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Founded by Chinese architect Ma Yansong in 2004, MAD Architects is a global architecture firm committed to developing futuristic, organic, technologically advanced designs that embody a contemporary interpretation of the Eastern affinity for nature. With its core design philosophy of Shanshui City – a vision for the city of the future based in the spiritual and emotional needs of residents – MAD endeavors to create a balance between humanity, the city, and the environment.

Globally recognized as a creative pioneer, founding principal Ma Yansong is a central figure in the worldwide dialogue on the future of architecture. Ma was named one of the “10 Most Creative People in Architecture” by Fast Company in 2009. He received the prestigious “International Fellowship” from Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in 2011, and was selected as “Young Global Leader (YGL)” by World Economic Forum (Davos Forum) in 2014.

In 2014, MAD was selected as principal designer for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Chicago, USA, becoming the first China-based architecture firm to design an overseas cultural landmark. In 2006, MAD won the design competition for the Absolute Towers in Mississauga, Canada. The residential project is composed of 56-story and 50-story high-rises and was completed in 2012. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) awarded the towers “Best Tall Building Americas” in 2012 and EMPORIS ranked them first in their 2013 “Skyscraper Awards.”

MAD has been commissioned by clients of various backgrounds for design in urban planning, urban complex, museum, theatre, social residence, old neighborhood renovation, and artworks. Current ongoing urban projects include Chaoyang Park Plaza, a mixed-use urban complex project located in the new CBD of Beijing; Nanjing Zendai Himalayas Center, a city-scale urban development of approximate 600,000sqm floor area in total; Huangshan Mountain Village, a master planning plus architecture design project with 450,000sqm site area. MAD’s signature cultural projects include Harbin Opera House (completed in 2015), China Philharmonic Concert Hall (in design development stage), Ordos Museum (completed in 2011), and China Wood Sculpture Museum (completed in 2011).

MAD has on-going international projects located in Rome, Paris, Japan, and Beverly Hills. In the heart of Rome, MAD is designing a mixed-use courtyard building that reuses existing structure and will house apartments, office space, and a chapel with total usable area of approximately 23,000sqm. In Paris, MAD placed first in a competition of 96 teams to build a residential complex on the right bank of the River Seine. In Japan, MAD delivered an organic design for a local education center. The firm’s latest commission is a 13,000sqm mixed-use residential complex in the center of Beverly Hills.

MAD has been a pioneer in contemporary art and design. MAD has participated in significant exhibitions in the 10th, 11th and 12th Venice Architecture Biennales. MAD also participated exhibitions at the Victoria and Albert Museum (London), the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (Copenhagen), and MAXXI (Rome). An array of MAD’s architecture models have been acquired by the well-known M+ Museum (Hong Kong) as part of their permanent collections.

The firm’s design advances have been chronicled in a series of books: Mad Dinner, Bright City, Ma Yansong, and Shanshui City. MAD principals have been invited for speaking engagements at the American Institute of Architects, Architectural Association School of Architecture (London), World Economic Forum in Davos, Strelka Institute (Moscow), Harvard Graduate Schoold of Design(Boston) and the UCL Bartlett School of Architecture (London).

MAD Architects is currently led by Ma Yansong, Dang Qun and Yosuke Hayano. MAD has offices in Beijing, Los Angeles and New York.

  • Exhibitions
  • Lectures
  • Awards & Recognition
  • Publication
  • 2017
  •  
  • “MAD Martian”, Design Miami, Basel, Switzerland
    “New Museums: Intentions, Expectations, Challenges”, Art Centre Basel, Basel, Switzerland
    “Beazley Designs of the Year”, Design Museum, London, UK
  • 2016
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  • "Invisible Border", Milan Design Week, Milan, Italy
    "Micro Garden", 15th Venice Architecture Biennale, Venice, Italy
    "Towards a Critical Pragmatism: Contemporary Architecture in China", Harvard Graduate School of Design, Boston, USA
    "Zai Xing Tu Mu. Sixteen Chinese Museums, Fifteen Chinese Architects", Aedas Architecture Forum, Berlin, Germany
  • 2015
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  • "Architectures for Dogs", Shanghai Himalayas Museum, Shanghai, China
    Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism Architecture, Shenzhen, China
  • 2014
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  • “Chengnan Project: Qianmen Xianyukou Masterplan”, Beijing Center for the Arts (BCA) , Beijing, China
    Shanshui City Exhibition, Solo Exhibition, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA), Beijing, China
    “The Changing Skyline”, Beijing Design Week, Beijing, China
    “Future Cities -- High Mountain, Flowing Water” China Shan-Shui City Design Exhibition, Berlin, Germany
    “Silhouette Shanshui”, “Across Chinese Cities - Beijing”, 14th Venice Architecture Exhibition, Venice, Italy
    Building M+: The Museum and Architecture Collection, Hong Kong, China
  • 2013
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  • Shanshui City Exhibition, Solo Exhibition, Beijing, China
    Palace of China – Architecture China 2013 Exhibition, Segovia, Spain
    West Bund 2013: A Biennial of Architecture and Contemporary Art, Shanghai, China
    Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism Architecture, Shenzhen, China
  • 2012
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  • Between the Modernity and Tradition, Solo Exhibition, ICO Museum, Madrid, Spain
  • 2011
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  • Verso Est: Chinese Architectural Landscape, MAXXI, Rome, Italy
    Living, The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen, Denmark
    Chengdu Biennale: Changing Vistas: Creative Duration, Chengdu, China
    Beijing Design week, Beijing, China
    Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of UrbanismArchitecture, Shenzhen, China
  • 2010
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  • Feelings Are Facts, Olafur Eliasson + Ma Yansong, UCCA, Beijing, China
    Rising East: New Chinese Architecture, Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany
  • 2009
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  • Contemplating the Void, Interventions in the Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA
  • 2008
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  • China Design Now, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK
    Superstar: A Mobile China Town, 11th Venice Architecture Exhibition, Uneternal City, Venice, Italy
  • 2007
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  • MAD In China, Solo Exhibition, Danish Architecture Center (DAC), Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 2006
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  • Shanghai Art Biennale, Shanghai, China
    MAD In China, Solo Exhibition, Diocesi Museum, Venice, Italy
    MAD Under Construction, Solo Exhibition, Tokyo Gallery, Beijing, China
  • 2004
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  • 1st Architecture Biennial Beijing, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China
  • 2017.09
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  • Department of Architecture, Iowa State University, Ames, USA
  • 2017.07
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  • Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Beijing, China
    RIBA International Week, London, UK
  • 2017.05
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  • School of Architecture, Tianjin University, Tianjin, China
    Stanford University, California, USA
  • 2016.11
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  • School of Civil Engineering, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing, China
  • 2016.10
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  • Setouchi Asia Forum, Shodoshima, Japan
    2016 CTBUH Conference, Shenzhen, China
  • 2016.06
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  • Moscow Urban Forum, Moscow, Russia
  • 2016.05
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  • The 7th Global Master Architects Forum”, Xiamen, China
    The 10th World Summit on Innovation & Entrepreneurship, UNCTAD, New York, USA
  • 2016.04
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  • Milan Design Week, Milan, Italy
  • 2016.03
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  • Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, Boston, USA
    School of Architecture, University of Texas in Austin, Austin, USA
  • 2015.10
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  • MI/ARCH, Polytechnic University of Milan, Milan, Italy
  • 2015.09
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  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art(LACMA), Los Angeles, USA
  • 2015.07
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  • Forum + Institute for Urban Design, New York, USA
    "We World" by CCTV, Beijing, China
  • 2015.05
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  • Forum Perspective 2015, Milan, Italy
    House Vision Taiwan, Taipei
    Faculty of Environmental Design, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
  • 2015.04
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  • "Innovation Conference 2015" by Architectural Record, Los Angeles, USA
    School of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
  • 2015.03
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  • Yale Beijing Center, Beijing, China
  • 2014.10
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  • Bildmuseet Museum, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
    Stockholm Association of Architects, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2014.09
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  • National Building Museum, Washington D.C., USA
    Yale Club, New York, USA
  • 2014.08
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  • School of Design, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
    Busan International Architectural Design Workshop, Busan, Korea
  • 2014.06
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  • CCTV "Let's Talk", Beijing, China
  • 2014.04
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  • Cal Poly’s LA Metro Program, A+D Museum, Los Angeles, USA
    Virginia Society AIA, Virginia, USA
  • 2014.02
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  • Manoa School of Architecture, Hawaii University, Honolulu, U.S.A
  • 2013.11
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  • Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz, Austria
    Berlage Institute, Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • 2013.10
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  • The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, London, UK
  • 2013.07
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  • Fangsuo Commune Architecture week, Guangzhou, China
    Strelka Institute, Moscow, Russia
  • 2013.05
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  • 2013 National Architecture Conference, Melbourne, Australia
  • 2013.04
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  • Finnish Association of Architects (SAFA), Oulu, Finland
  • 2013.03
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  • MIPIM 2013, Cannes, France
  • 2013.01
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  • World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland
  • 2012.12
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  • Hong Kong Design Weeks, Hong Kong, China
    Business of Design Week Forum, Hong Kong, China
  • 2012.10
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  • CTBUH Award Ceremony, Chicago, USA
    Lima International Architecture week, Lima, Peru
    Higher Technical School of Architecture (ETSAM), Madrid, Spain
  • 2012.09
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  • Beijing Design Forum, Beijing, China
  • 2012.03
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  • University of applied arts Vienna, Vienna, Austria
    MIPIM, Cannes, France
    Pavilion Arsenal, Paris, France
  • 2012.02
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  • COAM Foundation, Madrid, Spain
    School of Architecture LaSalle, Barcelona, Spain
  • 2011.11
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  • Creative Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
  • 2011.10
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  • Prague Architecture Week, Prague, Czech Republic
  • 2011.09
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  • Beijing Design Week, Beijing, China
  • 2011.05
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  • FestArch, Peruggia, Italy
  • 2010.01
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  • UCLA school of Architecture and Urban Design, Los Angeles, USA
  • 2009.05
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  • CIVA (International Center for Urbanism), Brussels, Belgium
  • 2009.03
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  • The 11th International Bauhaus Colloquium, Weimar, Germany
  • 2008.12
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  • The 6th Architecture and Construction International Forum, San Paulo, Brazil
  • 2008.11
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  • AA School, London, UK
  • 2008.09
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  • The American Institute of Architects (AIA), New York, USA
    Columbia University, Architecture School, New York, USA
  • 2007.12
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  • Danish Architecture Center (DAC), Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 2007.11
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  • SCI-ARC, Los Angeles, USA
    University of South California, Architecture School, Los Angeles, USA
  • 2007.09
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  • La Cité de l’architecture et du Patrimoine, Paris, France
  • 2006.10
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  • 2nd Architecture Biennial Beijing Forum, Beijing, China
    Harvard University, Boston, USA
  • 2006.08
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  • University of Venice, Venice, Italy
  • 2006.04
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  • The Architectural League of New York, New York, USA
    MIT, Boston, USA
  • 2017
  •  
  • 14th Edition Tien-Yow Jeme Civil Engineering Prize, Harbin Opera House
    “Institutional - Kindergartens”, A+ Awards, Architizer, Clover House
    Radiance Award Winner, 34th IALD International Lighting Design Awards, Harbin Opera House
    Winner, “Space”, 2017 Innovation by Design Award, Fast Company, Clover House
  • 2016
  •  
  • The World's Best Concert Halls, Telegraph, Harbin Opera House
    Archdaily Building of the Year - Culture Architecture, Harbin Opera House
    40 Most Famous Architects of the 21st Century, Archute
    “Architecture + Wood ”, A+ Awards, Architizer, Harbin Opera House
    Honorable Distinction, 2016 China Best Tall Building, Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), “Fake Hills”
    Winner, “Performing Spaces”, 2016 WAN Awards, Harbin Opera House
    The World’s Most Innovative People Award, World Summit on Innovation and Entrepreneurship
    Top 10 Children's Educational Spaces, Designboom, Clover House
  • 2015
  •  
  • Power 100, Surface Magazine,
    Design Concept Award, Los Angeles Architectural Awards, 8600 Wilshire
    Beyond L.A. Award, Los Angeles Architectural Awards, Beijing Conrad Hotel
    Global Design Power, Interni Magazine,
    Most Influential Chinese Architects, Forbes China Edition,
    Ten Best Arts Centers, Architectural Record, Harbin Opera House
  • 2014
  •  
  • Top 10 Towers of 2014, Designboom, Chaoyang Park Plaza
    Top 10 Housing Projects of 2014, Designboom, Nanjing Zendai Himalayas Center
    Winner of "Metal in Architecture", WAN Awards, Ordos Museum
    100 Most Creative People in Business, Fast Company
    Chinese Top 10 Buildings, Chaoyang Park Plaza
    No.3, Skyscraper Awards 2013, EMPORIS, Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort
  • 2013
  •  
  • D21 Chinese Architecture Design in 21st Century Beijing Design Week, Chaoyang Park Plaza
    No.1, Skyscraper Awards 2012, EMPORIS, Absolute Towers
    2nd Audi Arts and Design Award, Designer of the Year
    D21 Young Chinese Architect Award, Beijing Design Week
    Designer of the Year, Good Design
  • 2012
  •  
  • 2012 Top 10 Conceptual Architecture, Designboom, Huangshan Mountain Village
    Best Architecture Multiple Residence, International Property Awards, Fake Hills
    Building of the Year, ArchDaily, Absolute Towers
    Best Tall Buildings Americas, Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), Absolute Towers
    “21 for 21”, WAN Awards
  • 2011
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  • Best Museum, UED, Ordos Museum
    International Fellowship, RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects)
    10 Most Innovative Companies in China, Fast Company
  • 2010
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  • Best Preservation Project, Good Design is Good Business: China, Hutong Bubble 32
  • 2009
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  • 10 Most Creative People in Architecture, Fast Company
  • 2008
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  • 20 Most Influential Young Architects, ICON
  • 2006
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  • Young Architects Award, Architectural League of New York
  • 2001
  •  
  • Scholarship for Advanced Architecture Research, American Institute of Architects (AIA)
MAD Publications

Mad Dinner
Published in 2007
Publisher: Actar
ISBN 978-84-96954-21-2

Bright City
Published in 2012
Publisher: Blue Kingfisher
ISBN 978-988-15064-0-5

Ma Yansong From (Global) Modernity to (Local) Tradition
Published in 2012
Publisher: Actar & Foundation ICO
ISBN 978-84-15391-36-4

Shanshui City – Chinese
Published in 2014
Publisher: Imaginist
ISBN 978-754-95582-7-8

Shanshui City – English
Published in 2015
Publisher: Lars Müller Publishers
ISBN 978-3-03778-457-0

MAD Works MAD Architects
Published in 2016
Publisher: Phaidon
ISBN 978-0-71487-196-7

Publications on MAD

2009 A+U Special Issue, December issue: MAD Rabbit

2009 PHAIDON Feature: MAD Architects

2011 ICON Cover Report, 094 issue: ABSOLUTE TOWERS – It’s a MAD world

2012 ABITARE Special Edition, 031 issue: Being Ma Yansong

2013 Hachette Publishing House: MAD Architects

2015 RIBA Cover Report, December issue: Mad for it

2015 Architectural Record Cover Report, December issue: Harbin Opera House – Arts Centers

2015 ABITARE Cover Report, December issue: Harbin Opera House

2016 MARK Cover Report, 059 issue: Harbin Opera House – Step into the Madhouse

2016 Ppaper Cover Report, 165 issue: Harbin Opera House

2016 AZURE Cover Report, February issue: Harbin Opera House – Iconic Buildings

2016 Domus (China) Cover Report, 105 issue: Harbin Opera House – Greater China

2016 WA Cover Report, 308 issue: Harbin Opera House – Architecture and Music: Indulging with Time

2016 Perspective Cover Report, March issue: Harbin Opera House – Sculpted by Wind & Water

2016 Time + Architecture Cover Report, March issue: Harbin Opera House – Beyond Orient and Occident, North and South The Universal and the Particular in Contemporary Architecture

2017 UED Special Edition, 105 issue: MAD International Practices

2017 ICON Cover Report, 168 issue: Huangshan Mountain Village – Radical Landscape