International architecture firm MAD Architects has completed "Chaoyang Park Plaza," a 2,368,000-square-foot, high-rise complex in Beijing's central business district. MAD's smooth and curvilinear design takes its form from nature, and was in fact, inspired by classic Chinese shan shui landscape paintings. The mixed-use complex consists of a total of 10 residential, commercial, and office buildings that are located on the southern corner of the district's Chaoyang Park. The project has received the LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for the innovative use of green technology, natural lighting, and air ventilation system.
Using bamboos, pine trees, rocks, and artificial ponds, MAD has created a landscape that interweaves man-made elements with nature. “[Chaoyang Park Plaza] is an extension of the park into the city, naturalizing the [central business district]’s strong artificial skyline, borrowing scenery from a distant landscape—a classical approach to Chinese garden architecture, where nature and architecture blend into one another," according to the firm's press release.
“In modern cities, architecture as an artificial creation is seen more as a symbol of capital, power, or technological development; while nature exists independently. It is different from traditional Eastern cities where architecture and nature are designed as a whole, creating an atmosphere that serves to fulfill one’s spiritual pursuits,” said MAD's founder and principal Ma Yansong, who led the project, in the same release. “We want to blur the boundary between nature and the artificial, and make it so that both are designed with the other in mind. Then, the argument in the modern logic of humans to protect or to destroy nature will no longer exist if we understand and see humans and nature as co-existing. Human behavior and emotion is part of nature, and nature is where that originates and ends.”