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MAD Architects : Chaoyang Park Plaza

At the edge of Chaoyang Garden, the Beijing Central Park (China), the Sino-US agency MAD Architects delivers a titanic project of 220 000 square meters of floor, including offices, shops and luxury housing. Figurehead of the realization: two incredible black towers of 120 meters high with rippling and prominent edges. A new emblem for the capital.

Located in Beijing's business district, on the southeast edge of Chaoyang Park, this gigantic mixed-use complex comprises seven buildings spread over two small islands. The smaller one, to the east, houses two residences of 17 floors commissioned by the luxury group Armani Casa. The largest, 250 meters long by 100 wide, positioned to the west, hosts for its part an underground gallery of five levels, two imposing office towers of 27 and 29 floors connected to the center by a glazed base of three floors and laid in the center of a basin, and a third, more discreet, 8 floors, bordered on both sides by two longitudinal commercial buildings of the same height.

In order to create a set in accordance with its green environment, the architects have placed the works set back from the car tracks that surround the plot, and installed between buildings a garden conducive to the walk where are pine trees, bamboo, ponds and rocks - mostly present in the Hebei Province of Beijing.

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"We would like to blur the boundaries between nature and the artificial, and make sure that one is thought at the same time as the other. " Ma Yansong, MAD Architects

Inspired by the topography of the local mountains and the national cultural heritage - more specifically the Indian ink - the masters of works imagine for the buildings of traffic a system of horizontal strata - such a pile of stones -, and vertical for the two main towers; as well as undulating facades, whose brown glazing contrasts with the sky and the massively concreted surroundings.

The uniformity of the façades and the futuristic appearance of the skyscrapers are reinforced by their dark edges that camouflage the join of the glass walls, assembled together by a black composite joinery element. Attached to the uprights of the bays by metal rods, these triangular rounded and hollow ribs contribute to the natural ventilation of the structure. Thanks to a convection movement, the fresh air brought by the pond located on the forecourt is led in the upper part of the building, heated by a blazing sun.

A surprising and atypical work strongly marking the urban horizon of the capital.

For more information, visit the website MAD Architects

Photographies : Hufton+Crow

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