Yansong Ma
(MAD Architects)

Yansong Ma, born in Beijing, 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. 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 at Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture, as well as an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California, and Tsinghua University. As the founder and principal of MAD Architects, Ma leads design across various scales. In recent years, many of Ma’s designs have followed his "Shanshui City" concept, his vision to create a new balance between society, the city and the environment through architecture.

Since designing "Floating Island" in 2002, Ma has been exploring this idea through his international practice. At MAD, Ma has created a series of imaginative designs, including the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, Absolute Towers, Harbin Opera House, Hutong Bubble 32, Ordos Museum, Chaoyang Park Plaza, Huangshan Mountain Village, etc. In 2014, Ma was selected as the principal designer for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, which made him the first Chinese architect to design an 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 artworks.

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).

MAD Architects

Founded by Chinese architect Yansong Ma in 2004, MAD Architects is currently led by Ma Yansong, Qun Dang and Hayano Yosuke. MAD has offices in Beijing, Los Angeles, New York City and Rome. 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. MAD has been commissioned by clients of various backgrounds for design in urban planning, urban complexes, museums, theaters, social residences, old neighborhood renovation, and artworks.

MAD has on-going international projects located, respectively, in Rome, Paris, Japan, Los Angeles 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 a total usable area of approximately 23,000 sqm. 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 13,000 sqm 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 in 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.

In 2014, MAD was selected as principal designer for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, 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."

About the artwork