Mark Magazine has in October/November its 16th issue out. Bert de Muynck | MovingCities contributed to it with an article on the Mongolian Private Meadow Club (full version of publication) by MAD. In all MAD-fashion – focusing on a communication strategy which highlights the intention of positioning architecture at the intersection of human and natural space – the architects describe the purpose and functioning of the project as follows:
Located in the middle of an extensive meadow in Ulanbutong district of Inner Mongolia, the main purpose of the project is to create a space which can connect human and nature once again. With 500,000sqm site area which is covered with green of grass in the summer time and white of snow in the winter time, anything visible is natural matter and the building is designed to be buried in it. The main function of the building is for only few weeks a year to welcome people who come from cities. (…) Mongolian Private Meadow Club shows a possibility to change the concept of distance with nature for living space. Space become part of nature and nature become a space.
Good intentions do not necessarily produce good architecture. The article doesn’t demystify the cause and effects between good public relations, the perceived MAD-starchitectural status (see their diversely appreciated (with comments ranging from “Zaha’s probably jealous” over “Why is everybody so mad at MAD?” till “I think this work is 100% deliberate in it’s shortcomings”) Superstar: A Mobile Chinatown by MAD-project for the 2008 Venice Architecture Biennale via Dezeen) neither some of the obvious contradictions in the architectural intentions of the project and the final outcome of it. What the text does is telling the story of MAD’s second build project to date and providing a small insight in the architectural psyche of Ma ‘it is very easy to be special’ Yansong.
Two years ago the client, an economist, contacted MAD. He had acquired a large plot of land in the desert and made it fertile again. The next step was to develop it and sell it as holiday and weekend houses. ‘The client came to us,’ Ma Yansong recalls, ‘and asked us to find the interesting places on the plot to build the houses. We made a master plan and chose to build on eight totally different topographies: on top of a hill, in a valley, in a cave. All houses feature different relationships to their surroundings.’
Other publications in MARK Magazine:
A Letter from Beijing | Published in MARK Magazine #09 (July-August, 07)
An interview with Ai Weiwei (CN) | FAKE Design | Published in MARK Magazine #12 (Feb-March, 08)
Olympic Architecture | Published in MARK Magazine #14 (June-July, 08)
ORDOS100 – Babel for Billionaires | Published in MARK Magazine #15 (August-September, 08)