Contemporary architectural studio MAD has designed a three-venue civic center located near the canals of the famous South Lake in China’s Jiaxing city. The Jiaxing Civic Center is set to be topped with a continuous roof that takes on the shape of a tarp being blown in the wind. The civic center itself contains three buildings, organized around a 6,000-square-meter lawn.
Ma Yansong, founder of MAD said, “A civic center, 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. We have created an undulating ring to serve as a garden-like living room for the city: an embrace.”
The architecture of the roof covers the Science and Technology Museum, the Women and Children Activity Center and the Youth Activity Center. The studio hopes that by placing all the buildings under a continuous roof, it will create a sense of coherence and unity, while also enhancing the use of space. The studio adds, “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 organic flow of the lines throughout the project echoes the softness and grace of the ancient canal towns lining the southern banks of the Yangtze River in eastern China.”
The canopy roof surrounds a large circular lawn that is designed for people to come to gather at the public park. The roof shelters parts of the entrances to the cultural buildings, while also connecting park-goers to the central lawn. The terrace wraps around the perimeter of the building, which forms a 350-meter-long raised walkway that leads sunken amphitheater-style plaza.
With its latest design, the Beijing-based studio greatly focuses on conjoining the indoor-outdoor spaces of the civic center.
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