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Many major American cities have Chinatown districts, but if Beijing-based MAD architects have anything to say about it, every city will have a Chinatown floating hundreds of feet above the ground. Featured in this year's Venice Biennale, "Superstar", as the project is known, is essentially a traveling city designed to help spread awareness of Chinese culture around the globe. The architects describe it as their "response to the redundant and increasingly out-of-date nature of the contemporary Chinatown." Fully self-sustaining, it includes everything necessary to house, entertain, and memorialize (via a "digital cemetery") a city of 15,000— and from the looks of it, destroy any opposing terrestrial cities, too. Architect's statement after the jump.
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Superstar: A Mobile China Town is MAD’s response to the redundant and increasingly out-of-date nature of the contemporary Chinatown.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.
· Superstar: A Mobile Chinatown by MAD [Dezeen]
· Architecture Watch: China's Honeycomb Highrise [Curbed SF]