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.
▲ 项目视频 制作：UA尤安设计
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
The elongated and narrow linear site is given three times the spatial extension through three-dimensional design techniques.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.