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Superstar: A Mobile Chinatown by MAD

Beijing-based architects MAD have designed a conceptual, star-shaped, mobile Chinatown.


The architects describe the project as "MAD's response to the redundant and increasingly out-of-date nature of the contemporary Chinatown".


Moving around the world, the mobile town would produce all it's own energy and recycle all its own waste, requiring no resources from its host city.


The town would be home to 15,000 people and include health resorts, sports facilities, drinking-water lakes and a digital cemetery.


The project will be presented at the Venice Architecture Biennale as part of the exhibition ‘Uneternal City’ curated by Aaron Betsky, which opens this week.


Watch a movie about the project here.

Here's some more information from MAD:



A new project by MAD, ‘Superstar: A Mobile China Town’, will be featured in the exhibition ‘Uneternal City’ at the 11th Venice Biennale, curated by Aaron Betsky. The exhibition invites 12 young global architects to suggest interventions into an anonymous suburban area of Rome, which will exploit and represent new spaces and urban fabrics of a Rome of the future. It will be shown in the Arsenale, from 14th September to 23rd November 2008.


MAD's proposal, 'The Superstar', takes the form of a New China Town.

Along with shopping malls, petrol stations and branches of McDonalds, the old China Town renders all of our cities boring and alike. It is nothing more than restaurant streets and fake traditional buildings representing a kitsch image of contemporary China, with no real life inside. It is a historical theme park that poisons the urban space. There must be a shock therapy to remedy this situation.


Superstar: A Mobile China Town is MAD's response to the redundant and increasingly out-of-date nature of the contemporary Chinatown. Rather than a sloppy patchwork of poor construction and nostalgia, the Superstar is a fully integrated, coherent, and above all modern upgrade of the 20th century Chinatown model. It’s a place to enjoy, to consume Chinese food, quality goods and cultural events; it’s a place to create and to produce, where citizens can use workshops to study, design and realize their ideas.


Equally important to what this neo-community contains is how it operates. Superstar: A Mobile China Town is a benevolent virus that releases unknown energy in between unprincipled changes and principled steadiness. It can land at every corner of the world, exchanging the new Chinese energy with the environment where it stays. It’s self-sustaining: it grows its own food, requires no resources from the host city, and recycles all of its waste. And it’s a living place, with authentic Chinese nature, health resorts, sports facilities and drinking water lakes. There’s even a digital cemetery, to remember the dead. The Superstar is a dream that’s home to 15,000 people: there is no hierarchy, no hyponymy, but a fusion of technology and nature, future and humanity.


The Superstar’s first destination will be the periphery of Rome. The Superstar will provide an unexpected, ever-changing future imbedded in the Eternal past.

Welcome to the Superstar, the China Town of today.


MAD is a young and innovative architectural design office practicing contemporary architecture, urbanism and cultural analysis. Based in Beijing, we examine and develop our concept of futurism beyond the boundaries of architecture by exploring into sociology, technology and politics in today’s China.

MAD’s ongoing projects include: the Absolute Tower in Toronto, Canada, it is the international competition MAD won in 2006; the Tianjin Sinosteel International Plaza, a 358M high-rise building in Tianjin, China; the Mongolian Museum in Inner Mongolia, China and some large-scale public complex and residential housing in Denmark, Hong Kong, Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and Costa Rica.

MAD’s work has been published worldwide. In 2006, MAD was awarded the Architectural League Young Architects Forum Award. The office has also presented its designs in a series of exhibitions, including the "MAD in China" exhibition at the Venice Architecture Biennial, and the "MAD Under Construction" exhibition at the Beijing Tokyo Art Projects Gallery in Beijing. In 2007, "MAD in China," a floating city of MAD's work, was shown at the Danish Architecture Centre (DAC), in Copenhagen, Denmark. In 2008, MAD published its first book MAD DINNER with ACTAR.

Ma Yansong, Yosuke Hayano, Dang Qun

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Sinosteel International Plaza