An Ink Landscape on Beijing’s Skyline

This building complex extends the park into the city, naturalizes the CBD’s strong artificial skyline and borrows scenery from a distant landscape.

MAD Architects, led by Ma Yansong, has completed “Chaoyang Park Plaza”, which includes the Armani apartment complex. Positioned on the southern edge of Beijing’s Chaoyang Park. The 220,000 sqm complex includes 10 buildings which unfold as a classic Shanshui painting on an urban scale. Having a similar position and function as Central Park in Manhattan, but unlike the modern box-like buildings that only create a separation between the park and the city, “Chaoyang Park Plaza” instead is an expansion of nature.

The project has been awarded the LEED Gold Certification by the US Green Building Council, as the ideal of “nature” is not only embodied in the design concept, but in the innovation and integration of green technology as well. The vertical fins seen on the exterior glass façade emphasize the smoothness and verticality of the towers. They also function as the energy efficient ventilation and filtration system, drawing fresh air indoors.

“Chaoyang Park Plaza” completely transforms the model of building found in our cities’ central business districts. But even though it is located in the center of Beijing’s CBD, the intention is for it to have a dialogue with the traditional and classical city of Beijing – reflecting the interdependence between man and nature, both in urban planning, and the large-scale presentation of the Shanshui garden. In the painting of Wang Mingxian, an architectural historian, he juxtaposed “Chaoyang Park Plaza” into a classical landscape painting. The architecture and the natural scenery seemed harmonious together, unlike how some might think the buildings do not fit into their urban context. Commenting on this contrast, Ma Yansong said: “I don’t think that’s our problem. The real question is when did the original cultural context of this city disappear? We have the opportunity to try and create a different kind of city, that on a spiritual and cultural level, can be compared to the classical cities of Eastern philosophy and wisdom.”

Beijing. An Ink Landscape on Beijing’s Skyline
MAD Architects, Chaoyang Park Plaza, Beijing, China, 2012-2017
Office, Commercial, Residential
Site Area:
30,763 sqm
Building Area:
Aboveground 128,177 sqm, Belowground 94,832 sqm
Building Height:
142 m
Principal Partners in Charge:
Ma Yansong, Dang Qun, Yosuke Hayano
Associate Partners in Charge:
Kin Li, Liu Huiying
Smart-hero (HK) Investment Development Limited
Executive Architects:
CCDI Group
Façade Consultant:
RFR Asia
Façade Optimization:
RFR Asia, Sane Form Limited
Interior Design (Office and Commercial):
MADA s.p.a.m., Supercloud Studio
Interior Design (Residential):
ARMANI/CASA Interior Design Studio
Graphic Design:
Kenya Hara + NDC China
Landscape Design:
Greentown Akin Landscape Architecture Co., Ltd.
Interior Lighting Consultant:
M&W Lighting Limited
Landscape Lighting Consultant:
Beijing Junhao Lighting Design Co., Ltd
LEED Certification Consultant:
Shenzhen Institute of Building Research Co., Ltd.

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