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MAD Architects Propose Floating Xiamen Museum

MAD architects have proposed a floating museum in the southern Chinese city of Xiamen, on an island in the middle of a resevoir that runs through the centre of the city.

MAD’s design concept is a floating museum, lofted up above the ground. The structure reflects the surrounding environment, but also maintains the current use of this environment as a natural space for the city’s residents.

The design is comprised of three levels. At ground level, landscaped public space filters visitors around the site to various recreational spaces: amphitheatres, open sports fields, places to meet. The middle level makes up the museum itself, where the main functions such as exhibition spaces, cafes, restaurants and offices, hover high above the ground. Five tall supports rise out of the landscape like stalks, providing the vertical access to the museum.

On the roof level, a further landscape is created, referencing once more the natural surroundings of the museum: a unique topography of lakes, greens and wetlands, all publicly accessible, floating in the air. The roof is also home to solar panels, taking advantage of the city’s warm climate.

The museum’s position, high above the centre of the lake, provides uninterrupted views of the city beyond. At the same time, the building’s mirrored exterior reflects the city, ensuring it is highly visible from all angles around the water. The museum will become a landmark, helping to attract attention, regeneration and visitors to Xiamen.

Image: MAD architects

About MAD

MAD is a Beijing-based design office dedicated to innovation in architectural practice, landscape design and urban planning. MAD develops its unique concept of futurism through a persistent investigation of the symbiotic potentials amid nature and technology. MAD aspires to design in close harmony with nature, offering people the freedom to develop independent urban experiences.

MAD’s ongoing projects include: Absolute Towers in Toronto, Canada (an international competition won by MAD in 2006), Sinosteel International Plaza in Tianjin, China (a 358 meter high rise building), Erdos Museum in Inner Mongolia, Poly Art Center in Beijing, China, Taichung Convention Center in Taipei, Taiwan, Urban Forest in Chongqing, China, as well as varied large scale public complexes and residential housing projects in Denmark, Hong Kong, Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and Costa Rica.

MAD was awarded the Architectural League Young Architects Award of 2006. That same year, MAD produced its first solo exhibitions: ‘MAD in China’ at the Venice Architecture Biennial and ‘MAD Under Construction’ at the Beijing Tokyo Art Projects Gallery in Beijing. In 2007, ‘MAD in China’, a floating city of MAD’s work, was showcased at the Danish Architecture Centre(DAC) in Copenhagen and MAD’s first monograph, ‘MAD Dinner’, was published. MAD’s concept proposal titled ‘Super Star_A mobile China Town’ was exhibited in the Uneternal City of the 11th Architectural Biennale in Venice in 2008. In 2009, MAD is featured in the exhibition, Heart-Made, The Cutting-Edge of Chinese Contemporary Architecture in Brussels, for the Europalia-China. In April 2010, in collaboration with Olafur Eliasson, a large-scale installation ‘Feels Are Facts’ will be shown in Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA), Beijing.

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