Monday, January 23, 2012

Ordos Museum by MAD Architects

Now here's a striking building. The Ordos Museum is part of a building boom in this city of 1.5 million in China's Inner Mongolia province. Chinese architects Ma Yansong and Qun Dang, who call themselves MAD, covered the building in polished metal tiles that are intended to resist the region's frequent sandstorms.

Ordos is a political project of the Chinese government, who are offering the mainly non-Chinese inhabitants of Inner Mongolia development and modernization to distract them from any desire for independence.

The museum is supposed to promote Mongol and Uighur culture, but in the pictures I have seen it looks mostly empty. Perhaps the contents will come later, but right now this looks more like an exhibition of modernist originality and technical savvy than a monument to nomadism. Love this entrance.

I don't know anything about these architects, but on the basis of this building I predict big things for them. They have seen the future -- the slick, modernist version, anyway -- and brought back a stunning report.

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