The small pieces of the urban fabric, forgotten by time,
Stitch together community and place, elevating life and sharing,
In the meticulous design of landscape, architecture, and structures,
A modest community highland seamlessly integrates into the grand narrative of the city.
In the context of rapid high-density development in mega-cities and increasing constraints on resources and the environment, urban industrial transformation and the emergence of sub-centers have led to the convergence of living and cultural needs within the existing industrial urban landscape, such as the city's industrial rail systems. These rail systems have evolved from being single-path attributes to becoming boundaries that define living spaces. However, as the urban space becomes increasingly diverse and multifunctional, with dense interweaving of various functions, these path boundaries need to be softened or reconnected to rebuild the micro-urban spatial structure. In the process of urban renewal, the focus should be on the needs of the people, continually promoting the openness, sharing, and integration of green spaces to create more vitality.
Shanghai New Horizon • High Land Park aerial view of the project ©CreatAR
The redevelopment of Shanghai's New Horizon • High Land Park was born against the backdrop of such circumstances. As part of the Xin'er Road Environmental Improvement and Quality Enhancement Project implemented by the People's Government of Gaojing Town, it was a response to the high population density in the surrounding residential areas. Its purpose was to enhance residents' perception of green spaces, improve the comprehensive service capabilities of public green areas, and enhance the quality of people's lives. It served as both a practical exploration of the relationship between urban living spaces and industrial heritage and an innovative attempt at creating green and mixed urban spaces within the context of urban renewal in northern Shanghai. Over the course of more than two years, the UA You'an Design team has established an integrated working camp for landscape, architecture, lighting, and construction drawings, actively engaging in the construction of urban micro-space structures and exploring and practicing the redevelopment of urban green spaces in the context of major urban renewal.
Second-floor aerial view of the project
Aerial view of the project
The project is located in Gaojing Town, within the intersection of three urban roads: Gaojing Road, Xin'er Road, and Yingao West Road. It is situated to the west of a freight railway line and occupies the site of a former abandoned freight station. Prior to its transformation, the site was temporarily used as a sports ground, but due to extensive hardening, it often remained vacant, gradually becoming a neglected corner of the city. As an industrial relic from the city's long development history and a unique space coexisting with the urban freight railway, in the context of urban space renewal, it represents a novel "urban catalyst" infused with memories of the city's industrial past and factors shaping its future life.
▲场地分析 Site analysis
In the context of historical space and the renewal of the old city, a catalyst represents a symbol of activation. Due to the development of the city center and the presence of densely populated communities in the vicinity, residents have high expectations for ecological greening and recreational spaces in the area. They hope for public spaces that offer relaxation, social interaction, cultural exchange, and physical exercise. As a result, this marginalized vacant plot of land, with its unique site environment, has the potential for transformation, marking the beginning of a practical demonstration of the 15-minute living circle concept in North Shanghai.
Surrounding resident questionnaire surveys and user functional categorization.
Faced with the actual site, which is a long and narrow north-south linear shape adjacent to a freight railway, as well as the existing buildings at both the northern and southern ends that need simultaneous renovation, the new "urban catalyst" activates urban space and brings about some necessary considerations for the design process: What are the potential transformations for this unique site environment? Through what design approaches can this specialized and edge-adjacent vacant green space be revitalized? How can the design concept of "unique presentation of scenes based on time and place" be effectively conveyed in practical implementation and widely promoted? How can we genuinely promote the integration and development of parks and green spaces within the city?
The new "urban catalyst" activates urban space.
Micro-renewal for the revitalization and reuse of forgotten spaces is driving the formation of a new urban development pattern. Site renewal not only holds the significance of reactivating urban spaces but also plays a vital role in maintaining and preserving the interface of urban life throughout the city's long history of transformations.
Modern urban green spaces should no longer be considered as isolated entities but rather as a continuous extension of a seamless living environment. Design should seamlessly blend the concepts of "park+" and "+park," adding spaces for urban relaxation, activities, and entertainment, and integrating them into the daily lives of the surrounding residents. Through complementary and interconnected functions, the overall urban quality is enhanced, promoting the development of a "city within the park" in the construction of park cities.
The design dissects the current land conditions, with a predominant focus on the "thinking big through thinking small" approach, actively responding to the spatial demands of the surrounding residents, and initiating the path towards the multifaceted redevelopment of urban green spaces. Within the overarching strategy, in order to facilitate the symbiosis between green space and preserved buildings, the design employs a V-shaped elevation method for the site. This encourages the southern end of the site to become a "distinctive pathway into the park," while the northern end of the site unveils a "south-facing grassy slope," allowing for the unlimited growth of greenery on both sides. This creates a seamless connection between the green space and the buildings, forming an integrated whole.
The design concept of V-shaped growth space.
Spatial circulation analysis.
Within the V-shaped green space, the spatial layout transitions from a logical and orderly progression to a more organic development, transforming from linear geometric spaces to curved ones. Starting from the southern end of the building and entering the green space, visitors follow a distinctive pathway that leads to a cloud-shaped children's playground. Subsequently, they proceed along winding flower paths, entering the central Four Seasons Garden, and eventually arrive at the open and spacious large lawn area. This entire route enriches people's recreational experiences, offering diverse scenery and a gradual immersion into the environment. The design effectively creates a functional mixed space that combines greenery and urban elements, making it an integral part of the leisure and green loop within the city. Simultaneously, it links the surrounding areas and future community centers of the residents into a vast green urban space.
Diverse functional modules.
"Park + Cultural Building"·The Starting Point of Space
The southern building has been renovated to serve as a generator for civic entertainment activities, viewed as a connector between the entrance plaza and the green space of the site. A ground-level elevated space has been designed to provide convenient pathways for park visitors. From the plaza on the southern side of the building, people can access the rooftop via outdoor ramps. To the north of the building, there is a corridor connecting it to the green space platform. The creation of three-dimensional circulation paths and the rooftop garden represents the building's proactive response to the site's topography. After reshaping and integration, the southern building ultimately merges seamlessly with the green space.
The building and park pathways seamlessly integrate.
Ecological Building Responds to the Earth
Southern Cultural Building Real Scene Image ©CreatAR
"Park + Open-Air Theater"·Main Entrance Plaza
As the main entrance plaza for the entire green zone, the design is aimed at creating a model for park city construction with a focus on "park + new formats." Utilizing modern and technology-rich approaches, it establishes an iconic green zone. The open-air theater creates a new generation of urban public spaces, offering the public a fresh way of life and serving as a demonstrative and positive force in enhancing the cultural and environmental quality of the area.
" Park +Urban Enclave "·Canyon Path to Forest Discovery
To promote the organic integration of park city and forest city development and enrich the recreational appeal of green spaces, the design primarily utilizes dense flowers, plants, and trees as the main suitable carriers. Through the use of sloped landscape walls that segment the space, it creates a perceptible ambiance for visitors as if they are in a hidden forest.
A unique entrance approach to the park
" Park + Child-Friendly Spaces "·Children's Forest Window Games
Rooted in serving the surrounding residential areas, with the aim of breaking down spatial barriers for children's outdoor activities and promoting co-construction and sharing of outdoor spaces for children, the design actively incorporates the "1-meter-high view of the city" from a child's perspective, ensuring and advancing child-friendly outdoor public spaces. Clusters of flowering plants serve as boundary decorations, while colorful rubber mats create safe activity areas. Equipment such as trampolines and multifunctional climbing frames allow children to engage in both active and passive play, promoting physical development while sparking their curiosity. The space design encourages intergenerational interaction between parents and children, effectively enhancing children's perception and accessibility to green spaces.
" Park + Thematic Ecology "·Sunlit Lawn Revitalizes
In active response to the implementation of urban ecological space planning, the design incorporates a large lawn to the north of the site, seamlessly blending with the surrounding trees. With gentle slopes resembling the hand of nature, it brings the joy of freedom to the citizens. People integrate themselves into the large lawn in their preferred ways, releasing their mental burdens, whether it's chasing and playing, sitting on the ground, or quietly contemplating, thus sharing the ecological achievements of park city construction.
The south-facing grassy slope bathed in sunlight.
" Park + Leisurely Stroll "·Fitness and Stretching in the Shade of Trees
Stroll along the fitness trail, wander through the Red Maple Avenue, and immerse yourself in the natural ambiance. Additionally, outdoor speakers are installed along the trail for broadcasting and music playback. In spring and summer, you can run under the shade of trees, feel the gentle breeze on your face, and enjoy the refreshing sensation created by the misting system. When tired, you can take a break on the trailside benches, admire the scenery and observe people, peacefully savoring a slower-paced life. The design of the fitness and walking trail not only caters to the urban residents' emotional longing for nature but also enhances the overall activity experience within the park's green spaces.
An undulating walking experience.
" Park + Smart Technology "•Technology Operation and Maintenance Empowers Services
Distinguishing itself from other regional parks primarily focused on aesthetics, the design integrates the local characteristics and aligns with the development attributes of the Gaojing Sci-Tech Innovation Town. It creates a more adaptable space for technology and creativity, serving as a vibrant hub for citizens, where "technology and innovation are right around the corner." In terms of overall spatial and visual aspects, the green space shapes a futuristic and modern technological environment. Features like the entrance light theater, architectural projections, and the starlight lighthouse interconnect various thematic areas within the park, establishing a modern urban green space that can be enjoyed day and night.
Nighttime Lighting Visual
During the transitional phase of urban development, living and industrial domains coexist, necessitating a softening agent to mitigate and shield against industrial factors like ongoing noise within the industrial landscape. Given the linear nature of the elongated site and the interference posed by the freight railway along one side, the design explores the possibility of a three-dimensional composite park design. On the side adjacent to the railway, the design incorporates a "bridge" as a "softening agent" for the urban industrial infrastructure. This bridge connects the green space and the railway interface, effectively mitigating the impact of noise and lighting from the railway on the site. Simultaneously, it increases the usable area of the park, facilitating versatile utilization of the unique space, thus creating a relaxed and vibrant urban lounge.
The spatial concept for the interface 'bridge' connecting with the railway
Vertical Urban Green Space
The open space beneath the "bridge" on the ground floor not only efficiently accommodates auxiliary functions such as a cultural corridor, parking facilities, and ancillary spaces but also offers services like light meals, coffee, and a book bar. Additionally, it can reserve certain areas as a community "hub," providing temporary services like art exhibitions, community events, and cultural and creative markets. This encourages the formation of a multidimensional, interactive space where various activities coexist without interference, thus significantly overcoming the challenges of insufficient traditional green space amenities.
In particular, the cultural corridor primarily employs dynamic exhibition formats, utilizing interactive electronic display screens and interactive lighting to showcase the development of the Gaojing Sci-Tech Innovation Town while incorporating features that highlight the uniqueness of Gaojing's scientific and technological innovations.
Diverse Supportive Services
The elongated and narrow linear site is given three times the spatial extension through three-dimensional design techniques. This "three-dimensional urban green space" extends and grows into the building's courtyards, art corridors, and rooftop gardens, forming a continuum of flexible shared spaces from public to private. It serves as an expansion of boundaries for leisure and recreational activities at different times for various user groups from nearby residential areas, schools, businesses, offices, and other functional spaces.
Next-Generation Urban Public Spaces
The impressions preserved from the former industrial cityscape have been infused with a new urban life, creating an inviting and natural interaction space between greenery and the urban environment, symbolizing the rebirth of the earth and the flourishing of all living things. In the ecological preservation and utilization of urban green spaces, the design translates the texture formed when breaking up the original hardened ground into ground renewal elements for green plazas and other key nodes. This imparts a sense of place and memory to the newly developed site and establishes a welcoming and natural spatial atmosphere.
Moreover, the cement blocks resulting from the breaking of the original hardened surface have also been transformed into cellular units with a sense of place and memory, coexisting within ecological pavements, ground cushion layers, and sculptural retaining walls. The formerly entirely hardened surface has now become a landscaped green area with 70% natural vegetation.
Symbiotic Ecological Paving
In terms of the green space's breathability and permeability, the park has rehabilitated fragmented ground habitats, allowing exposed and hardened land to breathe freely once again. The park's control over impermeable surfaces such as lawns, vegetation, and plazas has effectively increased the site's permeability, facilitating natural storage, infiltration, and purification in line with the principles of sponge city development.
Among these measures, evergreen trees in isolation strips act as a barrier, mitigating environmental disturbances caused by vehicle noise and emissions. Permeable particle ground cushions are used in activity areas to ensure natural rainwater infiltration, and surplus rainwater can be collected for irrigation purposes. Excess soil from the original site is used for green slopes, reducing the need for off-site soil disposal while efficiently organizing rainwater collection systems through ecological drainage ditches...
Earth's Rebirth, All Things Grow
To further echo the translation of the site's texture, the design uses high-quality flowing granite on the facade of the "characteristic corridor" leading into the green space. Through manual carving, a natural texture is created, establishing the natural foundation of the green space and creating a tactile, human-scale experience for people to connect with.
Flowing surface granite
Elevation of the corridor
The southern end of the building utilizes bamboo-pressed concrete to create facade texture, seamlessly integrating nature into the building's exterior. After the project's completion, it has provided the neighborhood with a green breathing space, creating a "forest" within the city. People can experience the changing seasons and perceive a comfortable and pleasant microclimate environment in these small green areas, which helps alleviate various anxieties arising from the bustling world of today.
Bamboo-pressed concrete technique
Integrating Nature into the Building Envelope
Multiple plant-themed spaces with colorful flower paths and plants throughout the seasons harmonize with the corridors, spaces, and buildings, adding a rich and vibrant green tone to the site and laying the foundation for the restoration of the area's ecosystem. The naturally constructed ecological system provides a growth environment for site flora and inspires respect for nature among people.
Building Natural Ecosystems
Urban Microspatial Structure
As urban renewal and development progress, the industrial remnants within the city will ultimately undergo transformation and evolution, and the boundaries of urban life will expand and cover the existing industrial areas. Shanghai New Horizon • High Land Park, as an "urban catalyst," plays a role in activating urban spaces. At the same time, it will also become one of the countless green micro-units in the future. It serves as a springboard or a future connecting link, leaping and spreading into the future urban space, seamlessly connecting to the functional sectors of the city, and stitching together the grand narrative space of the city.
更新日期：2023-09-15 11:05:25非常感谢 UA尤安设计 带来的精彩项目， 查阅更多