MAD's landscape-inspired Chaoyang Park Plaza
breaks ground in Beijing

| 18 comments
MAD's mountain-inspired Chaoyang Park Plaza breaks ground in Beijing

News: Chinese firm MAD has unveiled new images of Chaoyang Park Plaza – a complex of skyscrapers, office blocks and public spaces modelled on the mountains, hills and lakes depicted in Chinese landscape paintings – which is now under construction in Beijing.

MAD's mountain-inspired Chaoyang Park Plaza breaks ground in Beijing

Located on the southern edge of Chaoyang Park in Beijing's central business district, the 120,000-square-metre development will create a mix of commercial properties, office blocks and residential accommodation inspired by the landscapes depicted in traditional Chinese shan-shui paintings.

MAD's mountain-inspired Chaoyang Park Plaza breaks ground in Beijing

For the centre of the site, MAD has designed a pair of 120-metre skyscrapers with striated volumes intended to reference images of rock formations. These will be accompanied by four office blocks, modelled on depictions of river stones, and two residential courtyard buildings designed to recreate "the freedom of wandering through a mountain forest".

MAD's mountain-inspired Chaoyang Park Plaza breaks ground in Beijing

"By transforming features of Chinese classical landscape painting, such as lakes, springs, forests, creeks, valleys, and stones, into modern 'city landscapes', the urban space creates a balance between high urban density and natural landscape," said the studio. "The forms of the buildings echo what is found in natural landscapes, and re-introduces nature to the urban realm."

MAD's mountain-inspired Chaoyang Park Plaza breaks ground in Beijing

Chaoyang Park Plaza will become one of MAD's first built projects to demonstrate studio founder Ma Yansong's ongoing Shan-Shui City concept – an urban strategy named after the Chinese words for mountains and water.

MAD's mountain-inspired Chaoyang Park Plaza breaks ground in Beijing

The studio first presented the project in September 2013, following an exhibition of the Shan-Shui City proposals at the WUHAO store in Beijing at the start of the summer. Other projects developed around the theory include a mixed-use masterplan for Nanjing.

MAD's mountain-inspired Chaoyang Park Plaza breaks ground in Beijing

Read on for a statement from MAD:


MAD's Chaoyang Park Plaza Breaks Ground

As a recent realisation of the concept Shanshui City, Chaoyang Park Plaza has begun construction. It marks another milestone in one of the practices of MAD's design theory. This project pushes the boundary of the urbanisation process in modern cosmopolitan life by creating a dialogue between artificial scenery and natural landscapes.

MAD's mountain-inspired Chaoyang Park Plaza breaks ground in Beijing

Chaoyang Park Plaza is located in the central business district (CBD) of Beijing, and is composed of over 120,000 square metres of commercial, office, and residential buildings. The site is on the southern edge of Chaoyang Park, one of the largest public parks in Beijing. Its proximity to the park will not only create breathtaking views of the city, but will also highly impact the skyline of Beijing.

MAD's mountain-inspired Chaoyang Park Plaza breaks ground in Beijing

By transforming features of Chinese classical landscape painting, such as lakes, springs, forests, creeks, valleys, and stones, into modern "city landscapes", the urban space creates a balance between high urban density and natural landscape. The forms of the buildings echo what is found in natural landscapes, and re-introduces nature to the urban realm.

MAD's mountain-inspired Chaoyang Park Plaza breaks ground in Beijing

Like the tall mountain cliffs and river landscapes of China, a pair of asymmetrical towers creates a dramatic skyline in front of the park. Ridges and valleys define the shape of the exterior glass facade, as if the natural forces of erosion wore down the tower into a few thin lines. Flowing down the facade, the lines emphasise the smoothness of the towers and its verticality. The internal ventilation and filtration system of the ridges draw a natural breeze indoors, which not only improves the interior space but also creates an energy efficient system.

MAD's mountain-inspired Chaoyang Park Plaza breaks ground in Beijing

Landscape elements are injected into the interiors of the towers to augment the feeling of nature within an urban framework. The two towers are connected by a tall courtyard lobby with a ceiling height of up to 17 metres. The site and sounds of flowing water make the entire lobby feel like a natural scene from a mountain valley. At the top of the towers, multi-level terraces shaped by the curving forms of the towers are public gardens where people can gaze out overthe entire city and look down at the valley scene created by the lower buildings on the site.

MAD's mountain-inspired Chaoyang Park Plaza breaks ground in Beijing

Located to the south of the towers, four office buildings are shaped like river stones that have been eroded over a long period. Smooth, round, and each with its own features, they are delicately arranged to allow each other space while also forming an organic whole. Adjacent to the office buildings are two multi-level residential buildings in the southwest area of the compound. These buildings continue the 'mid-air courtyard' concept, and provide all who live here with the freedom of wandering through a mountain forest.

MAD's mountain-inspired Chaoyang Park Plaza breaks ground in Beijing

The project was awarded the "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)" Gold certificate by U.S. Green Building Council. Its use of natural lighting, intelligent building, and air purification system make this project stand out from others being built today. The ideal of "nature" is not only embodied in the innovation of green technology, but also in the planning concept. This project transforms the traditional model of buildings in a modern city's central business district. By exploring the symbiotic relationship between modern urban architecture and natural environment, it revives the harmonious co-existence between urban life and nature. It creates a Shanshui city where people can share their individual emotions and a sense of belonging.

MAD's mountain-inspired Chaoyang Park Plaza breaks ground in Beijing

Location: Beijing, China
Type: Office, Commercial, Residential
Status: 2012-2016

MAD's mountain-inspired Chaoyang Park Plaza breaks ground in Beijing
Site plan - click for larger image

Site Area: 30,763 sqm
Building Area: above ground 128,177 sqm, below ground 94,832 sqm
Building Height: 120 m

MAD's mountain-inspired Chaoyang Park Plaza breaks ground in Beijing
Cross sections - click for larger image

Directors in Charge: Ma Yansong, Dang Qun, Yosuke Hayano
Core Design Team: Zhao Wei, Kin Li, Liu Huiying, Lin Guomin, Bennet Hu Po-Kang, Julian Sattler, Nathan Kiatkulpiboone, Li Guangchong, Fu Changrui, Yang Jie, Zhu Jinglu, Younjin Park, Gustaaf Alfred Van Staveren

MAD's mountain-inspired Chaoyang Park Plaza breaks ground in Beijing
Natural ventilation strategy - click for larger image

Client: Junhao Real Estate Beijing Jingfa Properties Co., Limited.
Construction Engineers: China Construction Design International Group Co., Ltd
Facade Design & Optimize Consultant: RFR
Landscape Design Consultant: Greentown Akin
Lighting Design Consultant: GD Lighting Design Co., Ltd

  • Frankie Knuckles

    Looks more inspired by a melted radiator to me.

  • Flo

    Indeed: mad!

  • Jeroen van Lith

    MAD (again) balances nicely between pragmatic and Zaha.

  • GK

    Hmm, a massive amount of casually curving glass.

    • nicox

      It’s typical of Chinese rendering companies. But who cares, it’s about the project and not what you see from it.

  • KP

    That first rendering is the most deceiving I have seen in a while. No way can you can see CCTV and GuoMao Shanxi from that angle. I have lived in Beijing for three years and it is impossible.

    • http://michelegaleotto.com/ MG

      Then you should know that is Guomao Sanqi ;) anyway, I agree!

  • Concerned Citizen

    Inspired by mountains, hills, and lakes? From what planet?

  • james

    A quick google search of “shan-shui” pretty clearly demonstrates these buildings’ relationship to the landscape from the paintings. I think they are elegant and dramatic.

  • M.S.

    I think this concept is quite tasteful, actually. Some of the better stuff I’ve seen come from Beijing.

  • tony

    All very disturbing, if this is the future we are screwed. The amount of gross corporate wealth. God dammit, I can’t even articulate my feelings about this.

    • mitate

      Then you must try harder, my son.

  • Roman Hajduk

    China has the prerequisites to successfully complete this project ;)

  • Goran

    Inspired by Gotham city.

  • Ralph Kent

    “You don’t have to be MAD to work there…. but it helps!”

    Wow. Another arbitrary faux-parametric form-making one-liner from MAD, bankrolled by shadow-banking money. Meanwhile, what are the occupancy rates of other white elephants like these constructed over the past decade in China? Ordos, anyone?

    When this house of cards comes crashing down – which it inevitably will – the shockwaves will be devastating. Watch Robert Peston (BBC) “How China Fooled The World” documentary and prepare to be alarmed.

  • china hater

    You are fooled for a reason.

  • derintellectual

    China has money… but no taste what so ever.

  • Adi

    That first image, sigh… Most of the time the air is too smoky and orange to see any skyline whatsoever. No matter how beautiful, unique or provocative an architect designs, it will vanish in China’s pollution and hodge-podge, poorly planned cities.