Out of sync


Ma Yansong   Hutong Bubble 32

Hutong Bubble 32

MAD’s proposal for a future Beijing was first revealed at its exhibition MAD IN CHINA, shown during the 2006 Venice Architecture Biennale. Beijing 2050 imagined three scenarios for the future of Beijing

The self-perpetuating degradation of the city’s urban tissue requires a change in the living conditions of local residents. Progress does not necessarily call for large scale construction – it can occur as interventions at a small scale. The hutong bubbles it is plugged into the urban tissue, it is an attractor, attracting new people, activities, and resources to bring together a neighborhood. They exist in symbiosis with the old. It is fueled by urban residue, the bubbles and it transforms to support the community’s needs. It allows the local residents to continue living in the old neighborhoods. In time, these interventions will become part of Beijing’s extending history, newly formed membranes within the city’s urban tissue. Hutong Bubble 32 provides a toilet and a staircase that extends onto a roof terrace for a newly renovated courtyard house. Its shiny exterior renders it an alien creature, and yet at the same time, it morphs into the surrounding wood, brick, and greenery. The past and the future can thus coexist in a finite, yet dream-like world.

The real ambition is for the hutong bubble to connect to the culturally rich urban environment, to connect to each individual’s vision of a better Beijing. The bubble is not a singular object, but an architecture that will initiate a renewed and energetic community. Under the current fast-paced development, we must remember of Beijing’s long term goals and the direction of its creativity. Perhaps we should shift our sights away from the glory attraction of the new iconic, instead see how the mass citizen of the city’s illuminate through this new network.


Ma Yansong | filmed by Out of Sync | Beijing January 2015
Camera and edit | Per Henriksen
Producer | Out of Sync

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Category: Architecture | Artist: Ma Yansong

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