We work for MAD: intern collection 17

在MAD工作的实习生们,他们脑子里天马行空的想法是什么样的 ?徐伟伦:我的梦想一直在变,年龄越大,梦想越小,现在梦想快没了(笑)。原本我希望能够像文艺复兴的 大师们一样,通过建筑改变世界。现在希望通过建筑给自己心爱的人或者重视的人一个舒适的环境。

Project Specs

MAD no doubt is one of the most recognized architectural practices in China and worldwide. Every year, MAD receives countless job and internship applications. To be able to work at MAD will definitely enrich your career as even though the people working here might have been lucky, but are undeniably outstanding. What could possibly be on the minds of the MAD interns?

MAD无疑是中国最受瞩目的建筑师事务所,同时在世界范围内也受到极高的关注。MAD每年都收到来自全世界不计其数的工作申请和实习申请。能够进入MAD学习和工作一段时间,职业生涯无疑会变得精彩丰富,在这里的人们,也许是幸运的,但肯定是优秀的。在MAD工作的实习生们,他们脑子里天马星空的想法是什么样的 ?

Name: Weilun Xu
Educational Institution: GSD, Harvard University(Master),Tongji University(B.Arch CAUP, )
Year: frist year Master of Architecture
Nationality: CHINA
Email: weilunxu@fas.harvard.edu

Who is your favourite architect? Why?
My fav is Jean Nouvel. He combines various styles. Every project he takes is a new one. Endless changes are his benchmarks. He is a great aggregator, not only a banner in a certain field. He takes the real things and tries his best to perfect them. If we go a little bit further, I would say I like the Renaissance architects, like Raphael and Da Vinci. They embody the whole, painters, sculptors, architects, etc. Architecture is only part of their life. They treat the world philosophically. I have always been fascinated by those giants. At about 5, I buried myself in an illustrated encyclopedia and found a beautiful picture of the Renaissance architecture. It was really a living beauty. I got totally captured. Then as a freshman, I read many books about the Renaissance. In my second year at the college, I shifted from Landscape Architecture to Architecture. That hybrid is indeed my feature.

What is the major characteristic of your current school’s education?
My college is the Tongji University. It’s the most open-minded institution of architecture. Teachers are from various countries, with very different backgrounds. Every teacher is unique. Students can choose teachers. There’s no traditional mentoring relationship. Students have much freedom in their academic endeavors. Of course, there might be some drawbacks, too, because of too many teachers, with more uncertainties. Generally speaking, however, the openness is a big treasure in securing a good environment for an architecture school.

What have you gained during the MAD internship?
I would say MAD is the best architecture firm in China for my internship. Architecture needs more than the college-stylers. In MAD, there are many smart hands. Some of them are not from traditional education. Their achievements, however, are quite beyond ordinary imagination. Architecture is not deemed as an independent school. It’s situated in a traditional Chinese Hutong with tremendous social impact. One of her endeavors is to turn the Hutong into a lively environment. Comfortably living inside is in itself a continuity of the traditional architecture of Hutong. This is the value that I appreciate most.

What are your thoughts and feelings upon Chinese Architecture and the environment? Any suggestion?
I know many people are pessimistic. I think the pessimism is a reflection n of the uncertainties in this transforming times. Taking from the view point of the architects, this is also an optimistic juncture although it is rather difficult for the designing industry. I have the feeling that the market is more at loss than the architects. In another word, the architects are not provided with a good position by the market. Many architects are frustrated. At the same time, many mediocre foreign firms are prevailing in China. Our current task is to find the good designers who will find the good contractors who will then finally achieve good products. Things are improving now. I really hope that the architecture industry will have more exchanges with other fields. More exchanges will result in more achievements.

What is your dream?
Well, I have too many. As I get rid of my teenage, the big dreams are getting smaller. Once upon a time, I dreamt that I could be like a Renaissance master, putting the world into my basket. Now I am sure that my architecture is for the people I love and care.

What would you do if you were not an architect?
An astronaut. That’s my childhood dream.

What is your dream project?
My latest dream is about a mega structure for 100,000 people. I wanna turn it into reality.

What is your favourite project in your portfolio? Why?
Once again, I like the Mega Structure for 100,000 People. It is more than a single piece of architecture. It is a big system, a new way of living. It aims to solve various problems. As we live inside architecture, emotions are built between human being and the architecture. Human beings are full of emotions while the being itself is basically rational. But the emotions of the human being are embedded in architecture. In another sense, human emotions are absolute as defined by God. Therefore, I would emphasize on the connections between the architecture and human being. The human being is the most prevalent in the world but they are not the only existence. The planet earth is home to all the existence. If we could build 100 Mega Structures in Shanghai, all the huge population will be settled down comfortably. More spaces will be made for the needed. This could be a long march towards the future but it’s a direction that deserves our hard work.


姓名: 徐伟伦
学校: 哈佛大学(硕士),同济大学(本科)
年级: 硕士1年级
国籍: 中国
电子邮箱: weilunxu@fas.harvard.edu










1.  Mega-Structure for 100,000 People

Chinese population is undergoing a tremendous structural transformation. Rural people are flooding into cities. By 2020, Beijing will reach a regular 21 million, much more than a planned 18 million. Currently in Guangzhou, there are more than 14 million, nearing the control line of 15 million. In Shanghai, the population is already over 20 million. In a word, population of the biggest cities in China has almost reached the critical point. We have research reports claiming that by the year 2020, half of the total population will be living in the cities.

High population density has been a severe challenge to China’s urban development. To further develop China, we must find a solution to this huge problem.

Our mega design is rightly an effective solution to the problem.

中国的人口配比正处于剧烈的转型期。农村人口不断涌入城市。 2020年北京常住人口将达2100万,远远超出1800万的人口规划。目前,广州人口已超过1400万,离该市1500万的人口控制目标只有一步之遥,而上海常住人口也早已超过2000万。系列数据显示,中国一线城市人口容纳量已经迫近“临界点”。更有部门发布报告称,2020年中国将有一半人口住在城市。



We take one square kilometer here and based on this we design a micro city that hosts 100, 000 people. Living and working functions will be duly met. It means that if we have 200 this kind of mega structures, the whole population of Shanghai will be accommodated. This is indeed a revolutionary idea for high density urban development.

The mega design is composed of residences, commercial sectors, cultural functions as well as production areas. It is a self-sustainable micro city.

In addition, the foundation can be a water place near the Yangtze River sanctuary. It takes water as a special element for the architecture, serving as a core part of the mega structure. It can recycle water. It can tap the strong water power for electricity. The water is used for micro-adjustment of the air conditioning. Reflections of the water may be used for lighting systems.

The whole idea would be an exploration into the future life styles.






2. Melting Dom-ino

This is a piece I worked on with great zest in college.It is about the teaching buildings of my school.

As the demand for architects increases dramatically in China and my school, the Tongji University Architecture School is China’s most renowned, the expansion of my school is a certain thing. At the very beginning, there was only one teaching building. Now we have five, the latest much bigger than the previous. At the same time, as our school’s FAR is increasing all the time, the public space and green sections have been decreased a lot.

This design aims at meeting the challenges by the future needs of an architecture school, seeking a balance between public space and high density, and finding a way for a sustainable development of architecture.Sustainability is often linked with modulization. In spite of the aesthetic weariness by the usual box modeling, we still favor the high efficiency and low cost out of repetition. This is particularly the case in developing countries. The architects are always in the dilemma between high efficiency low cost and innovative designing.

The point here is whether high modulization equals stereotype and whether innovative designing can come out of high modulization. To explore the possibilities, I worked with computer experts and mathematics scientists and come out with some prototypes. These prototypes are based on the research on minimal surface which is indeed a model with great potential for architecture.

If you imagine a surface that can be repeated by high modulization,the space thus formed is constantly continuous, and the splendid horizontal parallel space is available, then you certainly come to the minimal surface.



这次设计的任务就是为了回应学院未来营建方式面临的挑战,在公共资源与高密度之间寻找平衡,探索建筑的可持续成长策略。可持续成长建筑往往和模数化联系在一起。尽管千篇一律的盒子模数造型已经让人们产生了审美疲劳,但我们不得不承认,重复带来的建造高效率和低成本,的确在可持续成长上存在优势,尤其在发展中国家更 为适用。因此,在高效率低成本和创造崭新独特的建筑形式之间,建筑师一直在努力寻找其中的平衡点。


在对这一问题的探索过程当中,我与电脑工程师和数学家这些不同领域的伙伴共同合作,最终得到了一系列原型。这些原型源自对数学中极小曲面(minimal surface)的研究。之所以对这种数学模型进行研究,是因为极小曲面的确是一种极具建筑潜力的数学模型。


What we do here is to find the most feasible models out of the many minimal surfaces and to fine tune the spaces of these surfaces.

These various prototypes are developed from various minimal surface models. But all of them meet the requirement of the space feature of the minimal surfaces, i.e. sustainability by high modulization, constant continuity of the space, and the existence of rich horizontal parallel space. This is surely great potential for architecture.

Out of those prototypes, I finally come with a model that mostly fits the designing requirements for my extensive designing.

My final idea is to divide the space into two basic types, one is the space within the enclosed form, used to provide the necessary function of teaching building blocks, and the other is an extroverted open spatial form, used to provide rich green public space. I make these different spaces, according to their functional requirements, such as proper illumination, a reasonable body mass, etc. in the initial minimal surface to form continuous matrix of space and to find the most suitable space for their own position. When the space needs to be expanded, I will replace the minimal surface with a floor level. As the minimal surface can be curved in the horizontal and other spatial forms and when the minimal surface matrix is implanted after a series of parallel blocks of space, the overall consistency is thus maintained. Ultimately, an integral designing is achieved that meets the needs of the inner and outer spatial forms.

In addition, as the overall building models are based on high modulization, the design can be an architectural work 8m long, 4m wide, and 2m high. The curved prototypes can be repeatedly stacked and adjusted. It means that this designing is a dynamic scenario. When our School continues to expand, architectural endeavors can easily grow based on the modulization.



在这些原型中,我最终选取了一种在体量与空间布局上与设计任务最为契合的模型进一步设计。我形成最终方案的思路是将整个建筑分为两种 基本的空间类型,一种是内向的围合的空间形式,用于提供教学楼必要的功能区块,另一种是外放开敞的空间形式,用于提供富于绿色元素的公共空间。我让这些不同的空间根据自身功能的要求(诸如适当的照度,合理的体量等等)在初始极小曲面形成的空间连续的矩阵中寻找自己最为合适的空间位置,当空间需要被扩大时, 就用水平楼板取代极小曲面。由于极小曲面独特的空间特性,它可以在水平平面与空间曲面之间自由的无缝连续贯通,所以当极小曲面矩阵被植入一系列平行空间区 块后仍然保持着整体的连贯性。从而最终形成了一个内向空间与外放空间各得其所并且相互贯通的方案。



3. Cheongsam Tower

The façade of an architecture is not only a part of the architecture itself but an interface with the world outside. Therefore, the façade can well be deemed as a medium that integrates the inner space and the outside space of the Architecture.

The façade embodies the existence of the architecture while it also reflects the world outside of the building. Our design, therefore, tries to explore a façade that can effectively integrate the context and environment of the building,



This high-rise building is situated in the most prosperous economic center of Shanghai. As an economic center of a huge developing country, Shanghai is developing at an exponential speed. The old city as well as the life style of the old city is disappearing swiftly.

If the Chinese architects fail to contain the confrontation between the globalization and the localization, it is quite possible that in twenty years time, Shanghai may look like another New York city. It is our hope that globalization will work well with localization. We would take the new technologies and new thinking of the globalization. We would also seek the unique beauty of the Chinese culture and civilization. Our way of thinking about the Chinese architecture can be coined as glocal, i.e. global and local.

First, we take a configuration that can be repeated and piled up. The environment and the requirements are put in and resulted in laws of the repetition and piling up. Here comes the basic configuration. This configuration serves as the matrix. An emergence would happen from the end, resulting in several common spaces that go through the whole structure.
Second, we shape the 3D curved surfaces of the ulterior into 1008 quadrangles. We would study the curves and fit them into good structures. We would study the relations between the sun light and the time axis, to achieve intervening variables. Based on the instant relations between the variables and the different surfaces, we can achieve a vector that works well with the time. Third, we would revalue the lighting strength of the surfaces, in order to control the maximum of the lighting. A dynamic and well slated vector wall will thus be achieved.

In addition to studying the unique cultural background of the architecture, we also hope that the building can respond to the surrounding natural conditions.  Sun lighting is changeable in different seasons and different time periods. As a result, the shading system is also changeable. An automatic and gradual shading system would produce a constantly changing façade of the building.

This building is aimed at producing a subtle sense of beauty. It is pretty much of a unique Chinese aesthetic style. The building looks like a beautiful cheongsam on an exquisite young lady. The beauty is imbedded in its subtleness and imagination.

This high-rise building is a multifunctional complex, with offices and hotels. The annex structure is also a multifunctional part connecting with the basic complex. It is situated in a most populated area in Shanghai. Our goal is to maximize the role of the high-rise in a complicated and highly condensed living condition.

Thanks to the fact that this place is in a highly developed commercial area, all the common land resources are extremely condensed and common space of the city is extremely rare. .

We have carried out some investigations on the real life of the people in the neighborhood area. We have also worked out some simulations on the time consumption patterns of the possible residents in this area. Based on these efforts, we have found out the functions that are mostly needed. These function-based variables will be woven into our designing.










4. Conjunt Polymer

This is a design for a complex in the most bustling area in Shanghai with numerous commercial buildings and very complicated trafficsystems. I name it Conjunct Polymer.

It is situated in the vicinity of a park which is so dear to such acondensed area.These resources, however, are separated from each other. There aretree subways in the area but they are not connected yet. The park isclose to it but kept away by a viaduct.

I intended to design a system that connects all the resources for anoptimization.Initially I collected all the resources in the vicinity and did alinear rearrangement. I then tried to push all the resources to the central target area. The park in the west got woven to the nearby structures and connected with the available transportation. Structures in the east was
made closer to the greens and connected with the subways. From the center of the aggregated resources, I worked out more connections with the whole area. This is a redistribution of resources.As a result, this architecture becomes a system of connectivity. It also serves as a multi-functional aggregation system. All the functions from the outside grow and work inside.

I worked out a main line for transportation and connectivity. It’s a line that goes down to the underground. That is for the connectivity of the three lines for the subway. The whole form and shape of the architecture is based on this basic line. And this line is also the bone and blood of the architecture.

我将它称作conjunct polymer.





5. Mountain Golf Club

This is a design for a golf club. The uniqueness is that it is situated in a complicated montanic area. The forms of the architecture integrate into the special landscape. The sky bridges serve as the tee. Golfers swing in the mountain above the botany while the flying balls are collected at the bottom. The whole process is a beautiful experience of the gorgeous architecture.



6. THESIS  毕业设计 后世博规划

This is a take on the post-Expo planning  on the same venue of the Shanghai World Expo.  According to the regulations, all pavilions are to be dismantled after the Expo. Our task is to build a series of new architecture to revive the area.

At the stage of urban designing, we aim at a trinity of a creative park, a performing arts center and an exhibition center, with a hope that the triad will turn into an industrial chain of culture. Based on the previous, we elaborated on the exhibition functionalities. The exhibition functionalities are the key parts of the cultural chain in that they are positioned to promote the creative center and the performing arts center. All the products of the chain will be showcased from here.

This architecture of exhibition is based on the  studies of  architecture of trails.

To the visitors, an efficient, continuous and natural way of exhibition is a must. Therefore, a rational route of exhibition  entails. We are influenced by Aaron Hoover, an expert on robotics engineering from UC Berkeley. His paper Design, Modelling and Fabrication of the Mobius Gear is inspiring to our designing of an ideal ring route for the architecture.

The ring route was also used in architecture like Frank Wright’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. The latest example is the Danish Pavilion of the Shanghai expo by the BIG. To compromise for the continuity and verticality, however, we have to yield to the coming of ramps which is not an ideal existence for exhibitions.

Aeron Hoover’s great contribution is the existence of the Mobius Gear. It is the intermediate state off the verticalilty. In another word, a standard Modius ring and a horizontal ring are optimized. Starting from this new mathematical prototype, we achieved an ideal integration, with the ramps and the horizontal co-exist harmoniously.

As a result, the architecture works out the continuity and necessary spaces for exhibition functionalities.


根据国际惯例,在世博会结束后,各国场馆将会被拆除。我们需要在被夷为平地的世博会原址上,建造一系列建筑群,复兴这一地块。在前期城市设计(urban design)的阶段,我们将地块设计成为以创意园区,演艺中心以及博览展示三者为主要功能的建筑群。希望这三者相互联系,最终整合成一条完整的文化产业链。后期的建筑单体设计,则是以其中博览展示的区域为对象,对方案进行深化。



对于参观者而言,如何有效率的,连贯的,自然的浏览展示作品,是至关重要的。因此,一条合理的浏览动线是展示类建筑的重点所在。在这里,我们受到柏克莱加州大学,学机器人工程的AaronHoover在2009年的一篇名为Design, Modeling and Fabrication of the Mobius Gear的论文的中数学原型的启发,创作出一条理想的环形建筑路径。

实际上,以环作为建筑路径来生成建筑形态的展览建筑这不是先例。从Frank Lloyd Wright以螺环为原型设计的the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum到新近BIG以Mobius环为原型设计的世博会丹麦馆都有效地利用了环形连贯明确的几何特征。然而,为了满足环形的连贯性,以及建筑向垂直方向发展的双重需要,以环型作为建筑路径的代价就是不能避免坡道的出现。众所周知,与水平层相较,坡道对于许多展示产品而言都是不理想的存在。这就使得环形展示空间存在巨大的缺憾。

然而,Aaron Hoover发表的论文Design, Modeling and Fabrication of the Mobius Gear,证明了Mobius Gear的存在。而Mobius Gear就是一条镶嵌于一条标准的Mobius环垂直边缘的中间状态。也就是说,一条标准Mobius环可以和一条水平圆环完美契合在一起。



Name: Weilun Xu
Educational Institution: GSD, Harvard University(Master),Tongji University(B.Arch CAUP, )
Year: frist year Master of Architecture
Nationality: CHINA
Email: weilunxu@fas.harvard.edu


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