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The building has an overhanging roof

MAD designs Cloud Center in China to resemble a floating cloud

Architecture studio MAD has revealed its design for a multi-purpose cultural centre on China's Aranya Gold Coast that was informed by clouds and space.

The Cloud Center will be located in Qinhuangdao, near the Beidaihe coastline in northeastern China, where it was created for arts and culture community Aranya. The centre was designed to resemble a "floating cloud by the sea," the studio said.

The Cloud Center in China
Top: glazed walls surround the interior. Above: the building adjoins a body of water

The 3,853 square-metre site was designed to house a number of functions and includes two structures housing a theatre, conference room, exhibition spaces and a cafe, surrounded by a sculpted landscape that echoes the undulating form of the centre.

The site will be surrounded by a collection of tapering walls that gradually increase in height and envelop the Cloud Center, the sculptural gardens and the ancillary cafe space.

Cloud Center has a cloud-like form
A winding path leads to the centre

The multi-purpose space will have a low-lying form with angled glazed walls that look out to the surrounding gardens.

It will be topped with an amorphous over-hanging roof, clad in white-stained glass which aims to create an ethereal, floating-like appearance.

"When viewed from a distance, the building appears as a 'cloud floating in the forest' with a polished, reflective form activated by the changing light, sky, and landscape," MAD explained.

The building will have a column-free interior that was achieved through balancing and suspending the roof from a central core.

A swirling, grooved ceiling, reminiscent of a galaxy, will stretch across the interior of the multi-purpose space and extend skyward with lighting and skylights fitted within its grooves.

Open-plan arrangements and moveable walls will provide the interior with flexibility that can cater to the building's function as an exhibition space, theatre and conference space.

The roof of Cloud Center is rounded
It was designed to look like a cloud

The studio strategically placed rocks in the undulating terrains of the gardens, which it explained aims to further the cosmic theme by reflecting the shapes and forms of planets.

"This cosmic theme continues within the garden, where a series of white rocks and undulating greenery evoke the imagery of floating planets dotted across the universe," the studio said.

The interior of the centre is column free
The ceiling has a galaxy-like design

MAD Architects is an architecture studio based in Beijing that was established by Ma Yansong in 2004. Recently, the studio unveiled its design for an undulating "tarp blown" Civic Center in Jiaxing.

It also revealed designs for a train station that is built within a small forest in Jiaxing, China.

Project credits:

Principal partners: Ma Yansong, Dang Qun, Yosuke Hayano
Lead associate: Kin Li
Design team: Yin Jianfeng, Liu Hailun, Chen Hungpin, Edgar Navarrete, Pittayapa Suriyapee, Luis Torres, Chen Yi-en, Zhang Chao, Li Gang
Executive architect and structural design: Zhongke (Beijing) Architectural Planning & Design Institute Co., Ltd.
Facade consultant: RFR Shanghai, King Glass Engineering Co., Ltd.
Landscape design consultant: Beijing Sunshine Landscape Co., Ltd
Interior design consultant: Montaigne Design Consulting (Shanghai) Ltd.
Lighting consultant: Lighting Stories (Beijing) Cultural & Creative Co., Ltd.
Signage design: Beijing Junyi Rongchuang Cultural Communication Limited Company
Stage consultant: Beijing Yaxun Yingda Technology Development Limited Company
Acoustic consultant: Beijing Huaxin Sifang Architectural Technique Limited Company

More images and plans

Plan of the building
Rendered site drawing of the building
the gardens have a cosmic arrangement
A pond reflects the building
It is surrounded by a tapering wall
The building has a pebble shape
The cafe space is attached to the wall
The ceiling has a swirled design
It has glazed walls
It has white interiors