China is rapidly developing enamors property to meet the requirement of the increasing population. As a result, it turns into the hub of different architectural style from Art deco to contemporary .so further adding to this flavor Architect Thomas Heather Wick studio have designed 6hector (15ac/300,000sq m) redevelopment site to form a large mixed-use urban oasis in the form of two Mountain covered with 1000 trees giving it unique floating like urban forest aesthetic perched atop teetering concrete columns.
Site location of Urban Jungle
The site is located in the Shanghai Putuo District on Moganshan Road right on the outskirt of Shanghai city. Also, it was surrounded on three sides by concrete residential towers. And on the south by the M50 art district and a public park next to the Suzhou Creek, an area that has suffered a gentrification process. Its low–level industrial warehouses have been transformed into art galleries and workshops. 300,000sq m spanning project is to be built along 1100 meter bank of Suzhou River of approximately 58,930sqm. It is also home to that rare commodity in Shanghai: a woodland park.
It is well connected from the neighborhood mall and entertainment destination, public park. Five metro line (line 1,3,4,7 & 13) and bus routes(76,105 & 801)provide easy and convenient access .In close proximity People square and commercial hubs such as East Nanjing Road and Huaihai Road ensure to have a 20 minutes drive from shanghai city center and inner ring road.
Typology of Urban Jungle
It is a large mixed-use development that includes: Residential, Restaurant, Hotel, Shops /Retail, heritage (old flour mill and administrative building, headquarters), offices, art, and design (event venues and galleries).
Meeting the client’s requirements as a large and dense development. And designing with reference to the neighborhood, Architect Heatherwick studio designed a complex with a fusion of integrating art and vegetation. They choose to design a horizontal development over High rise building .knowing Horizontal development required numerous columns which they programmatic included in a design and proposed plantation on their help to not only enhance the aesthetical beauty of the concerned columns but also help them to distribute structural load and trees weight to the ground. This also leads them to blend with the adjacent arts district and Public Park. With its edges lowered to minimize its impact on the surroundings.
They choose an orthogonal grid in which the column design and greenery composition. The structure is raised towards the center. Meanwhile, so as to create more volume within and to accommodate more in the way of programming. It is supposed to be challenging for the architect to maintain the function. And form at the same time and maintain a 400-meter long building without losing its connection with the environment and keeping a human scale. The result is a tree-lined ‘mountain’ that wraps itself in the landscape and lifts trees to every level of the building. As Heather wick describes it, this unique topography ‘knits the new with the old’.he also added”We see the planters as natural extensions of the columns, almost like a shoot that has worked its way through three levels of a car park, eight levels of retail, and then up and out to the roofscape to blossom.”
There was a stipulation that the historic /Heritage buildings, like the old flour mill and an administration building, had to be retained as part of the new design, so these are incorporated as landmarks or access points.
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As it is a large redevelopment so the plan was phase-wise.
Phase 1 :Proposed completion-May 2020
This phase has included the first Mountain which has10 levels of mixed-use facilities that envelop several large atriums, giant voids will connect to a number of outdoor terraces that envelop the building that will cascade down to a new public park and walkway that the studio is developing along Suzhou Creek.
Phase 2 : Proposed completion-Before 2024
The second mountain will be larger and “programmatically more diverse” and connect with the first mountain via an enclosed link bridge, tunnel, and ground floor drop-off. This will also involve more landscaping, including a 900-meter-long stretch of riverside public space and 12,000-square-metre Landscape Park that will include a jogging path, sculpture garden, and series of outdoor event spaces. It also includes a 100m tall tower.
The development split over two plots of land connected by a narrow public space, government plot and incorporate several historic buildings so the circulations at street level start out from this intermediate point. On the upper floors, the different programs connect by a bridge spanning the distance marked by urban regulations.
On the mountain’s southern facade, they want to retain the culture of graffiti walls where people would travel all over to paint. so unlike the elevation on another side, they sliced open revealing the activity inside of this side .as the photos reveal a contrasting art wall that is lined with billboards and street art, which Heather wick Studio has developed in collaboration with local and international graffiti artists .they also coordinated for gaint murals within lift shafts for interiors. Also, on the riverside elevation, the treescape spreads out at ground level to form a new public park and riverside walkway.
Construction of Urban Jungle
As column planters constructed such that they would serve as columns. But also have an architectural identity throughout the building and giving it interest a human scale.
The hand-crafted finish of the columns, with convex curves merged with concave ones, creates a changing and apparently randomized surface. Although it is actually repeating throughout. And enriching the tactile qualities of the building from both a distance and up close.
Each column looks as if it is free-floating. But is actually tied back to support the floors and to provide seismic stability. This structural grid creates a stack of boxes. That is staggered at each story height to form multilayered terraces, indoor spaces, and sky gardens with the planters rising just above head height to give the illusion of trees floating in mid-air. Hundreds of concrete columns were used to distribute the weight of the trees to the ground. Widening at the top to form a huge planter containing one tree. And a variety of hanging plants, each of the columns features horizontal ribbing that helps break up its height from a distance; up close, the structures resemble handcrafted pottery. This solution, aside from creating a defining aesthetic element. This is structurally efficient because the planters transmit loads directly to the foundations.
Green area at Urban Jungle
Collectively, the planters contain approximately 25,000 individual plants and 46 different plant species including shrubs, perennials, and climbers. However, its name suggests 1,000 Trees which distinguished by hundreds of plants that emerge from its staggered, pixellated surface. The photos show that there are three different-size plant pots. Each planter has a unique combination of plants sourced from Shanghai’s Chongming Island, a fertile strip of land within the Yangtze River delta. And more than half of them are evergreen “to ensure a lush green building throughout the year”.
The images have also revealed the mountain’s grey-green granite to form a backdrop to the fair-faced concrete of the external columns and the many hues of green on the planters. They have also emphasized horizontal striations, reminiscent of sedimentary rock, with layers of texture formed from a single type of granite, treated with different finishes, from rough flamed through to a near polish which helps reduce the scale and create a domestic image.