MAD architects: china wood sculpture museum MAD architects: china wood sculpture museum
jan 10, 2011

MAD architects: china wood sculpture museum

‘china wood sculpture museum’ by MAD architects in harbin, china all images courtesy MAD architects

internationally renowned firm MAD architects has sent us images of ‘china wood sculpture museum’, a new facility dedicated to the arts in harbin, china. located in one of the most rapidly expanding creative regional hub in northern china, the project is one of three cultural buildings the beijing-based firm was commissioned to design in 2009.

street view

influenced by the local winter landscapes, the design aims to expand on the contrasting qualities between nature and the speed of daily life. the 200 meter-long museum negotiates the site’s conditions while exploring the relationship between the building and the environment, resulting in a dynamic form that resembles a frozen fluid.


in line with the continuous nature of the exterior, the museum’s circulation flows uninterrupted between two exhibition spaces. connected by a central entrance, curved wall forms open up to the skylights above, filling the voids adjacent to the galleries with natural daylight. pockets and openings between levels provide visual transparency, connecting the energy of the building’s activities together. 


interior levels

circulation space

overall view

physical model



construction shot

exploded axo

site plan

cross section

cross section

cross section

sectional models

  • Heng Hao!

    Luke says:
  • where’s the wood? just another vacant shell reminiscent of a mediocre student diploma project!!

    former MAD enthusiast says:
  • It’s funny how the article talks about environment, when the renderings show an idilical snowy forest, but the reality shows the classical chinese suburb tower construction. Do they think that a 200 meter long museum barrier is what this shitty neighborhood needs!!??
    MAD, this time, really BU HAO!!

    mtm says:
  • great. I can feel the torque just looking at the images.
    well done MAD.

    nils says:
  • nice bubble gum!

    z H r says:
  • Zerg Building

    idle crane says:
  • its the wood sculpture museum with no wood sculptures!

    Dani says:
  • good job yukui!!

    yansong says:
  • what software would they use to achieve the project? any idea? 😉 cheers

    andrés says:
  • hater’s will hate

    x says:
  • Oh dear, too much money, too much Gehry-envy, too little rigour?

    Tim says:
  • Wow! I like d;-)

    Jetwax says:
  • I am sure if the wood sculpture museum was indeed constructed out of wood, people would be hating on it for being too literal and amateur. MAD ran with the sculptural aspect and made something pretty daring. Can’t wait to see it.

    catskills says:
  • Lovely circulation space. The renderings make it look very intuitive and natural.

    diksha says:
  • Really successful use of overhead apertures. The design’s sudden termination at either ends of the museum is a bit questionable, but the multi-level skylights are great.

    joseph m says:
  • the walls look like giant curtains being drawn!

    panodesign says:
  • stormy snow wind

    great says:
  • i like tthe dynamics and movement as a result of a smart torque. well done!

    mad expectations says:
  • I think it will balance beautifully with the content.

    mao says:
  • twisted metal spagetti

    chris says:
  • gelivable !

    y.w. says:
  • Ahh, but it is beautiful.

    And they are building it.

    Every built project like this pushes the knowledge of how to put parametric form into being – how to make construction cheaper, and better.

    Eric Spencer says:
  • Ma should to go back to school for archi history b4 breaking all the rules. Not just simply breaking out some forms in computer will do. He is lucky to getting it built because that is China. Believe it or not, in China, some developers will show up in archi school studio to offer some students to design some really big projects such as airport, museums, library, malls or any kinda programme but giving much lesser fees than the real architects. Way to cut cost, dude!

    James Bond says:

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