MAD Architects’ “Nanjing Zendai Himalayas Center” Nears Completion

A poetic retreat in the middle of the city.

Project Specs


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Appreciation towards MAD for providing the following description:


The “Nanjing Zendai Himalayas Center” is a city-scale urban project conceived by MAD Architects, led by Ma Yansong. The mixed-use development has an overall building area of approximately 560,000 sqm, comprised of commercial, hotel, office, and residential programs. The scheme seeks to restore the spiritual harmony between humanity and nature through the integration of contemplative spaces that, while immersing inhabitants in nature, still meets the conveniences of modern day living.

▼项目全景鸟瞰,bird view of the whole project


MAD’s design unfolds onto the city like a village-like community. A mix of low-rise buildings connected by footbridges are nestled into the landscape. Curving, ascending corridors and elevated pathways weave through the commercial buildings. Activated by public gardens and social spaces, they create a spiritual and poetic retreat in the middle of the city.

▼立体城市广场连接两个街区,multi-level city plaza connects the two blocks


Along the edge of the site, surrounding the village, are mountain-like towers that appear to have been carved out by wind and water. Defined by white, curved glass louvres that ‘flow’ like waterfalls, they reflect Nanjing’s surrounding mountain ranges and meandering rivers. Water features, such as ponds, waterfalls, brooks, and pools connect the buildings, while trees and rich plantings see the artificial and manmade coalesce with one another – forming a rich, architectural landscape.

▼中心区域呈现村落式环境,提供宜人的城市空间,at the center of the project are village-like buildings provide a intimate scale for city living

▼建筑起伏的立面,corrugated facade of the building


Currently in the third and final phase of construction, the “Nanjing Zendai Himalayas Center” is expected to be completed in 2020.

▼从公路看项目,view of the project from the driving road

The concept of the project was exhibited on the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale. For more information, please click HERE.

摄影:CreatAR Images, MAD建筑事务所
Photos by CreatAR Images, MAD Architects

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