11th Venice Biennale of Architecture
Acrylic, Stainless Steel
5200 (L) x 4800 (W) x 5000 (H) (mm)
'Superstar: A Mobile China Town’, was featured in the exhibition ‘Uneternal City’ of the 11th Venice Biennale in 2008. The exhibition, curated by Aaron Betsky, invited 12 young global architects to suggest interventions into an anonymous suburban area of Rome, which could exploit and represent the new spaces and urban fabrics of a ‘Rome of the future’. The project was shown in the Arsenale, Venice, from 14th September to 23rd November 2008.
MAD's proposal, 'The Superstar', takes the form of a New China Town.
Along with shopping malls, petrol stations and branches of McDonalds, the old China Town renders all of our cities boring and alike. It is nothing more than restaurant streets and fake traditional buildings representing a kitsch image of contemporary China, with no real life inside. It is a historical theme park that poisons the urban space. There must be a shock therapy to remedy this situation.
Superstar: A Mobile China Town is MAD's response to the redundant and increasingly out-of-date nature of the contemporary Chinatown. Rather than a sloppy patchwork of poor construction and nostalgia, the Superstar is a fully integrated, coherent, and above all modern upgrade of the 20th century Chinatown model. It’s a place to enjoy, to consume Chinese food, quality goods and cultural events; it’s a place to create and to produce, where citizens can use workshops to study, design and realize their ideas.
Equally important to what this neo-community contains is how it operates. Superstar: A Mobile China Town is a benevolent virus that releases unknown energy in between unprincipled changes and principled steadiness. It can land at every corner of the world, exchanging the new Chinese energy with the environment where it stays. It’s self-sustaining: it grows its own food, requires no resources from the host city, and recycles all of its waste. And it’s a living place, with authentic Chinese nature, health resorts, sports facilities and drinking water lakes. There’s even a digital cemetery, to remember the dead. The Superstar is a dream that’s home to 15,000 people: there is no hierarchy, no hyponymy, but a fusion of technology and nature, future and humanity.
The Superstar’s first destination will be the periphery of Rome. The Superstar will provide an unexpected, ever-changing future imbedded in the Eternal past.
Welcome to the Superstar, the China Town of today.
Text and images from : MAD
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