Ma Yansong

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Ma Yansong
Ma Yansong1.jpg
Ma Yansong
Born 1975
Beijing
Nationality Chinese
Awards 2010 RIBA International Fellowship
Practice MAD architects
Projects Absolute Towers
Ordos Museum
Chayong Park Plaza
Harbin Cultural Island
Hutong Bubble 32
Wood Sculpture Museum
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Ma.

Ma Yansong (Chinese: 马岩松; pinyin: Mǎ Yánsōng; born in 1975 in Beijing) is a Chinese architect and founder of MAD architects.

Early life and background[edit]

Ma Yansong was born in Beijing in 1975. He graduated from the Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture, and holds a Master’s Degree in Architecture from Yale University. He is currently a professor at the Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture. During his Master’s Degree in Yale, he first received attention for his project "Floating Islands". He founded MAD Architects in 2004.

MAD Architects[edit]

MAD works in forward-looking environments developing futuristic architectures based on a contemporary interpretation of the eastern spirit of nature. All of MAD's projects - from residential complexes or offices to cultural centres - desire to protect a sense of community and orientation toward nature, offering people the freedom to develop their own experience. Founded in 2004 by Ma Yansong, the office first earned worldwide attention in 2006 by winning an international competition to design a residential tower near Toronto, completed at the end of 2012.

MAD has been commissioned by clients of all backgrounds and for a diverse range of designs. MAD’s ongoing projects include two major cultural projects in Harbin: the China Wood Sculpture Museum and Harbin Culture Island, an opera house and cultural center that will retain the original wetlands as an urban park between the old and new city. Additionally, MAD is designing the headquarters of a major fashion brand in Xiamen. MAD’s residential projects strive for a symbiotic relationship between man, shelter and nature. The Huangshan residential villas is designed to nestle into its natural landscapes, whilst the Qingdao private residential courtyard draws inspiration from the experience of a traditional Chinese flaneur and the beauty and emotions developed through meandering across the natural landscape. MAD has several projects underway ranging from conceptual design to construction phases around the world. Internationally, MAD is designing a residential development in the heart of Rome and in Paris and the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art (LMNA) in Chicago. The aforementioned Absolute Tower in Toronto is now completed.

In 2011 MAD completed their first museum in Ordos, Inner Mongolia. It is a futuristic shell that protects the cultural history of the region and refutes the rational new city outside. Previous completed projects include the Hutong Bubble 32, a small scale intervention inside the delicate urban tissue of old Beijing, and Hongluo clubhouse, a fluid space without internal boundaries that rises from Hongluo Lake.

MAD is led by Ma Yansong, Dang Qun and Yosuke Hayano. They have been awarded the Young Architecture Award from the New York Institute of Architects in 2006 and the 2011 RIBA international fellowship

Design philosophy: Shansui City[edit]

The famous Chinese scientist Qian Xuesen proposed the concept of "Shanshui City" in the 1980s. In view of the emerging large-scale cement construction, he put forward a new model of urban development based on Chinese Shanshui spirit, which was meant to allow people to "stay out of nature and return to nature." However, this idealistic urban concept was not put into practice. As the world's largest manufacturing base, a large number of soulless "shelf cities" appeared in contemporary China due to the lack of cultural spirit. Qian Xuesen pointed out that modern cities' worship of power and capital leads to maximization and utilitarianism. "Buildings in cities should not become living machines. Even the most powerful technology and tools can never endow the city with a soul." To Ma Yansong, Shanshui does not just refer to nature; it is also the individual's emotional response to the surrounding world. "Shanshui City" is a combination of city density, functionality and the artistic conception of natural landscape. It aims at composing a future city that takes human spirit and emotion at their cores.

Signature Projects[edit]

Architecture[edit]

  • Absolute Towers, Mississauga, Canada, 2006–2012, completed
    • Best Tall Buildings Americas, CTBUH "Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat"
    • No.1, Skyscraper Awards 2012, EMPORIS.
    • Building of the Year 2012, ArchDaily.
  • Ordos Museum, Ordos, China, 2005–2011, completed
    • Best Museum, UED
    • Winner of "Metal in Architecture", WAN Awards, 2014
  • Hongluo Clubhouse, Beijing, China, 2005–2006, completed
  • Sino-steel International Plaza, Tianjin, China, 2006
  • Huangdu Art Center, Beijing, China, 2008
  • Hutong Bubble 32, Beijing, China, 2008–2009, completed
  • Fake Hills, Beihai, China 2008–2015, under construction
  • Harbin Cultural Island, Harbin, China, 2008–2015, under construction
  • Taichung Convention Center, Taiwan, China, 2009
  • Harbin China Wood Sculpture Museum, Harbin, China, 2009–2012, completed
  • Huangshan Mountain Village, Huangshan, China, 2009–2016, under construction
  • Urban Forest, Chongqing, China, 2009
  • National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China, 2011
  • Pingtan Art Museum, Pingtan, China, 2011–2016
  • Chaoyang Park Mixed-use, Beijing, China, 2013–2016
    • D21 Chinese Architecture Design in 21st Century, Beijing Design Week
    • Chinese Top 10 Buildings
  • Nanjing Zendai Himalayas Center, Nanjing, China, 2013–2017
  • Vertu, travelling Pavilion, Milan, Shanghai, Dubai, Beijing, London
  • Beijing 2050, Beijing, China
  • Rebuilt WTC, New York, USA
  • 800m Tower, China
  • Changsha Culture Park, Changsha, China
  • KBH Kunsthal, Urban intervention, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, Chicago, USA, 2014–2018

Art[edit]

  • Shanshui - Experiment - Complex, Shenzhen, China, 2013
  • Moon Landscape, Beijing, China, 2013
  • "Shanshui City" Exhibition, Beijing, China, 2013
  • "Shansui City" for Audi City, Beijing, China
  • The Little Rock Fountain Journal
  • "The Floating Earth" for Alessi
  • Contemplating the Void in Guggenheim, New York, USA, 2009
  • Feelings are facts, Beijing, China, 2010
  • Monster’s Footprint, Shenzhen, China, 2009
  • Superstar: A Mobile Chinatown (Uneternal City), Venice, Italy, 2008
  • Ink Ice, Beijing, China
  • Fish Tank

Awards[edit]

  • 2014 100 Most Creative People in Business, Fast Company
  • 2014 Chaoyang Park Plaza: Chinese Top 10 Buildings
  • 2014 Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort: No.3, Skyscraper Awards 2013, EMPORIS
  • 2013 Designer of the Year, Good Design
  • 2013 D21 Young Chinese Architect Award
  • 2013 Emporis for the world's best new skyscraper (Absolute Towers)
  • 2013 2nd Audi Arts and Design Award in the category Designer of the Year
  • 2012 The Best New High-rise building in the America's by the CTBUH "Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat", (Absolute Towers)
  • 2012 International Property Awards (Fake Hills)
  • 2011 UED museum award (Ordos Museum)
  • 2011 RIBA International Fellowship
  • 2011 Fast Company – one of 10 most innovative companies in China
  • 2009 Fast Company – one of 10 creative people in architecture
  • 2008 ICON magazine – one of 20 most influential young architects
  • 2006 Architecture League Young Architects Award
  • 2001 American Institute of Architects Scholarship for Advanced Architecture Research

Exhibitions[edit]

  • 2014 Shanshui City Exhibition, Solo Exhibition, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA), Beijing, China
  • 2014 “The Changing Skyline”, Beijing Design Week, Beijing, China
  • 2014 “Future Cities — High Mountain, Flowing Water” China Shan-Shui City Design Exhibition, Berlin, Germany
  • 2014 Building M+: The Museum and Architecture Collection, Hong Kong, China
  • 2013 Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture, Shenzhen, China
  • 2013 West Bund 2013: A Biennial of Architecture and Contemporary Art, Shanghai, China
  • 2013 Palace of China – Architecture China 2013 exhibition, Segovia, Spain
  • 2013 Shanshui City Exhibition, Solo Exhibition, Beijing, China
  • 2012 Between the Modernity and Tradition, Solo Exhibition, ICO Museum, Madrid, Spain
  • 2011 Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture, Shenzhen, China
  • 2011 Beijing Design week, Beijing, China
  • 2011 Chengdu Biennale: Changing Vistas: Creative Duration, Chengdu, China
  • 2011 Living, The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen Denmark
  • 2011 Verso Est: Chinese Architectural Landscape, MAXXI, Rome, Italy
  • 2010 Rising East: New Chinese Architecture, Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany
  • 2010 Feelings Are Facts, Olafur Eliasson+Ma Yansong, UCCA, Beijing, China
  • 2009 Contemplating the Void: Interventions in the Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA
  • 2008 Super Star, A Mobile China Town, Uneternal City, 11th Venice Architecture Exhibition, Italy
  • 2008 China Design Now, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK
  • 2007 MAD IN CHINA, solo exhibition, Danish Architecture Centre (DAC), Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 2006 Shanghai Art Biennale, Shanghai, China
  • 2006 MAD IN CHINA, Solo exhibition, Diocesi Museum, Venice, Italy
  • 2006 MAD Under Construction, Solo Exhibition, Tokyo Gallery, Beijing, China
  • 2004 1st Architecture Biennial Beijing, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China

Quotes[edit]

“Ma Yansong is a young Chinese architect – just 35 – who has come to architectural maturity at a time when his country is beginning to allow the freedom of expression so vital to the artist and sufficient freedom to the economy to allow his ideas to be realized as buildings. His work expresses the tension between the individual imagination and the needs of society as a whole."

Further reading[edit]

  • Instability-Craig Konyk,Anne Rieselbach,Architectural League of New York,Page 19
  • Conquering the west-Edwin Heathcote, Financial Times [1]
  • Without imagination there's no history, interview, in STUDIO Architecture and Urbanism magazine, issue#02 Original, Milano, Romolo Calabrese Ed., 2012 [2]
  • Sinuous 'Marilyn Monroe' towers shape city's future, CNN [3]
  • An empathetic twist, domus [4]

External links[edit]