02:02:00:12

Hangzhou

MĂ WAY

From the Chinese Character 马 To Architecture

MĂ WAY

17

Jan

2023

Hangzhou

Asia/Shanghai

Chinese

Population: 8 Million8.5 million in 2025

GDP: 1.6 8.5%

BigMac: 2.74 us dollars

Mă Way
Hangzhou | China
 
Mă Way is yet another twist in our recurring series of projects revolving around the concept of the Horse for our regular client, Dong Yuan. First came the popular HorseBox in Chengdu; soon after, the least abstract ones, HorseLand & SeaHorse, both in Chongqing; and finally, the latest, largest and most famous one, Pegasus Trail also in Chongqing.
 
 
MaWay | Official Video | 100 Channel
 




 


 

© 100architects


 

© RexZou


 
After 4 different successful projects exploring alternative ways of playing around same Dong Yuan’s IP image of the Horse, they reached out to us a 5th time for yet another fun twist. This time, for the public realm of a newly built residential development in the city of Hangzhou, our response was a bit more calligraphic: A playscape driven by the actual shape of the Chinese character Mă (马) which guess what? Yeah, it means Horse.
 
In order to be visible, recognizable and even readable from all the surrounding residential towers, we created a huge Chinese character in eye-catching monochromatic aquamarine green color, and then turned it into a playscape.
 
 

© 100architects


 

© RexZou


 
We realized that the character’s calligraphic stroke, when geometricized, was ideal for becoming a playful path or Way of entertaining activities filled with challenging obstacles & fun features for encouraging social interactions. Thus, its name, Mă Way. You do it your way.
 
Furthermore, the canvas onto which the character is calligraphed, the negative surrounding space, complement the path of playful activities with different pocket plazas for leisure, offering seating opportunities in the form of sunken plaza, and shaded areas for kids and adults alike, as well as sports areas for youngsters and teenagers or floor games for kids, converting the space in a multi-functional and multi-generational square.
 
 

© RexZou


 

© RexZou


 
Taking advantage of the independence of one of the strokes, separated from the main calligraphic body, we proposed a vertical play-wall, which when seen from above looks like a straight stroke line, and when seen from a pedestrian point of view, it becomes a challenging wall full of perforations & vertical games besides climbing and sliding opportunities.
 
Mă Way has been thoughtfully developed as a “Play Route” from end to end of the different character strokes, having into consideration different challenges and levels of difficulty for different age groups along the path. Calligraphy strokes on the floor set the path along which kids have fun and adults gather or have a rest, unifying them in a colorful path that gives shape and order to the Play Route.
 
 

© RexZou


 

© RexZou


 

© RexZou


 

© RexZou


 

© 100architects


 

© RexZou


 

© RexZou


 

© RexZou


 

© RexZou


 
Credits
 
PROJECT NAME: Mă Way
DESIGN: 100 Architects (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.
DESIGN TEAM: Marcial Jesús, Javier González, Mónica Páez, Lara Broglio, Ponyo Zhao, Keith Gong, Cosima Jiang, Michelle Aldora & Yuntong Liu.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT TEAM: Matías Hernández, Jenny Fan & Eva Jiang.
CLIENT: Dong Yuan Dichan Properties (东原地产)
SIZE: 8,000 m2
STATUS: Built
LOCATION: Hangzhou (China)
PHOTOGRAPHY: Rex Zou
VIDEOGRAPHY: Lalo López

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What is a neighborhood intervention?
This is the medium scale type of interventions that take place in the public realm of a city, related to the altering of a portion of a neighborhood. A type of intervention of such magnitude and notoriety that impacts not only the immediate surrounding urban environment, but rather the urban dynamics of a whole neighborhood, becoming an urban landmark and a local attractor of social interactions in a given neighborhood.
 
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The main objective of this typology is to trigger a massive public interest to the place through a strong visual impact, usually of a permanent nature, encouraging the rise of high public affluence and establishing an urban landmark that can cultivate important human dynamics and boost commercial activity.

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