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MAD Envisions the Future City at Paris' Centre Pompidou

France Architecture News - Jun 3, 2019 - 03:50   3086 views

MAD Envisions the Future City at Paris' Centre Pompidou

MAD Architects has revealed first photographs of its a year-long exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, France. Titled MAD X, the exhibition showcases ten of MAD’s most significant projects to date. The Centre Pompidou acquired 12 architectural models of MAD Architects earlier this year. 10 models of MAD are already showcased as part of this exhibition. 

The permanent collection exhibition exemplifies the evolution of MAD’s architectural practice and design philosophy since its establishment in 2004, led by Ma Yansong, Dang Qun, and Yosuke Hayano.

MAD Envisions the Future City at Paris' Centre Pompidou

"While ‘X’ represents the ten projects that are on show, it also has another meaning – ‘X’ also signifies the ‘unknown," said Ma Yansong, Founder and Principal Partner of MAD. 

"With ‘X,’ I hope to express my desire for exploring unchartered territory, which I believe is more important than reiterating the past."

MAD Envisions the Future City at Paris' Centre Pompidou

Frédéric Migayrou, Deputy Director of the Centre Pompidou, and Curator of ‘MAD X’ said about the exhibition: "This invitation to MAD is precisely because of the uniqueness of the firm’s creations. Contemporary architecture needs more architects like Ma Yansong, young architects who bravely challenge and influence more young people, the general public, and decision makers to think about the future of design."

MAD Envisions the Future City at Paris' Centre Pompidou

The scenography of MAD X sees the collection of twelve models forming an island at the centre of the exhibition space. Collectively, they create a harmonious new city that expresses the feeling of ‘landscape’ often experienced through many of MAD’s works – a new type of metropolis that is filled with the unknown, yet with vaguely familiar forms and spaces that are slowly becoming a new reality.

MAD Envisions the Future City at Paris' Centre Pompidou

The ‘landscape’ emerges between images and words, sketches and poems, like pages of a book floating in the atmosphere. Contrasting the actuality of the rigid, matchbox cities in which the projects are individually located, combined, they create an emotional atmosphere – one that is often reflected in Eastern philosophy – that nurtures a spiritual connection between humanity and nature. 

MAD Envisions the Future City at Paris' Centre Pompidou

Each unique work of architecture demonstrates MAD’s exploration of a type of ‘dream architecture’ that seeks to open up a dialogue with nature, earth, and the sky.

From the firm’s first built international project, the "Absolute Towers" (Mississauga, 2006-2012), also known locally as the “Marilyn Monroe Towers”; the "Harbin Opera House" (Harbin, 2010-2015) and ‘Chaoyang Park Plaza’ (Beijing, 2012-2017); "Clover House" (Okazaki, 2012-2016); the "Lucas Museum of Narrative Art" (Chicago, 2014-2016, Los Angeles, 2016-2021); and, "UNIC" (Paris, 2012-2019) – MAD’s first project to be completed in France.

MAD Envisions the Future City at Paris' Centre Pompidou

MAD X represents the diversity of MAD’s architectural practice, and expresses how the firm endeavors to create a balance between humanity, the city, and the environment.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue entitled MAD X – 10 Projects by MAD Architects’ featuring contributions by Frédéric Migayrou, Deputy Director of the Centre Pompidou, and Curator of ‘MAD X’, and Frédéric Edelmann, Architecture Critic for Le Monde. 

MAD Envisions the Future City at Paris' Centre Pompidou

Migayrou puts into perspective the aesthetic and philosophical complexities that are encompassed in MAD’s architecture; while Edelmann introduces the projects presented, crafting a unique portrait of Ma Yansong.

"For Ma, it is a matter of paying homage to nature, of proposing a dreamlike form, unlike the low-rise boxes and towers that have flourished everywhere," said Edelmann. 

MAD Envisions the Future City at Paris' Centre Pompidou

The book is illustrated with models, sketches, and photographs by Iwan Baan, Hélène Binet, Hufton_Crow and Adam Mørk, portraying the same atmospheric impression that MAD has successfully instilled into its work.

MAD Envisions the Future City at Paris' Centre Pompidou

"Ma Yansong’s architecture is based on an economy of territorial inscriptions, which ultimately reject any spatial preconditions, in order to be defined by the natural, historical, and social qualities of a territory – the form unfolding as a revealer, as a new singularity, that manifests the complexity of each context," said Frédéric Migayrou.

MAD Envisions the Future City at Paris' Centre Pompidou

MAD Envisions the Future City at Paris' Centre Pompidou

MAD Envisions the Future City at Paris' Centre Pompidou

MAD Envisions the Future City at Paris' Centre Pompidou

MAD Envisions the Future City at Paris' Centre Pompidou

MAD Envisions the Future City at Paris' Centre Pompidou

MAD Envisions the Future City at Paris' Centre Pompidou

MAD Envisions the Future City at Paris' Centre Pompidou

MAD Envisions the Future City at Paris' Centre Pompidou

MAD X is on-show at the Centre Pompidou, Paris until April 2020. MAD X – 10 Projects by MAD Architects’ can be purchased online from HYX, or through Amazon.

Exhibition facts

MAD X
Permanent Collection Exhibition
Room 28, Floor 4
Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
April 2019-April 2020

MAD Architects’ Principal Partners: Ma Yansong, Dang Qun, Yosuke Hayano
MAD Architects’ Associate Partners: Liu Huiying, Kin Li, Tiffany Dahlen, Fu Changrui, Andrea D’Antrassi, Lu Junliang (Dixon), Flora Lee

Curator: Frédéric Migayrou
Scenography: Ma Yansong
MAD’s Curatorial Design Team: Tammy Xie, Andrea Chin, Esther Greslin, Ma Yue, Li Ran

All images © Jared Chulski

> via MAD Architects