The East-bund “River Viewing Service Station” is a series of service stations located in the public space of the eastern bank of the Huangpu River in Shanghai. The 22 stations are distributed in the entire east coast between Yangpu Bridge and Xupu Bridge. There’s a service station every kilometer, which is aimed to provide citizens with rest spaces and public toilets. As the emergency projects, the first two River Viewing Service Stations only took one and a half months in design and completion respectively. The total design and construction period of the last 20 River Viewing Service Stations is only two months. It is almost impossible to complete the project with conventional design and construction procedures. So we have designed a standard unified building shape and summarized several different landing types based on different site conditions and topographical features, which differ in the relationship between the basic structure form and the site elevation. The construction adopts the steel and wood hybrid system mainly composed of laminated wood to achieve super-fast construction with controlled quality. Through high integration and reasonable division of design and construction, we achieved the maximum space quality and comprehensive effect during the short period.
This series of tiny stations in the most public riverside space in the heart of Shanghai gives us the opportunity to explore the relationship between architecture and landscape, as well as the relationship among microscopic sites and macro public spaces & urban landmarks. We hope that this station can intensify the sites' features while serving the citizens in an easily approachable atmosphere so that the architecture can become a scenery amplifier. The name of “River View Service Station” has highlighted the double appeals of the service station.
Each station consists of two parts: a relatively closed public toilet and an open and transparent public lounge with information guides and publishing, bookshelves and other service facilities. As for the distribution principle, we take the openness of the lounge and the maximization of the river sight line in the station as the first priority. Secondly the sight line of small Lujiazui central area is considered on a macro scale. Between these two parts there is a covered corridor goes across the building, connecting the riding path on the back of the river and the running and walking path on the side of the river. On the river side, including the side of the lounge, there is a deep and wide platform space under the armpit. A long bench is equipped near the wall, which invisibly enlarges the public open space.
We hope that the River View Service Stations will form a physical guidance for the public and encourage the free use of space. People can walk through the low and intimate corridor to the river bank with the guidance of the triangular skylight. The roof will gradually rise with your body movement, the river view at the end of the vestibule will also raise in your field of vision, breaking through the high and spacious eaves in the north. Standing on the open and clear river-viewing platform and viewing through the trunks at the bottom, you can see the glistening river surface is stretching horizontally, constituting a flowing scene with figures walking or running along the riverside. The benches on both sides of the vestibule will attract people to sit idly and appreciate the river scene leisurely. At this moment, you can only see the glistening river surface and feel a special tranquility when the city at the other side of the river is concealed by the trees. Of course, when you descend from the veranda, you will access the running path and waterborne platform, where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the magnificent city skylines across both sides of Huangpu River.
The service stations have encouraged the free use of space by the public, stimulated the occurrence of events and the interaction of communities, and enhanced the experience of the Huangpu River.
This project also copes well with the impact of the extremely short construction period on the design and construction strategy of urban infrastructures, and shows the logical correlation between the wood structure and spatial expression.
Our design focuses not only on the materiality of space, but also on social relations and cultural identity. After the stations were put into use, the citizens used it actively and freely, and the public life was awakened. The river view stations, as a platform for gathering and sharing, encourages citizens to speak freely and use actively, and helps people to build their identity and integrate into society, especially those urban vulnerable groups excluded by the surrounding consumption space in Lujiazui.