MAD's Nanjing masterplan features buildings
designed to look like mountains

| 20 comments
 

Ma Yansong of Chinese studio MAD presents a masterplan for Nanjing, China, where buildings are designed to look like mountains and public spaces overlap with the natural landscape, as part of the Shenzhen and Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture.

MAD's Nanjing masterplan features buildings designed to look like mountains

The Nanjing Zendai Thumb Plaza proposal is the latest in a series of projects by MAD based on Yansong's Shan-Shui City concept - an urban strategy based on a style of Chinese landscape painting and named after the Chinese words for mountains and water.

MAD's Nanjing masterplan features buildings designed to look like mountains

The masterplan, which encompasses an area of approximately 60 hectares, envisions an assortment of buildings and spaces that mediate between the city's urban centre and its surrounding landscape of mountains and lakes.

MAD's Nanjing masterplan features buildings designed to look like mountains

"We need to rethink how to define the boundary between the nature and the urban on this piece of empty plot in the new city development area," says MAD. "Is it possible to combine the high-density city with the atmosphere of the nature to create an energetic urban public space for the future, so people will reconnect their emotion with the nature?"

MAD's Nanjing masterplan features buildings designed to look like mountains

Expected to complete by 2017, the masterplan includes a set of high-rise buildings with unique curving profiles intended to avoid the "height competition" associated with most skyscrapers.

MAD's Nanjing masterplan features buildings designed to look like mountains

At ground level, pathways and plazas will be integrated with a mixture of manmade and natural landscaping.

MAD's Nanjing masterplan features buildings designed to look like mountains

Yansong is exhibiting a scale model of the proposal at the Border Warehouse in Shenzhen for the Shenzhen and Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture 2013.

MAD's Nanjing masterplan features buildings designed to look like mountains

Here's a project description from MAD:


Ma Yansong Featuring 'Nanjing Zendai Thumb Plaza' in Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture 2013 in Shenzhen

Ma Yansong presented his work, 'Shanshui Experiment Complex' in the Border Warehouse of Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture 2013 in Shenzhen. This is an artwork in-between architecture model and landscape installation, created based on MAD's latest project, 'Nanjing Zendai Thumb Plaza'. The total area of this urban design project is about 600,000 sqm and it is expected to be completed in 2017.

MAD's Nanjing masterplan features buildings designed to look like mountains

The historic city Nanjing is famous for the mountain and water landscape around the city, as well as its modern prosperities. With the culture, nature and history considered, we need to rethink how to define the boundary between the nature and the urban on this piece of empty plot in the new city development area. Is it possible to combine the high-density city with the atmosphere of the nature to create an energetic urban public space for the future, so people will re-connected their emotion with the nature?

MAD's Nanjing masterplan features buildings designed to look like mountains

The installation approaches those issues by creating a green open space spreading on the ground level of the city, where the natural and man-made landscape cross over with each other, existing in different dimensions both indoors and outdoors. The clear boundary of the site thus becomes blurred. While walking to their urban destination, people will feel as if they are sometimes walking in the nature. Above that, a series of buildings rise in the fog with flowing lines, changing smoothly as integrity, resolving the vertical power and the height competition, and the city skyline that used to be controlled by technology and power is now back to the artistic mood of faraway-so-close that our ancients have perceived in the nature.

  • Corporatedepression

    Please show this to the Canary Wharf masterplan degenerates.

  • spadestick

    Seriously, this firm needs to masterplan all of China itself. Zaha lost her beautician when this guy left.

    • Steeevyo

      You mean when he left and took all her ideas with him?

  • jack

    Work for Zaha, learn from Zaha, make like Zaha.

    • oh wewl

      He did.

    • Annie Vu

      Maybe overthrowing Zaha one day?

  • rodger

    Very nice.

  • philippe b

    Looks like Thomas Heatherwick’s East Beach cafe rotated 90 degrees.

  • Danillo

    Somebody had a little too much fun with the ‘Contour’ function in Rhino…

  • max m

    Just one simple question, why buildings should look like mountains?

    • oh wewl

      Why should they look like boxes?

      • max m

        Boxes have space within the envelope so that it can eventually become a living space. If one wants to work around the subject of mountains to design buildings can find inspiration in spaces like caves and tunnels.

        • oh wewl

          All the rooms in this project have vertical walls, it is merely the louvers that are non-orthogonal. The buildings themselves step back rationally based on the structural grid. The stepping process allow residents to have access to terraces. The overall efficiency is around 75%, typical of any residential project. Take a closer look at the louvers and the building underneath.

  • pipo

    As a model it looks great. Don’t know how the real thing will turn out, but high expectations!

  • E’kobus Mutalab

    What’s the obsession with mountains all of a sudden? It’s getting as boring as Zaha is.

    • A_potato

      Being bored of Zaha is boring.

  • Chris MacDonald

    Epic. Would love to see some material suggestions, etc.

  • NanjingBug

    As a dweller in Nanjing for over 15 years, I have to say those are merely very common apartment buildings with the hypocritical interpretation of ‘Shanshui’, like what that designer is always doing.

  • max m

    So the actual living spaces are regular boxes wrapped in organic envelopes. Could architects work on more natural and meaningful spaces to then develop whatever external envelope?

    • oh wewl

      Are there any projects of a similar size, scale, program, and organic quality that you consider more meaningful? What meaning would be more suitable in an urban context like this?