a+u Architecture and Urbanism

a+u Architecture and Urbanism


a+u - Architecture and Urbanism - is a monthly architectural magazine established in 1971. Since its inaugural issue, a+u has been widely celebrated by architects everywhere as Japan's only monthly periodical that provides in-depth reporting of architecture worldwide. Each issue is edited from a unique perspective, with essays penned by renowned architects, critics, and historians to guide the direction of tomorrow’s architecture, within and beyond Japan. Text is bilingual in English and Japanese. 1971年1月創刊。創刊以来、海外の建築情報を伝える日本唯一の月刊誌として、広く建築界に親しまれています。a+uの取材ネットワークは全世界に及び、100余カ国を網羅しています。これら各国の建築家を直接取材し、毎号独自の視点で編集することにより、生の動向をいち早く読者の皆様にお届けしています。また、建築家・評論家・歴史家による書き下ろし論文を掲載し、明日の建築のあり方を考える指針として国内外の建築界に多大な影響を与えています。

A+U Publishing, Co., Ltd.
12 期号


mad architects – dreamscape

Our September issue of a+u is dedicated to MAD Architects, a global architectural practice established by Chinese architect, Ma Yansong in 2004. Together with his 2 partners, Dang Qun and Yosuke Hayano, MAD now has offices in Beijing, Jiaxing, Los Angeles, and Rome. Since its beginning, the studio has been experimental and bold with its futuristic designs. Frederic Migayrou, deputy director of the MNAM-CCI at the Center Pompidou Paris, gives an account of each project and the unique methodologies used by Ma Yansong that translates into his designs. Yet, to MAD, it is also important that the environment they built maintains spiritual and emotional connections with people through nature. The result of this combination of technology and nature is a type of fiction architecture that balances itself ambiguously between art…

chaoyang park plaza

Positioned on the southern edge of Chaoyang Park, the largest park in Beijing’s central business district, Chaoyang Park Plaza is a 220,000 m2 complex that includes 10 buildings: 2 high-rise office towers, several small low-rise commercial buildings, and Armani apartment towers. Questioning the rigid stylization of our current modern city, with box-like buildings forming a strong, powerful skyline, Chaoyang Park Plaza explores an alternative approach that imagines a city with spiritual and cultural endeavors at its core. Despite being in compliance with the CBD as its backdrop, it is still harmonious with its neighboring park. It is conceived as a natural extension of the green space into the urban context, forming an escape from the surrounding metropolitan environment. As an expansion of nature and classical Eastern aesthetics, it borrows scenery from a…

mirage – montparnasse tower renovation

After its completion in 1973, the 210 meter-high Montparnasse Tower became the tallest building in Paris. Throughout the years, it received constant criticism for its intrusive existence in the city, and became known as the scar of Paris. In 2016, an international competition was called to renovate the Montparnasse Tower. Out of more than 700 international teams, MAD was one of 7 shortlisted firms. “At the time when it was built, Montparnasse Tower represented the pride and achievements of its era. It is mankind’s worship of technology and power that has created this tyrannical monument. It stands out amidst classical Paris,” says Ma Yansong. “Today, we cannot really demolish this building and the historical regrets it stands for, but we can establish a new perspective to re-examine and think about how humanity…

architecture, art and beyond: mad martian collection

“I have never been to Mars… but what will we discover when we get there? A red landscape, a quiet horizon of frozen glaciers? It is probably all beautiful in its own way, as the Earth was thousands of years ago,” says Ma Yansong Yansong. The Martian Collection interprets the philosophical values of nature from the context of a science fiction narrative, with contoured forms recalling elements of natural, but in foreign, alien environments. Each piece is like a design artifact, a memory of a previous existence from outer space brought into the unknown – familiar in function, yet distinctive in form. Credits and Data Project title: MAD Martian Collection Client: GalleryALL Design: 2016 Completion: 2017 Collection Pieces: MAD Martian Dining Table, MAD Martian Chaise Lounge, MAD Martian Candelabra, MAD Fish-tank Floor Lamp, MAD Martian Suspension Lights,…

shenzhen bay culture park

The Shenzhen Bay Culture Park master plan and architectural design will see an ambitious urban development project bring a vibrant cultural complex along the waterfront in Shenzhen, China. MAD’s design of the culture park is a 9.7-hectare piece of land occupied by the Museum of Craft and Design, and the Museum of Life and Science. The scheme introduces a surreal scene on a large-scale into the cityscape. An earth-sheltered architecture is at the foundation of the site – an expansive green surface with a staggered layout of sculpturesque stones resting above. Public exhibition spaces are spread across the ground floor, where most of the temporary galleries for culture and technology can be found, sunken into the ground. The galleries respond to the primitive surreal atmosphere of the exterior, providing visitors with…

ordos museum

In the last few decades, Chinese cities have been developing at unprecedented rates. Huge sprawling metropolises born out of nothing. But developing new urban areas gave birth to a common controversy in Chinese civilization – the conflict between people’s long-standing traditions and their future endeavors. Ordos in Inner Mongolia is one such city that has experienced the complexities of urban development. Previously existing as an extension of the Gobi Desert’s barren expanse, a new master plan was established in 2005 to develop the city. Ordos Museum appears to have either landed in the desert from another world, or to have always existed, rising out of the desert floor as a mysterious and abstract form. The museum floats over a waving sand hill, which becomes a sloping plaza – an open gesture that…