Ma Yansong

Founder, MAD Architects

Ma Yansong is one of China’s brightest young architects, and the first to break out internationally, with eye-catching projects in Europe and Canada. He’s known for futuristic, avant-garde buildings that embody what he says is a central tenet of Chinese architecture: connecting with nature. His latest landmark, the Sheraton Huzhou Hot Springs Resort in Eastern China, is a glittering oval-shaped building that appears to rise from the waters of Taihu Lake. “It’s like public artwork,” Ma says, “so you don’t think of a hotel owned by rich people. It’s something everyone can enjoy.”

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Modern buildings have become memorials to power and capital. More and more, they're isolated from people.