A roof that flows and hurls across an enticing landscape. MAD Architects enwraps a three-venue Jiaxing Civic Center with an endless top that depicts its form as blown by the wind. The enormously fashionable building sits near the canals of the historic South Lake and the city’s largest park. The Civic Center embraces three buildings arranged and composed around a 6,000-sqm blooming garden.
Ma Yansong, the founder of MAD, liked to say that a civic centre, first and foremost, must be a place that attracts people; a place where children, youth, seniors, and families are willing to come together on a daily and weekly basis. The studio explained that the project’s floating roof forms a continuous skyline, like a tarp blown by the wind, bringing a soft sense of wrapping to the form.
The concept of the Jiaxing Civic Center evolved from an expressive idea of an undulating ring that serves as a living garden for the city, like a warm embrace that respires a refreshing rite. An organic allure to the lines about the project echoes the softness and grace of the ancient canal towns lining the southern banks of the Yangtze River in eastern China. The civic centre contains the Science and Technology Museum, the Women and Children Activity Center and the Youth Activity Center creating a coherent unity weaved under a looping roof. The positions and orientation of the buildings enhance their energy efficiency and avoid repetition in spatial arrangement.
The three venues bounded about a sizeable circular lawn on the ground level gathers people to a public park to meet, greet and engage in socializing activities and events. An appealing canopy streams the entrance to the cultural buildings and glazed exterior walls linking the ground level and the central lawn. The top also forms a vast landscaped terrace encircling the green environment.
The flowy shell extrudes and cloaks around the perimeter of the cultural buildings forming a 350-metre-long raised walkway from the platforms. The form leads to a sunken plaza opening to an exclusive amphitheatre-style arena. The Jiaxing Civic Center slots fully glazed walls that seamlessly connect the interior-exterior acuity along with a series of cascading promenades, verandas and levels within the curled crown.
Principal partners: Ma Yansong, Dang Qun, Yosuke Hayano
Associate partners: Kin Li, Fu Changrui, Liu Huiying
Design team: Yin Jianfeng, Alessandro Fisalli, Fu Xiaoyi, Chen-Hsiang Chao, He Yiming, Thoufeeq Ahmed, Chen Hao, He Xiaowen, Zhang Yaohui, Guo Xuan, Edgar Navarrete, Claudia Hertrich, Deng Wei, Zhang Xiaomei, Chen Nianhai, Li Cunhao, Sun Feifei, Punnin Sukkasem, Manchi Yeung, Li Yingzhou
Client: Jiaxing Highway Investment Co
Executive architects: East China Architectural Design & Research Institute, Shanghai Municipal Engineering Design Institute (Group) Co
Facade Consultant: RFR Shanghai
Landscape consultant: Earthasia Design Group, Yong-High Landscape Design Consulting Co
Interior design consultant: Shanghai Xian Dai Architectural Decoration & Landscape Design Research Institute CO
Signage consultant: Nippon Design Center
Lighting consultant: Beijing Sign Lighting Industry Group
Traffic consultant: Shanghai Municipal Engineering Design Institute (Group) Co