RENEWAL OF CENTURY SQUARE IN EAST NANJING ROAD Shanghai, China 2020 – 1st Prize in Competition Project Description: The new design for the very significant “Century Square” at East Nanjing Road in Shanghai, opens like a shell and shows the splendour of its ‘pearl’, a shining kaleidoscope which reflects the new green urban scenery. “Century Square” has always been related to shows and events, positioned in a strategic connection between “Peoples Square” and “The Bund”, and characterized by its special ambience of incredible night lights and commercial presentations. Our project gives an homage to the origin of the word Shanghai, which means ‘upon the sea’. We convert this very key space into a new urban living room, inspired in colours and shape by the sea and the harbour. The new paving represents an undersea world. This pavement becomes illuminated at night by glittering lights. We decide to renature this city centre, introducing green spaces to improve the urban microclimate in consideration of the ecological consciousness. Lights and audio visuals enhance this new green open space at night. We merge the newly introduced ecological aspects with the heritage of the existing buildings and functional requirements. Shows of different natures will happen here, and the facades on Nanjing Road participate by hosting lights and screens, beautifully redesign. Our new kaleidoscope building is the new heart of century square, its ‘pearl’. It hosts spectacular shows, and it is a show in itself. The facades reflect like a water surface, by fragmenting and recomposing the lights and images of the surroundings, with its colourful paving and greenery, and with its commercials and historical buildings, Billboards, etc… The south side of the “Century Square” is organized by a topographic element: green hills, interwoven with the existing trees, support a wooden grandstand which can be used in many different ways; giving space to different functions such as cafeterias and shops, creating a new urban eco-living room. Green terraces and steps will allow people to sit at different levels, surrounded by trees and leaves, overviewing the vitality of the square. Different events take place here: product presentations, exhibitions, markets, culture and theatre events, adapting each time the scenario. Inside the kaleidoscope, small rooms invite the public to discover the square, the sky, the spirit of the city in between plants and mirrors. The renewed “Century Square” will become the highlight of East Nanjing Road, a new venue to experience the natural beauty of Shanghai.
Benedetta Tagliabue studied architecture at the Istituto di Architettura di Venezia (IUAV) and currently acts as director of the international architecture firm Miralles Tagliabue EMBT, founded in 1994 in collaboration with Enric Miralles, based in Barcelona and, Shanghai.
Among her most notable projects built are the Edinburgh Parliament, Diagonal Mar Park, the Santa Caterina market in Barcelona, Campus Universitario de Vigo, and the Spanish Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.
Current studio projects include the Business School of Fudan University in Shanghai, office towers in Xiamen and Taichung, public spaces of HafenCity in Hamburg Germany, and the metro station Clichy-Montfermeil in Paris, France (1st prize in competition), the Naples Underground Central Station in Italy...
Her work received the RIBA Stirling Prize in 2005, the National Spanish Prize in 2006, the Catalan National prize in 2002, City of Barcelona prize in 2005 and 2009, FAD prizes in 2000, 2003 and 2007.
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