MAD’s Shenzhen culture park is surreal blend of geometric randomness

China’s MAD Architects has revealed its plans for the Shenzhen Bay Culture Park, a 51,000 sq m development that will combine green space with a Creative Design Hall, exhibition pavilions, a theatre and a museum of science and technology.

The practice, which has offices in Beijing and Los Angeles, is proposing a series of buildings that resemble enormous, randomly deposited white pebbles that contain 182,000 sq m of floor space.

Inside the pebbles – rocks

The aim is to achieve a series of startling visual effects with a series of set-pieces that combine the irregularity and randomness of natural forms with geometrical figures such as circles and domes.

MAD founder Ma Yansong said: "I want to create a surreal atmosphere, so that the people who visit, relax or exercise here have the possibility of engaging in a dialogue with the past and the future. Time and space are dissolved and placed against each other, manifesting a sense of weightlessness, and unrestrained imagination."

The park is sited in Shenzhen’s "Silicon Valley" district

As well as the earth-art buildings, the park will have extensive underground spaces and a10,000-seat amphitheatre. Residents will be able to cross it on cycle paths, admiring the public art on show as they pass,

The park’s 30m-high viewing platform on the exhibition hall

The park, which is due to be completed in 2023, will be sited on the seafront of the Houhai area of the Nanshan district, often referred to as China’s Silicon Valley owing to the presence of Alibaba Cloud, Huawei and Tencent. The serried ranks of grey office towers provide a suitably contrasting backdrop to the scheme on the landward side.

Natural forms are combined with geometrical figures

The culture park is one of 10 cultural facilities planned by the Shenzhen city government, and the hope is that this will cement its claim to be a world city.

Top image: MAD’s random pebble design. All images courtesy of MAD

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