Dezeen Magazine

Watch a live talk with MAD Architects about its first social housing project in China

Dezeen has teamed up with MAD Architects for a series of talks on social housing. In the first talk, MAD founder Ma Yansong discusses the studio's Baiziwan project in Beijing.

Dezeen's founder and editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs spoke to Yansong about the studio's first-ever social housing project, which is in China.

Yansong spoke about the Baiziwan project in detail before speaking to Fairs about social housing in China and beyond.

View of Baiziwan blocks by MAD
Ma Yansong of MAD Architects talked about its new social housing project in China during a live talk

The project was spurred on by the studio's previous project, a 13-storey residential building in Paris, called UNIC.

Ma hopes that Baiziwan will help increase diversity in the design of China's residential housing.

The standard housing typology in China often resembled the same mega-size closed residential complexes, first developed in the 1950s and pushed by the commercialisation of the housing movement in the 1990s.

Looped running track in Baiziwan complex
Called Baiziwan, the project is MAD's first social housing project in China

"The biggest problem of China's housing is homogenisation," said Ma. "Residential complexes all over China look the same, as well as the apartment configurations."

"A little change will be seen as a huge challenge to the status quo," he added. "I hope Baiziwan will be our effort to a more diverse residential housing scene in China."

The development is located near the Central Business District in east Beijing and is divided by roads into six areas that contain multiple apartment blocks.

Green areas in Beijing housing development
Yansong designed the development with the hope of diversifying housing in China

The development consists of 12 residential blocks containing 4,000 apartments, built around green spaces and connected by a raised walkway. Designed as a floating park, the walkway connects all the residential areas by bridging over roads.

Yansong founded MAD Architects in 2004. Over 20 of the studio's key projects were highlighted in MAD Rhapsody, a book covering 17 years of its work.

Recent projects by the studio includes a cloud-like white museum on the coast of Haikou in China and a Beverly Hills residential block with a large green wall.

Partnership content

This talk was produced by Dezeen for MAD Architects as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.

Dezeen is on WeChat!

Click here to read the Chinese version of this article on Dezeen's official WeChat account, where we publish daily architecture and design news and projects in Simplified Chinese.