minimal heat loss while the breaking and twisting motion of the emerging skylights splits the surface and allows in light from the low-hanging sun of northern China; this provides sufficient natural diffused illumination to the three halls on the interior.

China Wood Sculpture Museum by MAD

Above: second floor plan - click for larger image

The museum mainly houses local wood sculptures as well as paintings depicting the ice and snow of the regional scenery. In the context of the large-scale modern urban setting, the museum itself serves as a new interpretation of nature. The surreal interaction between the museum and the city breaks through the tedium of the urban shell, revitalizing the surroundings with a new cultural feature.

China Wood Sculpture Museum by MAD

Above: section one

Project: China Wood Sculpture Museum
Year: 2009 - 2013

China Wood Sculpture Museum by MAD

Above: section two

Location: Harbin, China
Program: Museum
Site Area: 9,788 m2
Building Area: 12,959 m2
Building Length: 196 m
Building Height: 21 m

China Wood Sculpture Museum by MAD

Above: section three

Associate Engineers: The Architectural Design and Research Institute of Harbin Institute of Technology
Curtain Wall Consultant: Inhabit Group
Panel Optimization: Gehry Technologies
Steel Structure Contractor: Zhejiang Jing Gong Steel Structure Co. Ltd.

China Wood Sculpture Museum by MAD

Above: exploded 3D diagram

Director in Charge: Ma Yansong, Dang Qun
Design Team: Yu Kui, Daniel Gillen, Bas van Wylick, Diego Perez, Jordan Kanter, Huang Wei, Julian Sattler, Liu Weiwei, Tang Liu, Mao Peihong, Maria Alejandra Obregon, Nickolas Urano, Gus Chan, Shin Park, Alejandro Gonzalez

  • The source

    Zaha eat yer heart out, nicely done MAD.

  • recon::decon

    So let me get this straight – let’s design a building in a region that experiences regular snowfall with a form that will literally throw sheets of ice onto pedestrians. Did they not learn anything from the Denver Art Museum?

  • Todd

    Plates of steel and glass for a wood sculpture museum. Not the choice I would have made.

    • mr deeds

      But then again you are not the chosen architect, you are just “Todd”.
      :p
      Only jesting.

      • pedro

        I totally agree with “Todd”. Let’s see, we’ve got a project to build a wood sculpture museum, um, I know, let’s built a termite! Seriously?!

  • Chris

    Kinda conflicted about this. I think visually it’s a nicely sculpted form, and it appears the inside has some very cool spaces. But yeah… a heavily sculpted metal shell for a wood sculpture museum. Hmm. Also, either the site is horrible or the building is doing a horrible job of interfacing with it.

  • Hohenheim

    Nice stretching grandpa…

  • John

    Reference to what local landscape? What frozen liquids produce a form like that? I’d be curious to see a write up of a building that actually analyses the qualities of project in a serious manner without reference to some sort of marketing spiel that has clearly been pumped out for a general press release.

    I think there are a couple of really interesting and potentially poetic things going on in this project (not that my opinion is really relevant), but what is disappointing is that there is no concerted reflection on what the contribution of this kind of work might actually be. Until that happens the only measure of how good this project is seems to be the degree to which it looks like the work of Zaha Hadid, or whether not it (simplistically) references the contents of its exhibit in its selection of external materials.

  • guz

    That is… MAD!

  • bob

    I agree with Todd. No inside pics?

  • http://www.zazous.co.uk Kate Austin

    It is beautiful and it is MAD! It does seem strange that they haven’t referenced the subject matter of the museum in the design though. The same design in bent wood would have been nice to see.

  • santiago

    Just because it looks bad doesn’t mean the building is actually necessarily all bad. From inside it can potentially be quite nice and in winter time it probably can make you feel warm and cosy inside. I mean, if they use wood and nice red carpets. Not outside though. I think from outside the building looks not so good because it’s all twisted and warped and stuff.

  • Anton

    According to the plans and sections the backside of the building is just a big blind wall. There are no pictures of it either. Seems in total contradiction with the rest of the building.

  • zizi

    Nice shape and texture, beautiful building.

  • what?

    A museum, but they only show the outside because they know the inside is total rubbish. The usual stuff, crazy modern design but then the client doesn’t get it and puts in a classic Chinese interior. A total joke. A bit like the Beijing opera.

    A good example of non-integrated and totally irerrelevant design. Yes, the shape is fun, but that’s it. On the otherhand you could say they approached the museum as if it was a sculpture. Just form and no function. Which they succeeded in.

    • zizi

      Form follows function? Still? Is this 1913?

  • Desk

    If only MAD started solving the environmental and pollution problems of China, seeing the kind of political clout they’ve garnered. Tired of these “my dick is bigger than yours” types of designs. How about “my soul is broader than yours”? Clean up your rivers, stop GMO, shut down culprits, plan the sewage and infrastructure. China and MAD truly need a wake up call to deal with the pollution which they export to the rest of the world.

    • Bababa

      Making world peace while they are at it.

  • racosin

    Wannabe Zaha.

    • Desk

      OMG. What an ignorant statement. He was from Zaha’s office. Duh!

  • stark

    “The building’s exterior is covered by polished steel plates, mirroring the surroundings and the changing light.” Lol.

  • Guest

    Instead of criticising why don’t you all do your own proposals and make your statements stronger. Otherwise just talking is very easy.

    You all have a lot free time as I see ;)

    • nicey

      I guess anyone who posts here has free time. Unless, that is, you have found a way to get paid? There is literary criticism, artistic criticism, political criticism…. all good stuff. If you want to hear praise, try the church. Praise the lord.

      PS. Ain’t heard no talkin’; just seen some writing. :-)

  • Mari

    Although structurally sound and spatially correct, I see nothing original in this.

  • shin

    Original? Come on fellas, please wake up. We are living in the era of flux information. Do you think you still can reinvent the wheel? I might not agree with MAD design, form, or the context and subject, but at least he walks the talk and not just talks the talk. Build more before you condemn. MAD, I like the glossy coating, but please show some interiors. I know you have done something so don’t disappoint us and prove it to some critics here. I’m looking forward to it. Keep it up.

  • Me

    If they were aiming for it to look like a bent bullet train that had experienced a collision on the tracks then they succeeded. I can’t say that I appreciate the strange bent design.