Design Centre mimics human anatomy

Solar-powered and inspired by skin and bone, the Xinhee Design Centre defies every office building norm.

MAD Architects have unveiled their plans for the Xinhee Design Centre for the international fashion group, Xinhee. Located in the Chinese coastal city of Xiamen, the centre is inspired by the human form, particularly skin and bone. According to MAD founding principal Ma Yansong, “the correspondence of clothing and architecture is they both explore the relationship between the interior and the exterior.”

With a central atrium space at its core, the Xinhee Design Centre branches out into six long spanning structures extend out to different directions. This star-shaped layout forms the building’s bone-like frame. Gardens are littered around the office spaces and green gardens compose each of the organically-formed arms. Off the vertical garden hangs a translucent and sun-shading envelope of PTFE. The layer provides ventilation during the hot season and lightens the building, allowing it to appear as though it’s floating, just likes a piece of delicate thin, soft, skin covering the “bone” structure of the building’s body.

It’s interesting for a building with such an intrinsically logical structure to look floating and free. - Ma Yansong

As a green building, the design centre adapts to the local climate. The first floor mainly consists of garden and water features, which are open to the public. The summer months deliver cool air to each level. During the winter months, the atrium transforms into a sun-filled greenhouse below its glass-enclosed roof. The stacked gardens create a 100% green ratio. Solar panels line the rooftop, providing electricity for daily operations.

The building is currently under construction and is expected to be in use by 2017.