MAD architects: fake hills MAD architects: fake hills
jan 08, 2010

MAD architects: fake hills


chinese firm MAD architects has sent us images of its 2008 project ‘fake hills’. the design for a new housing development is located in the coastal city of beihai, on a long, narrow waterfront site. the concept combines two typologies that most commonly define residential developments in china: high rise towers and long, low rise blocks. the result is a bold new structure, a long slab with an undulating roof and circular openings. this unique shape maximizes the views of the residents, but at the same time becomes a monolithic break between the waterfront and the land behind it.

all images courtesy of MAD architects




MAD’s solution is twofold: to cut into the slab, creating a sculpted form which references the shape of the hills that dominate the region’s landscape, and to cut openings through the structure, allowing views and light to penetrate the structure. a further reference point is traditional chinese architecture’s intrigue with nature. rather than sitting the building in a perfect, man-made natural garden, their structure becomes the man-made natural shape itself: fake hills on which the residents can live. the design provides both a high density solution and a new landmark for the city.


project info:


year: 2008 location: beihai, china typology: residential apartment site area: 109,203sqm building area: 492,369sqm building height: slab-106m; tower-194m status: under construction



  • I say no! Too BIG!

    Carmelita Cookitaly says:
  • this is a nightmare for the city’s structure.
    how do one get the stupid idea of blocking the beach off the city?!?! dull!

    lilac22 says:
  • this project is against people and life !!! I’am wondering which is the need of green ? for fashion ?

    M.K., architect says:
  • dar totusi, china are o populatie de un miliard de locuitori si aceste structuri iÅŸi produc singure energia

    ana says:
  • from fornt side it looks like 2d drawing of some kid of first gread

    s.gajjar says:
  • the building silhouette reads ‘ M A D’. wonder if it was intentional 🙂

    intex architect says:
  • hahahaha what a disastrous project, even BIG would do a better job.

    hj says:
  • Tsunami baricade?

    sos says:
  • wow that really is a crazy concept. The weird thing is, now that the [url=] Burj Dubai[/url] is completed, giant buildings like this dion’t seem so far fetched any more.

    Thomas says:
  • nao can

    xxs says:
  • Seems like some people there was nothing to do, so they do this. That’s horrible! No design, no function, no beauty.

    alex says:
  • at least it is bold.LOL!

  • …. they have created a big wall of no aesthetic structure !! i wonder who approved its construction !
    wrong , wrong , wrong ……….

    sara says:
  • they’re f***ing MAD I tells thee!

    AAB says:
  • Didn’t architect learn from the disastrous projects from the 70’s ?
    How can you build such a monster on the seaside ?
    Hope this will never go real.

    jun says:
  • it’s horrible even on the computerized pictures.. I can’t imagine how bad it would look if realized

    garga says:
  • They are truly mad…

    G says:
  • STOP the mad!!

    O.Red says:
  • I do not understand all these negative comments
    I find this architecture beautiful,
    I would like to have the chance to see the fake sea
    from the top of the fake hill.

    me says:
  • I think it contributes to the current architectual freakshow. so good luck, and in 10 – 20 years we’ll have a laugh.. The buildings in front are fine btw

    daskind says:
  • @ s.gajjar:
    the building silhouette reads ‘ M A O’. wonder if it was intentional 🙂

    sw00p says:
  • Nice post! The sight is looking awesome and the architects design is incredible. I personally like this incredible architects design and it would be one of those buildings which people will come across the world to visit it. If this design will complete it would be one of the wonders of the world. It reflects the hardworking of [url=] architecture [/url]

    Delhi Architects says:
  • i’m vomiting… bleach..!

    oh... says:
  • haha..i like the comments about the “silhouette ideas” (MAO or MAD)..

    i think the building itself looks cool but just against the site…or it’s actually fit only in this context ?
    it is a very hi density it’s probably unavoidable to have extra large buildings.

    however, i just wondering that why they want to break the waterfront apart from the land? or it doesn’t have any kind of regulation..??is it just a boring town and people want something more fun?

    d says:
  • another exotic building
    i’m wondering what function of the hole in the middle of mass

    beng2ID says:
  • How could MAD do this piece?
    totally surprised… the shape is so random, not logical and just awful!

    totally agree – hope this never goes real

    darina says:
  • Yes the people in this building will have beautiful views of the sea but imagine how many other peoples views they are ruining!

    Pray this is never built.

    Excellent Tsunami baricade though.

    I just don’t understand why architect’s have to design buildings like this. Yes, its difficult these days to realize a truly unique concept, but why can’t we see more subtle buildings? This way we could appreciate them for what they bring to the world, not just the aesthetics of a project.

    For more unusual design log on to: [url=]

    Luci says:
  • just stupid. i agree that it is a great tsunami barrier though…

    carst says:
  • this building is a monstrosity! is completely out of scale! I do not understand how one can design such crap that has no relation with the environment and no concern with the place …

    ensaio linear says:
  • I agree, this building is waaaaay too insensitive for it’s surroundings! It’s horrible! Why are so many architects trying to make an impact with massive statement buildings instead of focusing on the human issues??? It might look good in a more urban environment adding to the skyline of a city, but not a beautiful ocean!

    jabStudio says:
  • you guys should think what would you do if you have to work with Chinese density and FAR, putting 20 boxy towers there?

    judge says:
  • if in 10 years this building is not widely accepted, you will all hold true. I believe that with the way that the modern design is heading, this will work syncronically well with the time period. it will just take some getting used to because it is most definately out of the a good way

    CAH says:

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