[Showing tree structure]

Cityscape renewal by renovation


The Cityscape of Shanghai, like a Japanese city, is designated in the manner of high density. Shanghai renowned as one of leading cities of the world economy, have developed so rapidly by incoming of foreign capitals and people because of its nature of concession, as well as developed as one of main trading port since the19th century. Although Shanghai suburban areas like Pudong, Jiading, and Songjiang still undergo urban renewal developments, seemingly the central area already have completed up with the development. Under that circumstance, one of the keyword in the recent real estate field is “renovation.”

Westernized design in old housings from the settlement era are still remained in Shanghai, and they are called “lăofāngzi,” out of which the compound facility named “Sinan Mansions” that contained stylish galleries and restaurants, hotel and office, as well as residences, was built as the renovation project in 2011. Also, there was the former residence of Enlai Zhou, named “Zhou Mansion” where Chinese Communist Party delegation Shanghai office used to be, was preserved next to the site. Such kind of circumstantial setting let us perceive the sense of a good old Shanghai with its surroundings.

From Sinan Mansions, it takes couple minutes by walk to “The Eighth Bridge,” which is so-called Souien (Creative complex) that is a renovated warehouse of the bicycle brakes factory built in 1970’s. “Souien” is generally known as a complex facility containing design offices, ateliers, or other design-oriented offices, as well as restaurants and shops along with. The Eighth Bridge is a pioneer facility of this kind. Modernizing remnants of old industrial factory by utilizing such as reusing bricks from the warehouse for the façade have accomplished to adjust the scenery of current Shanghai. Incidentally, a Japanese architect, who mainly works in Shanghai, executed the design.

Recently, the real estate industry was heated up with the bubble economy lead by enormous economic growth. However, it currently has been forced to halt by political intervention. A number of architectural renewals would increase since more demands for projects to improve real estate values. Under such circumstance, to preserve townscape as well as to modernize remnants of old buildings would offer great opportunity for landscape architects. Like The Eighth Bridge, it would be wonderful for a Japanese designer to work on in order to achieve understanding Chinese indigenous culture into the design.

Hajime Takaoki

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