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Inhabiting a New World

by Sasha Welland

The Grand MOMA, Beijing is an award-winning complex of eight mixed-use towers linked by a sky ring, which was completed in 2009. The promotional materials produced for prospective residents/customers who toured the real estate sales center during construction included a DVD of American architect Steven Holl introducing the project. In this segment in which a Matisse painting cross-dissolves into a watercolor sketch of Holl's Linked Hybrid design, he describes its location on the northeast corner of Beijing’s Second Ring Road: “ A place that, I say, is analogous to being on Fifth Avenue and Sixtieth Street at Central Park. We envision an open project, which is created in the spirit of a pedestrian community, being able to walk to all the functions of the base. But not only that, on the twentieth floor there is a ring, a sky ring, of additional functions that really create something utopian in a way, where one isn’t just inhabiting an apartment. It’s like inhabiting a new world.” The formal analogy of Holl’s design sketch with Matisse’s La Danse, part of the permanent collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, reinforces the global city and art image presented by the MOMA Modern Land Group.

Grand MOMA - City within a City

In this segment of a promotional video for the Beijing Grand MOMA real estate development, architect Steven Holl introduces the project, likening its location to a particular intersection in New York and describing its utopian "new world" feeling.

from Grand MOMA (当代MOMA) (2006)
Creator: Steven Holl Architects/MOMA Modern Group
Posted by Sasha Welland