Construction has started on a human-body-inspired headquarters for Chinese fashion group Xinhee, designed by architecture studio MAD (+ slideshow).
Beijing-based based MAD has designed a building with a clearly distinguishable internal skeleton and external skin. It will house the offices of Xinhee and its six subsidiary brands in the coastal Chinese city Xiamen.
MAD founder Ma Yansong said he wants the building to explore the similarities between fashion and architecture.
"We envision it as a building with skin and bones," he explained. "The correspondence of clothing and architecture is they both explore the relationship between the interior and the exterior."
Called the Xinhee Design Center, the 61,000-square-metre structure will feature a central atrium and six projecting wings, creating what MAD describes as a "star-shaped layout that formalises a solid 'bone' structure frame".
A translucent layer of PTFE plastic will be draped around the outside, allowing light to enter and creating wide views out for staff.
According to Ma, this delicate, sun-shading skin will make the eight-storey building look "elegant and floating".
"It's interesting for a building with such an intrinsically logical structure to look floating and free," he said.
Each of the six wings – one for each brand – will contain a mix of open-plan offices and elevated gardens.
The central atrium will provide a meeting place for the different departments. Accessible to the public, this space will also include a bridge that doubles as a catwalk for fashion shows.
A translucent coating will be applied to the building's exterior to control the amount of light and heat that enters. There will also be solar panels on the roof to offer a sustainable source of energy.
The firm has been in the news a lot recently because its controversial design for a film museum for director George Lucas is being moved from Chicago to California.
MAD expects to complete the Xinhee Design Center in 2017.
Directors: Ma Yansong, Dang Qun, Yosuke Hayano
Design team: J Travis Russett, Flora Lee, Liu Huiying, Fu Changrui, Xu Chen, Julian Sattler, Jei Kim, Jakob Beer, Younjin Park, Liu Ling, Ma Ning, Sear Nee, Zhu Jinglu, Liang Zhongyi, Sarita Tejasmit, Natalia Giacomino