The area regenerated by this urban planning project, located less than 2km from the city center of Shanghai (The Bund), is of great importance both for historical -being the origin of the industrialization of Shanghai and China- and strategic reasons -the encounter of the Huangpu River with the Yangpu Bridge is one of Shanghai's most strategic economic and public planning areas. It was the object of an international competition in which AS+ project was chosen among five proposals from some of the largest corporate offices in the world for raising innovative and successful situations both at the level of urban complex and the use of cutting-edge techniques of ecological urbanism.
The programmatic pieces are organized technically as an ‘Open System’ formed by the interaction of five subsystems: the Water system (1), the Green System (2), the Infrastructure System (3), the Memory System (4) and the Knowledge System (5). Their interaction makes this sector a cohesive urban complex governed by flows of matter, energy and information that satisfy all the environmental aspects demanded by the certifications of the moment (Sponge City, Smart City, nZEB, Craddle to Craddle…), adding also order, rhythm, integration, memory and urban plastic composition as happens in al the cities we love.
1. Water System
The compound formed by The Water Infrastructure Public Center (WIPC) is developed under the Central Park and is accessed by pedestrians at the street level from Yangshupu Road, from the administrative building and from the street facing the block M3-1. It is also accessible from the pedestrian network that runs underground at level - 6m. The Public Center consists of three large facilities: the District Cooling System (DCS); The Bath House, which is a group of municipal public service pools and gyms, and The Water Infrastructure Public Center, an area that includes an auditorium and exhibition facilities whose center is composed of a Sunken Garden and a Reflection Water Pond. This set is completed with two pavilions on the surface of the park: The Hanging Cascade Pavilion, embracing the Yangpu Bridge’s columns, and the General Administration, which occupies the office building in block M 1-1.
2. Green System
The Central Park is a piece of high strategic value in the whole district, and it has remained important both in the First and Second Phases of the Competition. It works as the bonding and articulating space for the organization of a heterogeneous set of public activities, under the footprint of the Yangpu River Bridge. These activities are all connected forming a cohesive whole. This spatial organization improves the communication and the interaction of locals and visitors, workers and neighbors, young people and old people, and reduces the carbon footprint by improving the thermodynamic performance of the district. Both under the park and on its surface, all public and private spaces are connected by pedestrian and motorized transport systems forming a seamless a leisure and green system, featuring top landscape and architectural quality.
3. Infrastructure System
The Ningguo Ferry Station, mantains its current location but it is drastically redesigned to improve its connectivity. The station becomes connected to other infrastructures by means of pedestrian paths, both above and underground. The underground path connects with the metro station that is planned under Yangshupu Road, and continues further, until the bus station that is also planned. Similarly to what happens in the surface, this axis also links to the undergorund network of walkways that serves the technology innovation and creativity areas (The Knowledge System), and to the public facilities that will be part of the Water System.
4. Memory System
The organization of the different industrial heritage buildings and their interstitial spaces are rehabilitated to offer world-class cultural leisure, oriented to a wide social spectrum. This is achieved with two design interventions: At the architectural level, defining precise actions capable of characterizing and differentiating each of the buildings. The aim is to generate a system of complementary spaces, where positive synergies emerge between the different pieces. At the programmatic level, understanding the set of existing buildings and their interstitial spaces as one single center. This center is defined by the programatic confluence of three thematic areas: industrial memory arts, traditional body and health arts and performing arts. A central area of services and administration manages the whole complex, and is connected to the different buildings.
5. Knowledge System
The sector running along Yangshupu Road composes an ambitious center for creativity and new technologies characterized by three skyscrapers with their cut roofs looking at the bridge, podiums for commercial use with work spaces free of columns, and self-standing pavilions that replicate the volume and layout of the existing Riverside Command Center building. The latter is dedicated to cultural and / or commercial activities of high added value, such as galleries, art foundations, porcelain or jade centers, restaurants, prestigious high-end stores, and other related spaces. This set contemplates generous gardened spaces, which enhance the character of a first-level avenue, responding to the intention pursued with the new layout of Yangshupu Road.
Abalos+Sentkiewicz AS+ is an international architecture office settled in Madrid (Spain), Cambridge (USA) and Shanghai (China), directed by Iñaki Ábalos and Renata Sentkiewicz. Iñaki Ábalos and Renata Sentkiewicz have taught in prestigious university centres such as GSD-Harvard University, Architectural Association, Columbia, Cornell, Princeton, ETSAM, combining the academic, professional and research activity. Iñaki Ábalos has been Chair of the Department of Architecture at GSD Harvard University and RIBA International Fellowship 2009 (Royal Institute of British Architects). He is currently Chaired Professor at ETSAM.
The projects and built work of Abalos+Sentkiewicz AS+ are internationally recognized, have been subject of 18 individual exhibitions and many collective exhibitions in the most prestigious centres: GSD Harvard, AA-London, Pavillon de l’arsenale-Paris, MoMA-NYC (5 built works in three different exhibitions: Light construction, ON Site, Groundswell) and many others.