The MaoHaus in Beijing, China by AntiStatics Architecture.
AntiStatics Architecture seem to have made concrete billow and wave in the breeze of central Beijing. The studio’s material-defying feat is an experimental façade—one that looks a lot more like the rolling fabric of a featherweight tent than six panels of 7cm thick concrete. Called The MaoHause, it’s much more than just a pretty amazing optical illusion, as it rolls the historical context of the site together with an inspired reimaging of conventional concrete that’s as advanced as it is artistic.
Based in Beijing and New York, AntiStatics are excited about cutting-edge tools and advanced fabrication to unearth new possibilities in various materials. Experimentation and research are a key part of their output—and The MaoHaus is a neat new example of their design philosophy.
Made of Ultra-High Performance Concrete, the six individual parts of the façade stand without the need of any substructure for support. Each panel has been cast as a single unit from large CNC milled moulds. The undulating curve of each piece was computationally generated through fluid-dynamics algorithms and works to more efficiently carry the load of the façade to the foundation.
As well as allowing daylight to pour into the building beyond and reducing the weight of typically hefty concrete, the slotted openings spread across the surface of the concrete are actually precisely patterned. By night the apertures cut a figure of the iconic Chairman Mao propaganda poster. This is a subtle reference to the history of the site: The MaoHaus is located in a hutong just next-door to a workshop formerly known as The People’s Art House Print Shop, the primary producers of the Mao portrait.