Yansong Ma wins competition to design Mississauga’s Absolute Tower

Yansong Ma, founder of Beijing/China architectural design firm MAD office, has been named winner of the international competition to design the landmark condominium tower at the new Absolute Community in the heart of Mississauga.

His spectacular design for a 50-storey residential tower was selected from among six finalists. Those finalists were drawn from entrants, which covered all continents except Antarctica. The as yet unnamed tower will rise from the northeast corner of Burnhamthorpe Road and Hurontario Street in the heart of Mississauga, Canada’s seventh largest city.

“We are enormously pleased with the results of this competition,” says Danny Salvatore, president of Fernbrook Homes, partners with Cityzen Development Group in the newly planned residential community. “Yansong Ma’s vision is breathtaking. This tower will become an instant icon and an international landmark.

“We believe this competition and this new tower will significantly raise design standards within the residential industry. We have brought the world’s best and brightest to Mississauga.”

While the competition was fierce, Mr. Ma’s submission topped the list among three groups asked to judge the six finalists, says Sam Crignano, principal in Cityzen Group.

“It was first choice among our nine-member international expert judging panel. It was the favourite for the 6,000 people who cast ballots at an exhibit in Mississauga’s Square One during the past month and it was number one among brokers and agents invited to comment on which design they found best suited to buyers’ needs,” he says.

Mr. Ma’s role will be conceptual design with hands on work remaining in the hands of a local architectural firm. Sales will begin this May with construction to start late this year or early next and completion slated for 30 months after start of construction.

Mr. Ma is no stranger to awards recognizing his talent and skill as a world-class designer. His practice spans the globe with projects in the United States, China, Dubai and now in Canada. A graduate of the Yale University School of Architecture, he won the Samuel L. Fogelson Memorial Award for Design Excellence, an AIA scholarship for Advanced Architectural Research in 2001 plus numerous international design awards including 1st prize at the Shanghai Modern Art Park Competition, 1st prize at the Net+Bar conceptual competition and 1st prize at the Maple Bay Tourist Centre competition. His floating island design for the rebuilding of New York’s World Trade Center was exhibited at the Beijing Architectural Biennale and made part of the permanent collection of the National Museum of China. In addition, an announcement was made just last week that he received The Architecture League of New York, Young Architects Award for 2006.

Current projects include a variety of residential communities, museums, cultural centres, office towers and master plans.

“The scope of Mr. Ma’s work is breathtaking,” says Mr. Salvatore. “His genius as a designer is evident. We are enormously pleased to have played a role in bringing to Mississauga an enduring landmark project, which places the city on par with great international centres such as Shanghai and New York.”