Ma Yansong of MAD Architects wants to create a unique Chinese architecture that embraces contemporary design while still pulling from the country’s traditional roots. To that end, he’s unveiled plans for a mixed-use complex of skyscrapers, office blocks and public spaces for Beijing’s Chaoyang Park that emulate mountains, hills and lakes! The development follows Ma Yansong’s Shan-Shui city concept, in which buildings and cities are influenced by nature and emotion to enable urban dwellers to connect with nature through the built environment.
Instead of adding another grey skyscraper to Beijing’s dense skyline, Ma Yansong seeks to create more of a “futuristic city landscape painting.” High-rise buildings will act as the peaks, individual office buildings serve as the slope, high-end offices are the ridge, and residential buildings are the mountain ranges. This built geography would be supplemented by open space that simulates lakes, springs, forests, streams, valleys, rocks and peaks. Two skyscrapers composed of striated volumes that resemble rock formations will overlook the park. The development won’t look like it was built – it will appear to have grown naturally from its surrounding environment, which is consistent with the Shan-Shui model.
Ma Yansong claims that this development will go beyond what we think of as green and will in fact embody “the spirit of green”. The Shan-sui concept, which simulates natural landscapes in busy man-made environments, is meant to be the vehicle by which a new Chinese architecture can capture that spirit of green.