Founder & Principal Partner, MAD Architects
Beijing-born architect Ma Yansong is recognized as an important voice in the new generation of architects. He is the first Chinese architect to win an overseas landmark-building project. As the founder and principal of MAD Architects, Ma leads design across various scales. In recent years, many of Ma’s designs follow his conception of the “Shanshui City”, which is his vision to create a new balance among society, the city and the environment through architecture. Since designing the “Floating Island” in 2002, Ma has been exploring this idea through an international practice. At MAD, Ma has created a series of imaginative works, including Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, Absolute Towers, Harbin Opera House, Hutong Bubble 32, Ordos Museum, China Wood Sculpture Museum, Fake Hills, etc. In 2014, Ma was selected as the principal designer for Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Chicago, which made him the first Chinese architect to design overseas culture landmark. Parallel to his design practice, he has also been exploring with the public the cultural values of cities and architecture through domestic and international solo exhibitions, publications and art works.
In 2006, Ma was awarded the “Young Architects Award” by the Architectural League of New York. In 2008 he was selected as one of the “20 Most Influential Young Architects” by ICON magazine. Fast Company respectively named him one of the “10 Most Creative People in Architecture in 2009” and one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business in 2014.” In 2010 he became the first architect from China to receive a RIBA fellowship. In 2014 he was awarded “Young Global Leaders (YGL)” by World Economic Forum. In 2012, his iconic project “Absolute Towers,” two residential towers in Mississauga, Canada was named the “Best Tall Building in the Americas” by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH).
Ma graduated from the Beijing Institute of Civil Engineering and Architecture, and holds a Master’s Degree in Architecture from Yale University. He is currently a professor in Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture, as well as an adjunct professor in University of Southern California, and Tsinghua University.
About MAD Architects
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), Pingtan Art Museum (in design development stage), Ordos Museum (completed in 2011), and China Wood Sculpture Museum (completed in 2011).
MAD has on-going international projects located, respectively, in Rome, Paris, Japan, Chicago and Beverly Hills. In the heart of Rome, MAD is designing a complex multi-functional courtyard building, which contains 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.
In addition to architecture, MAD has been a pioneer in contemporary art and design. MAD has participated in significant exhibitions in 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), 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.