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MAD Architects’ arts center in Aranya is under construction

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Taking inspiration from the massing of clouds, MAD Architects’ forthcoming public art space in Aranya Community, Qinhuangdao, China, is nearing completion. Called the Cloud Center, the building will include a grand hall, gallery, and theater across a footprint of 2,500 square meters (26,000 square feet). Aranya is a coastal town east of Beijing known for its arts festivals—including a recent Louis Vuitton show—and, architecturally, what has been dubbed “the loneliest library in the world.”

MAD is filling a gap in what they describe as a “much needed” public art space for Aranya. The project is part of a larger landscape that will include a reflective pond and garden, making for a more holistic design approach that is reflective of MAD’s work. In order to achieve the appearance of a cloud, the gallery space was designed to appear to be “floating above the rolling landscape that surrounds it,” as a result of a set of engineering and facade design strategies.

construction photo of a cultural center
The installation of panels on the center’s roof is underway. (Zhu Yumeng)