MAD Architects has developed a unique style in recent years, with projects like the Chaoyang Park Plaza and Gardenhouse reflecting a desire to mix architecture with nature. The Nanjing Zendai Himalayas Center is in the same vein and aims to bring something of the spirit of a mountainous village to inner-city China.
Located in the same city as Zaha Hadid's International Youth Cultural Centre, the Nanjing Zendai Himalayas Center is currently ongoing and is expected to be completed in 2020. We'll no doubt have a lot more detail on it then.
It's a large project and contains a mixture of hotel, office, commercial, and residential buildings, all of which have a combined floorspace of around 560,000 sq m (roughly 6 million sq ft).
Along the edge of the site, mountain-like towers sport white louvers that shade the buildings from the sun and are meant to resemble waterfalls. The images also show some kind of small greenery-covered building that MAD makes no mention of, plus several mid-rise buildings.
The center of the development is taken up by a series of low-rise buildings connected by pedestrian bridges and footpaths. These meander through the extensive landscaping, which will include waterfalls, ponds, pools, trees and other greenery once complete. It certainly looks like a pleasant place to spend a lunchtime or a break between meetings.
"The scheme seeks to restore the spiritual harmony between humanity and nature through the integration of contemplative spaces that, while immersing inhabitants in nature, still meets the conveniences of modern day living," says the firm. "MAD's design unfolds onto the city like a village-like community. Activated by public gardens and social spaces, they create a spiritual and poetic retreat in the middle of the city."
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