Last night we headed to Mississauga to catch the 30th annual Urban Design Awards, a competition that pays tribute to the best design projects in the city.
Notable architect of Absolute World's "Marilyn" buildings Yansong Ma made a whirlwind appearance, arriving on Monday night. After his first visit to Mississauga in two years, he didn't know what to expect!
Yansong Ma and Sam Crignano, Principal at Cityzen Development Group.
"I was nervous," Yansong said. "I was afraid to see the real thing."
When he saw the buildings in person, he was satisfied.
"In real life, the building has a very powerful impact because it's two towers," he said. We can even see the towers from Toronto's waterfront.
At age 35, Yansong is a young architect who has come to architectural maturity at a time when China is modernizing, both economically and in freedom of expression.
"It's a starting point for me," he says. "I did a lot of competitions before this but I never won, or sometimes we would win a couple of first prizes, but [the builders] were afraid to do the project."
With the Marilyn buildings, Yansong's project was realized through the international design competition led by Cityzen and Fernbrook Homes. Clients have since been coming to MAD Architects because of their signature style and design philosophy. We admire that Yansong stays true to himself; he is against mass-production and favours thought-provoking, timeless design.
"I think its natural that some people are just conservative," he said. The design process for the Marilyn's was smooth, and thankfully the project was supported, realized, and eventually built.
"Somehow, we share the same ambition," he said referring to his supporters.
What's next for Yansong Ma?
"We are working on high-rise commissions in China, and now we're in Europe as well, but we want to build remarkable buildings, not just high rises, so we're also working on museums, opera houses..."
We're so glad that Yansong could make the trip and see his vision in person, and we look forward to following him on what we are sure will be a spectacular career. A very special thanks to the Mississauga City Council for inviting us along last night, and congratulations to all the worthy award winners and nominees.