The models have been bought by Centre Pompidou in Paris, the iconic inside-out cultural centre built by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers in the 1970s. An exhibition displaying the acquisitions will open in April 2019.
MAD, which was founded by Chinese architect Ma Yansong in 2004, specialises in buildings that take forms found in nature and exaggerate them to almost alien-like proportions.
This collection showcases 10 key projects, completed, under construction and unbuilt concepts, undertaken by the architecture practice, which also has offices in Los Angeles and Rome.
A model of the Pingtan Art Museum, an unbuilt concept, shows how galleries would have been suspended in the water of a reservoir on Pingtan island.
Cave-like spaces will be embedded in the museum’s humpback shape, which was to be cast from concrete mixed with local sand and shells, connecting to the mainland via an undulating bridge.
Scale replicas of the Chaoyang Park Plaza development in Beijing and the Nanjing Zendai Himalayas Centre show off the soaring towers MAD designs that look like mountain ranges rendered in obsidian and glass.
The upcoming Yabuli CEF Conference Centre, also represented in the 12-strong collection, takes it’s shape from the snow-capped mountains it will be set in
Two models in the collection illustrate the design of the Harbin Opera House, a three-petalled volume clad in smooth white aluminium that echoes the topography of the surrounding marshy landscape.
Another model in the collection is of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles, which has just broken ground. Dedicated to the Star Wars creator, the spaceship-like museum will feature a green roof that visitors will be able to walk along.
Other MAD buildings with models in the Centre Pompidou collection are Clover House, a residential building in Japan that was turned into a kindergarten featuring a slide along one wall, and Paris’ UNIC Residential block that will have an wavy profile of curving balconies.
Models of Canada’s Absolute Towers, nicknamed the Marylin Monroe towers for their curvaceous profile, and of unbuilt project East 34th will also go on display in April.
Displays of architectural models are a chance for design fans to get up close with the work of their favourite architects.
Last year the Royal Academy of Arts in London put on an exhibition of models of Italian architect Renzo Piano’s buildings, arranged as if in a single city. New York’s MoMA put on a show that featured the futuristic cities of Congolese sculptor Bodys Isek Kingelez.
Photography courtesy of MAD unless otherwise stated.
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