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Skeletons, flowers and fashion inspire MAD Architects' Xinhee Design Center

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The correspondence of clothing and architecture is they both explore the relationship between the interior and the exterior

Construction is underway on the latest sculptural building designed by MAD Architects; a translucent, star-shaped design hub in the Chinese city Xiamen for fashion giant Xinhee.

The building, called the Xinhee Design Center, will have a public atrium at its core with a footbridge used as a catwalk for fashion shows. From there, six long spanning structures will extend out in different directions – like petals growing from a central point – creating a skeleton-like frame covered by a sun-shading envelope of see-through PTFE.

“We envision it as a building with skin-and-bones,” said MAD founder Ma Yansong. “The correspondence of clothing and architecture is they both explore the relationship between the interior and the exterior. It’s interesting for a building with such an intrinsically logical structure to look floating and free.”

The 61,000sq m (656,600sq ft) centre will be occupied by Xinhee and six of its subsidiary brands, which will each have offices in one of the extending arms of the building. Public leisure space in the building will revolve around the atrium, which will have indoor gardens and water features that link to green space outside.

In the summer months, cool air will be naturally ventilated through each level of the building due to its lifted structure. In the colder winter months the atrium will be transformed into a sun-filled greenhouse below the glass-enclosed roof.

Construction on the project is expected to be completed by 2017.

MAD have developed a reputation for their organically-shaped, flowing buildings which often take inspiration from the natural world. Last year the studio completed work on the mountain-like Harbin Opera House in China. They are also the design team behind George Lucas’ planned Museum of Narrative Art, which the Star Wars creator is currently seeking a home for.

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Construction is underway on the latest sculptural building designed by MAD Architects; a translucent, star-shaped design hub in the Chinese city Xiamen for fashion giant Xinhee.
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