Architecture – Inspired by mountains and natural elements, MAD Architects has designed the Nanjing Zendai Himalayas Center as a landscape tuning with the traditional Chinese ethos of ‘shanshui’, “the much needed spiritual harmony between humanity and nature”. The 560,000 sqm mixed-use development is expected to be completed in 2020 while new photos reveal the third and final phase of construction.
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“In modern cities, architecture is seen more as a symbol of capital, power or technological development.” Explains to Archipanic MAD Architects’ founder Ma Yansong. “But in traditional Eastern cities architecture and Nature are designed as a whole, creating an atmosphere that serves to fulfill one’s spiritual pursuits”.
Along the edge of the site, mountain-like towers that appear to have been carved out by wind and water are defined by white, curved glass louvres that ‘flow’ like waterfalls. The towers “reflect Nanjing’s surrounding mountain ranges and meandering rivers” explain at MAD Architects.
Water features, such as ponds, waterfalls, brooks, and pools connect the buildings, while trees and rich plantings see the artificial and manmade coalesce with one another – forming a rich, architectural landscape.
Beyond the surrounding towers the Nanjing Zendai Himalayas Center unfolds onto the city like a village-like community hosting a commercial, hotel, office, and residential programs. “Contemplative spaces immerse inhabitants in nature while meeting the conveniences of modern day living“.
A mix of low-rise buildings connected by footbridges are nestled into the landscape. Curving, ascending corridors and elevated pathways weave through the commercial buildings. Activated by public gardens and social spaces, they create a spiritual and poetic retreat in the middle of the city. Clean construction materials, such as concrete, help to further create a sense of simplicity.
Nature is recurring theme in MAD Architects work. Recently the studio has completed Beijing Chaoyang Park which features asymmetrical twin towers which were inspired by Chinese traditional mountain paintings. For the Harbin Opera House smooth volumes, sharp lines and an impressive wooden theater remind the gentle erosion of the time.
Photos by CreatAR Images, MAD Architects.