We work for MAD 特别篇－－－MAD三位合伙人访谈之早野洋介
We work for MAD Special —–MAD Partners Interview – Yosuke Hayano
从2010年春到2013年夏，我在MAD的建筑师岗位上工作三年，这期间以业余爱好的形式做了gooood，并与MAD的同事开始了We work for MAD专辑。至今为止，这个专辑陪伴大家走过4年有余，这四年多来我们分享了形形色色的有趣实习生们的作品与想法，也为大家展现了两位具有代表性的正式团队成员的风采。而MAD的合伙人：马岩松，党群，早野洋介他们的生活与工作是怎么样的状态？他们大胆先锋的作品怎么实现从纸面到建筑？他们是如何将成立仅11年，根植于中国大地的MAD打造成一个获得世界认可的国际化明星建筑事务所。他们如何合作？他们如何管理？他们对未来的期许是什么？他们遇到的困难与他们直面而迎的挑战是什么？还有他们最近都在做什么？…….
这一期为大家带来MAD三位合伙人访谈之早野洋介，这是We work for MAD的第77期。
I established ‘gooood’, whilst working as an architect at MAD between spring 2010 and summer 2013, as an album of articles ‘We work for MAD’. Over the last 4 years we’ve shared a wide range of fascinating ideas and portfolios from the interns at MAD as well the achievements from two of the senior architects there. But what do the three partners Ma Yansong, Dang Qun and Yosuke Hayano look like in everyday life? How do the bold and avant-garde designs come to life, from 2D drawings to 3D buildings? What did they do to make MAD, established in Beijing only 11 years ago, to be a world famous architectural office? How do they work together? How do they manage the team and projects? What are their expectations for the future? What are the difficulties and challenges they will have to face? And what have they been doing recently?
NOW, We publish the ‘We work for MAD’ NO.77 – MAD Partners Interview – Yosuke Hayano
Ling Xiang, gooood founder, chief editor
When was the first time you meet with Ma Yansong? What was the occasion? How did you two start to work together?
我从AA获得硕士学位后，我当时的导师Patrik (Zaha Hadid建筑事务所的合伙人) 邀请我加入他们的工作室。几个月后，之前在耶鲁大学是扎哈学生的马岩松也加入了工作室。最初，我们只是不同的竞赛项目中各自工作，后来我们一起参与了广州大剧院这个项目，那是我和马岩松第一次合作。
After I graduated from Architectural Association in London with my master degree, my tutor Patrik Schumacher, who was the partner of the Zaha Hadid Architects, asked me to join Zaha’s office. After a few months, Ma joined as well as the student of Zaha from the Yale University. We did some competitions separately before we got the big chance to work together for the Guangzhou Opera House. That was the first time we worked together.
Then we got a project of a new master plan in Beijing and we were sent to China to work with client and LDI for this project. But the project was canceled for some reason, and the team was asked to come back to London. However, Ma and I already got some opportunities to do small private projects here in Beijing. We talked a lot and decided to leave Zaha’s office and started to work on that project in Beijing in 2003. Then we had our office’s opening in April of 2004.
I noticed you have an undergraduate degree in Material Engineering, could you please tell me how this degree influenced your practice, or in which area you found it different from what you’d learned?
I studied material science in Waseda University in Tokyo. It’s more about studying what’s the component of each material and how to make stronger materials, how to change the behavior of materials. When I was studying there, I had a good friend whose major is architecture, so I always watched him studying architecture. Then I got more and more interested in architecture as it is more involved with humans and city. Later I also got a degree in Architecture from Waseda University. The experience there gave me different points of view that were more about objects, materials and different scales.
You are a licensed architect in Japan. Can you share with us anything interesting in terms of current architecture industry in Japan or in China, difference or anything impressive?
In Japan we still have a huge market for private houses, which gives architects opportunities to take care of the overall process of such small projects by themselves, from the very beginning of talking to the client, finding land together by checking how much volume can be built by regulations, controlling the budget, looking for the contractor, etc. Doing this kind of small projects, the architect has to take care of many issues which might be taken up by design architect and LDI in many other countries. After the project is completed, the architect will keep communicating with client and contractor if there are any problem after using, something that was not predicted in design phase. This is why the relations between the architect and the building is more intimate. This is quite different from China. The scale of project in China is much bigger. So the responsibility for architect is different. It’s not possible for architect to take care of every single aspect. It’s more often that the client to make the project going to the one direction.
Also another thing in Japan: the contractors has outstanding capabilities to keep high quality of the construction and they care both functions and design. In the process of design, we have very extensive and detailed conversations with contractors to make feasible and functional details for projects to stay within the budget. They keep providing comments over drawings, ways of construction and construction site to make sure the building can satisfy required functions. Even during the construction, they will point out problems which was not well considered in drawing phase if there’s any. This establishes a mature checking system, the architect, the contractor and sometimes the structure engineer, they keep communicating to make this building usable, that makes sure this kind of small project can be used for a long time. This is quite a good system of construction in japan. It’s too difficult in China to do this because of the scale, speed and complexity. Actually, in China, clients have so much power to control the project, while in japan architects take up the responsibility. The architects in Japan must be the one to be responsible for all, including the schedule, costs, budget and negotiation with other collaborators. For example, engineers sign contract with the architect, not directly to the client. But this is only limited to small projects. It’s a different story when it comes to a big project.
△ 工作中的早野洋介 Yosuke Hayano is working
What’s your main scope of work in MAD? Does it happen that partners have different opinions when discussing projects? Usually how to solve the problem?
We have around 80 people in our Beijing office. Around 10 projects various in different stages are going on. All of us three work from the very begging to the end of each project. We have project teams for each project. Ma leads all design related throughout the whole process, from the very beginning of concept design to the end till the project is completed. Qun takes care of all communications, meetings with clients, collaborators and consultants, as well as the overall management of the office. Then me, I’m more about conducting daily design work, which includes daily internal communications with each project team, and detailed design rationalization. Usually clients and LDI have different understandings during the process, so every day we face new problems and we have to find out solutions to stick to our original design concept but solving out the client’s or LDI’s requests. Every day in the office I spend much of my time talking to each team member about the state of the design, give out supervision and push projects forward.
When three partners have different opinions, we discuss a lot. We try to find out what MAD is about. We try to do the project that not many people had tried before. That’s why we spend lots of time to test different solutions, then we compare and find the best one.
△ （左 left）早野洋介 Yosuke Hayano（中 middle）马岩松Ma Yansong（右 right）党群 Dang Qun
MAD’s projects in China didn’t involve many redesign/renovation projects, that’s why we think the Clover House so special when we saw it. When MAD takes in a renovation or a brand new project, what’s the difference of MAD’s approach on it?
Well, we cannot build a new kind of city. Cities like New York, Beijing, Shanghai, they are all built on their history. As history goes, humans make mistakes and also changes to adjust mistakes. In this way, I think everything is rebuilt. For those renovation or rebuilding projects, you have to understand how the project looked like before, how its relations with surroundings it was, what is valuable and what is not, how to bring memory into the history of the project. You have to be really careful to take new elements into consideration to make better living conditions. Therefore I don’t think renovation project is about one particular building, but it’s more about its surroundings and environment.
△ 四叶草之家 Clover House
For this renovation project, how did it start, and how did it go to current status?
The client is my classmate from elementary school to junior high school. He is always interested and studies a lot about the kind of kindergartens that provide education to kids of different nationalities with native teachers. He’d like to have a house environment because he believes that it’s better to learn a language in daily life. He also likes the idea that grandparents can live together with the kids, so the kids can grow up with different generations taking care of the kids. He started this kindergarten in his parents’ house where he grew up since little. The kindergarten became popular so they accepted more students. When we met again, he said he really likes the works of MAD and he thinks it’s a good idea to have MAD to do a very special project that is both a big house and a kindergarten. For design concept, temples in Japan that serves both as religion space and public space came to our mind. The client agreed with our idea so we processed further by keeping the original house structure as skeleton and build a huge roof to cover it. In this way, we can keep the memory of the house and showed the kids how this house is constructed. We open part of the frame where people can pass between. We also open the roof structure. People can see what is happening inside this small house. Now the basic new frame is already finished. Then there will be a ceremony for the construction completion when the project is completed.
△ 四叶草之家 Clover House
Some readers commented the clover house as “impressive style change.” How do you take this? And besides the project, what do you think about such word as “style?”
We don’t talk about style, this is more about attitude and emotions that we want to deliver regarding the contexts. I remember the fish tank we made at the very beginning, it showed our attitude very well. We don’t rely on architectural typology like a school, hospital and so on, we tried to really think what kind of activities they will have, how people interact, and how architecture work on these activities. We use this fish tank to understand these questions. I think all projects are about these questions. That’s why I said we have no style, but attitude and language. We keep this attitude and language in projects of different scale.
We try to make the clover house unique and attractive enough for kids. We try to respect the existing surroundings and at the same time made it a little bit special like MAD kind of architecture.
△ “鱼缸” fish tank
We know that this is the first time MAD does a kindergarten project. What do you think is the most challenging part?
There are two challenges. The project is not in a big city like Tokyo. It is in a small town with nice views where all the houses look similar. As most designers and constructors are used to do similar things, to find the right constructor for this project is really challenging. They’ve been doing similar cases with extreme high quality and they’re used to it. When you ask them to do something special, they would just say “I cannot do it”. Sometimes you can feel their against feelings, so to stick to our concept and pushing it forward is very difficult.
The other challenge is technology. We tried to make something “soft” which is totally different from constructors’ past experiences. At first we wanted to use steel structure that is easier to bend, but it’s over budget. Then we had to use wood structure that is extremely technique challenging to form this soft outlook. If you ask anybody who knows about this kind of structure in Japan, they will definitely ask you how you did it after seeing it. We looked into all similar projects in Japan and finally came up with the solution with the constructor and structure engineers. We really look forward to seeing how it will be completed and how the challenge put the wood structure forward.
How do you think of the recent completed Harbin Opera House?
We’ve been working on this project for six years. We believe that from the very beginning the public culture buildings in China are always in huge scale. They are overwhelming and compelling. You don’t fell it in human scale. We paid attention to and spent a lot of time in controlling the scale, not making it as huge as an architectural object, but instead to merge it into a landscape with its surroundings, as well as a public park that people can really enjoy.
To control the scale is a big challenge. The scale with distance is more about architectural scale, while the scale when you get closer to the building, it’s another sense of scale. For the new opera house it is successful, as put successful design for different scales. From the distance, you see the object very clear like a landmark. Once you get closer, you understand this innovative structure is full of details. From the other side of the river, you can see the two buildings of Harbin Opera House and Recreation Centre “having conversations” with each other. When you get further closer, you will realize it is a nice subject having a little bit texture with different intentions that showing different shadows. Once you come across, you will find out more about various details, the wood, shell structure having top light, etc. I think you can find the depth in design we try to deliver, our design vision for the architecture from different distances and in different scales.
In this project, we are extremely conscious to control the details with very precise dimension. Considering the construction situations in China, it is extremely difficult to have perfect matching detail as it requires high craftsmanship on site. That’s why we changed our attitudes, we must bring up new ideas for the details and materials that the construction workers can adapt to. As we cannot force them to be exactly precise as we expected, we had to come up with different systems to solve various problems and tolerance. I think it is quite successful and it is a valuable experience for us to approach the constructions in China.
△ 哈尔滨歌剧院 Harbin Opera House photo by Iwan Baan
How do you think of the staff of MAD?
We have staffs with diverse backgrounds. We have architects and interns from all over the world. We try to keep the diversity in our office. It is so important for us to have different opinions, no matter on domestic projects or overseas projects.
Also we’d love our staff to know how MAD thinks and where MAD is heading to. For example, when we come back from overseas tours, we will host sharing sessions to our staff to share what we saw, what the architecture there look like, how we think about it. Also we give out lecture on Chinese culture from time to time. Personally, I spend time to visit those historic cities, like Kaifeng, Pingyao and Qufu. I’m excited to explore those historic architecture, and see how people planned and designed the city based on Chinese culture. I think these are important and valuable for the office to learn further.
△ MAD团队 MAD Team
MAD is founded 11 years ago. What has changed? What hasn’t changed?
We started as a young architect firm 11 years ago. After 11 years of experiences, like the Harbin Opera House we talked above, we’ve gone through quite a few huge and important projects both domestically and internationally. As we went through the project process, such as communications with clients, consultants and different collaborators, we realized how important the each stage of process it is for this kind of big project. We’ve encountered double or maybe triple more projects than normal office do along the years, and it made us have to adapt faster, learn deeper and as well as being more mature. I’d still like to mention the fish tank as above. I don’t think we’ve changed the attitude, and for sure we won’t change in the future.
How would you think MAD would be in 10 years?
I think I’ve already answered this question before. We know there is a long way to go. It’s like everyday we throw a stone out to indicate the direction we want to move forward. We go that direction, pick that stone up and throw again further. That’s what we’ll keep doing.
I hope in the years the office will be much stronger and more mature. And as we have quite a few overseas projects in the US, Japan and Europe, I look forward to seeing MAD to be a better architect firm on the international stage.
△ MAD办公室 MAD Office
What suggestions you have for the other two partners?
After eleven years, I can speak quite good Chinese already, but they can’t speak Japanese at all (laugh). I think it’s time for them to start to learn some Japanese. As I mentioned, I’ve spent quite a lot weekends visiting ancient Chinese cities, like Handan, Nanjing, Xian, Kaifeng, Zhengzhou, Anyang. I’m also interested to visit those province capitals. Ancient people must’ve had some reasons to build their capital there.
When we’re there, we can go back to the history and try to imagine the original demands and the passions from people living there. They must’ve had much more sensitive feelings to the power of nature. And I visited some temples which are more than 700 years old in the mountain or in the very deep nature. There must be people spending so many years to find the best location to build something. These are all very precious knowledge for our architectural design practice. I think maybe we can do something like this together one day, and it will be very interesting.
△ 平遥古城 Pingyao, Shanxi, China photo by Yosuke Hayano
△ 大同-法华寺 Huafasi, Datong, Shanxi, China photo by Yosuke Hayano
△ 杭州 Hangzhou, China photo by Yosuke Hayano
NO.78 党群， NO.79马岩松 ，即将来到
NO.78 Dang Qun, NO.79 Ma Yansong, coming soon …..