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MAD Architects Reveal Nanhai Art Centre Designs

MAD Architects Reveal Nanhai Art Centre Designs
26 January 2024

Designs for the Nanhai Art Centre in Foshan City, Guangdong have been unveiled.


Watch the Video



MAD architects, working on behalf of Foshan Nanhai Youwei Baiyue Culture Co, have produced new CGIs of the 59,445 square meter site, including the Grand Theatre, the Museum, and the Sports Centre. 

The development is located in Nanhai Cultural District, in the Guangdong-Hongkong-Macao Greater Bay Area, an urban site that bridges the cities of Guangzhou and Foshan. Ma Yansong, the founding partner of MAD was once a participating artist in the Nanhai Art Field (the biggest land art festival in Foshan City), he said, "The traditional culture of Nanhai, is in the drum beat and boat drift during the dragon festival boat race and in the kung-fu in the lion dance. Watching them, you can feel the dynamic vibrant and innovative spirit from ancient times till today. We want to bring it back to modern living here.”

"The local culture of Southern Guangdong is always about the gathering of people. To keep the same lifestyle, it has to be contributed by the contemporary cultural venues. The design of the Nanhai Art Centre wants to provide the maximum grey spaces for such activities. It is also inspired by the large eaves of the traditional architecture of Lingnan (ancient broader Guangdong area).”



Picture: a drawing showing a plan of the site. Image Credit: MAD Architects 


Wave of Water


The design is influenced by the sea, with the main building itself resembling a continuous wave of water. The semi-outdoor style of the building merges the central landscape of the lake with the space, inviting the local communities to immerse themselves in the waterfront landscape. 

The permeable facades allow nature to flow through the site back to the city. The two-story landscape platform extends outward, organically linking the central lake, riverfront park and urban space, achieving a balance between nature and architecture.



Picture: a CGI showing a pedestrian area and staircase, with views out to the lake. Image Credit: MAD Architects 

Commercial spaces are placed along the lake, interspersed with open areas to socialise. The top of the platform serves as a pedestrian space leading to the cultural space entrances.

Under the translucent white ETFE membrane structure roof, the Nanhai Arts Centre incorporates energy-saving and environmentally friendly technologies, including photovoltaic power generation, rainwater collection, and vertical greening systems. 

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2024 and to be completed in 2029.

*Editor’s note - additional words by MAD Architects 

Picture: a CGI of the exterior of the centre and the lake at night. Image Credit: MAD Architects 

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 26 January 2024


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