MAD reflects on pure and simple for "floating cloud" events center
A cloud is forming in Qinhuangdao, China, though it's not some kind of odd meteorological event, but the latest project by MAD Architects. Named the Aranya Cloud Center, it's currently under construction and will serve as a flexible events space for the seaside community of Aranya.
MAD is a firm that seems incapable of designing a standard run-of-the-mill building – we've previously likened its projects to an alien spaceship, mountains, and even Swiss cheese – and the Aranya Cloud Center is no exception. Its polished white glass exterior should look stunning once complete and its small base will raise the building a little, lending it a somewhat floating appearance. Depending on the angle, it kind of looks a bit like a pebble, or even a duck's bill, but MAD is keen to stress its cloud inspiration.
"When viewed from a distance, the building appears as a 'cloud floating in the forest' with a polished, reflective form activated by the changing light, sky, and landscape," says the firm. "The simple, pure aesthetic of the building is achieved through a facade of hyperbolic white stained glass, creating a seemingly floating form when viewed from afar.
"The building's perceived 'cloud' form is made possible through a series of monumental structural overhangs, with the largest reaching 30 m [98 ft] in length. As a result of these overhangs, the solid white mass of the building appears to float over a predominately glazed ground floor, when viewed either inside or outside. The 'cloud's' massing is balanced and suspended from the building's central core which provides support for the entire structure and makes its column-free interior space possible."
The building will measure 2,579 sq m (27,760 sq ft) and its interior will be centered around a large multipurpose room that's topped by an impressive swirling ceiling. Natural light will enter through the glazing and skylights, while movable walls will provide flexibility to host exhibitions, theatrical performances, press conferences, and other events.
Additionally, there will be a low circular wall surrounding the building that forms a landscaped garden, where a series of white rocks and undulating greenery will be installed in an attempt to evoke the imagery of floating planets dotted across the universe. There will be a reflective pool nearby, too.
Construction of the Aranya Cloud Center began in March 2021 and the project is expected to open sometime in 2022.