MAD architects, the chinese firm led by ma yansong, has completed ‘chaoyang park plaza’ on the southern edge of the largest park in beijing’s central business district. the development includes the 220,000 square meter ‘armani apartment complex’, which comprises ten buildings that have been designed to ‘unfold as a classic shanshui painting on an urban scale’. the project — which broke ground in 2014, before topping out the following year — has been conceived as extension of the park within the city. ‘we want to blur the boundary between nature and the artificial, and make it so that both are designed with the other in mind,’ explains ma yansong.

MAD architects chaoyang park plaza
all images by hufton + crow

 

 

inspired by traditional chinese landscape paintings, MAD’s design introduces a range of natural forms and spaces. connected by a glazed atrium, the site’s asymmetrical twin tower office buildings sit at the base of the park’s lake and appear as two emerging mountain peaks. the small-scale, low-rise commercial buildings appear as eroded mountain rocks whose seemingly random positioning forms a secluded urban garden. finally, the two multi-story armani apartments to the southwest feature staggered balconies that encourage outdoor living.

MAD architects chaoyang park plaza
the project is located on the southern edge of the largest park in beijing’s central business district

 

 

the development’s overall environment is shaped by smooth, curved surfaces that seek to evoke the emotion and aesthetic resonance of a traditional chinese ink painting. the landscape that weaves itself in between the buildings incorporates pine trees, bamboo, rocks, and ponds — all traditional eastern landscape elements that imply a deeper connection between the architecture and classical space. meanwhile, japanese graphic artist and curator kenya hara led the design of the project’s signage system.

MAD architects chaoyang park plaza
the twin tower office buildings appear as two emerging mountain peaks

 

 

‘in modern cities, architecture as an artificial creation is seen more as a symbol of capital, power or technological development; while nature exists independently,’ says ma yansong, founder of MAD architects. ‘it is different from traditional eastern cities where architecture and nature are designed as a whole, creating an atmosphere that serves to fulfill one’s spiritual pursuits.’

MAD architects chaoyang park plaza
the design introduces a range of natural forms and spaces

 

 

‘we want to blur the boundary between nature and the artificial, and make it so that both are designed with the other in mind,’ continues ma. ‘then, the argument in the modern logic of humans to protect or to destroy nature will no longer exist if we understand and see humans and nature as co-existing. human behavior and emotion is part of nature, and nature is where that originates and ends.’

MAD architects chaoyang park plaza
the project has been conceived as extension of the park within the city

 

 

from an environmental standpoint, the vertical fins seen on the exterior glass façade function as an energy efficient ventilation and filtration system, while at the base of the towers, a pond serves as an air cooling system in the summer — decreasing the overall temperature of the interior. ‘chaoyang park plaza’ project has been awarded the LEED gold certification by the US green building council. see designboom’s previous coverage of the project here.

MAD architects chaoyang park plaza
low-rise commercial buildings appear as eroded mountain rocks

MAD architects chaoyang park plaza
at the base of the towers, a pond serves as an air cooling system during warmer months

MAD architects chaoyang park plaza
the two towers are connected by a glazed atrium

MAD architects chaoyang park plaza
the landscape incorporates pine trees, bamboo, rocks, and ponds

MAD architects chaoyang park plaza
‘we want to blur the boundary between nature and the artificial,’ says ma yansong

MAD architects chaoyang park plaza
curved surfaces seek to evoke the emotion and aesthetic resonance of a traditional chinese ink painting

 

 

project info:

 

name: chaoyang park plaza

location: beijing, china

dates: 2012-2017
typology: office, commercial, residential
site area: 30,763 sqm
building area above ground: 128,177 sqm,
building area below ground: 94,832 sqm
building height: 142 m

 

principal partners in charge: ma yansong, dang qun, yosuke hayano

associate partners in charge: kin li, liu huiying,
team: fu changrui, zhao wei, li guangchong, lin guomin, bennet hu po-kang, nathan kiatkulpiboone, yang jie, julian sattler, younjin park, zhu jinglu, xue yan, zheng fang, matteo vergano, wing lung peng, gustavo maya, li yunlong, tiffany dahlen, gustaaf alfred van staveren

 

client: smart-hero (HK) investment development limited
executive architects: CCDI group

façade consultant: RFR asia

interior design: MADA s.p.a.m.
graphic design: kenya hara + NDC china
landscape design: greentown akin landscape architecture co., ltd.

interior lighting consultant: M&W lighting limited

landscape lighting consultant: beijing junhao lighting design co., ltd

LEED certification consultant: shenzhen institute of building research co., ltd.