a park for everyone and everyone in their park:
BAU189 Hongqiao Park

Shanghai City, China

BAU189_Image_001
BAU189_Image_002
BAU189_Image_031
BAU189_Image_032
BAU189_Image_010
BAU189_Image_012
BAU189_Image_013
BAU189_Image_014
BAU189_Image_016
BAU189_Image_025
BAU189_Image_026
BAU189_Image_033
BAU189_Image_022
BAU189_Image_023
BAU189_Image_024
BAU189_Image_034

Discipline

Architecture, Landscape Architecture

Typology

Public open space

City

Shanghai City, China

Date

2004-2006

Status

Completed

Client

Shanghai Changning District Hongqiao

Program

Redevelopment of Children’s Traffic Park, including new mixed-use building

Hongqiao has recently lost its reputation as Shanghai’s premier business district. Without vision, the district has stooped to the pursuit of clichéd themes to maintain its competitiveness: streets themed on the Champs Elysees and 5th avenue; shopping centres themed on Italian piazzas; and slick towers set back in plazas. Additionally, the district is re-constructing a handful of public projects including a theatre and a businessperson’s park (shang wu gong yuan). The park is the conversion of a dilapidated children’s traffic school park.

Parks in China tend to be valued by their district government patrons as symbols of progress towards modernisation. The users, however, value parks as places to socialise, promenade, dance, pursue hobbies, exercise, engage with nature, and take their children to play. With a patron whose objectives prohibit even the use of children’s play equipment, can a park become a complex and living component of the city?

By maintaining the park’s existing structure of miniature streets, a highly accessible park can be created: one that provides a memory of the traffic school park. By reshaping the street grid through a more dynamic geometry, the newness that the patrons desire is also achieved. By shaping the street network to better accommodate the existing usage patterns, a continuity of cultural habits such as dancing and tai-chi can occur.

The miniature street network, now a complex and dynamic path network, allows a high level of access from the adjacent streets and a variety of circulation choices within the park. Being a net it has no centre, thus resisting the framing of activity commonly imposed in most local parks.

Adjusting the design of the existing path grid has created loops and specific networks. Widening a series of paths and providing them with informal seating creates a linear plaza network. This arrangement spreads places for dancing, exercising and playing to all parts of the park. The plaza network widens significantly at the two street corners to create areas high in activity and accessibility. A second network, an intimate shaded path network, allows for walking throughout the entire park in a cool low-activity environment. A red rubber running track loops around half the site and ramps over a newly formed hill. This facility attracts a new user group to the Chinese park.

A diagonal short-cut path is created to attract those who usually would not enter the park. It brings a steady stream of business people into contact with the heart of the park, without having to partake in the park’s activities. Adjacent to this path are tables suitable for working and meetings.

Children are conspicuously absent from Chinese urban environments, as they are usually kept indoors studying. Without detracting from the clients’ desire for a playground-free park, a high number of discreet and informal play opportunities are provided in the new park. Landscape interventions such as topographies of giant steps and ramps serve as places for adventure and places for the invention of games. Undulating path borders are provided as alternative paths for kids.

New hills are formed into stepped grass slopes to provide an informal amphitheatre seating area. As a popular symbol of progress, open green lawns were demanded, however park users are currently prohibited from walking on these lawns. As a subversive strategy, to allow people’s interactions with the grass, a number of seats are placed within the lawns with stepping-stones leading to them.

Where the park meets the street a blurring of the edge occurs. The park paving continues out to the street, and the sidewalk paving continues into the park. This overlapping zone blurs the cultural framing of behaviour and thus creates opportunities for a greater variety of activities to emerge.

Two pavilions in the park are created using a relaxed assemblage of forms. The material and meta-pattern of the paving is applied to the walls of the buildings. The merging of floor and wall, and the contrasting colours and diagonal patterns of the surfaces, results in a camouflaging of the buildings. The building forms become difficult to distinguish and the buildings appear unlike buildings. Although designed and built at high speed, the buildings still lie dormant after sixteen months, their use undetermined. Various government departments continue to battle for the right to lease them.

Public artworks containing text remain only half built on the site, unfinished not because of the content of their text, but simply because they contained text. Without any form of intellectual appraisal the work was censored for fear of controversy. Our proposals to reinterpret the fondly remembered paraphernalia of the traffic park were likewise censored; perhaps because the government wanted to create the image of new gift to the people, not a second-hand one.

2005-2010

Retail

Shanghai

Sports

2000-2005

Melbourne

Public

Residential

Urban Design

Kyneton

Mixed Use

Office

2015

Culture

Healthcare

Nanjing

Playgrounds

Public Landscapes

Urban Landscapes

Hotel

Suzhou

Education

2014

Hangzhou

Jiangyin

Structures & Pavillions

Wuxi

Planning

2013

2012

Fuding

Shaoxing

Chongqing

Hospitality

Kunshan

Office

Wuhan

Hotel

Healthcare

Cixi

Ningbo

Meishan

Canberra

2011

Jingzhou

Private Landscapes

Chengdu

Hospitality

Culture

1990-2000

Xiamen

Residential

Hopetoun

Caofeidian

Huai’an

Xi'an

Xinyu

Mixed Use

Retail

Sports

no longer but not only:
BAU213-3 Jindi Yunhu Market

actualizing the virtual:
BAU 213-2 Jindi Yunhu Sports and Activity Center

geometry, history, art, craft, iconography, and pragmatics: an exploration of intention, coding, narrative, and meaning
BAU021 Olinda Green + Public WC

there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in:
BAU015 Jan Juc House, Victoria, Australia

BAU009 house in the sky

surreal adjacencies:
BAU019 Marymount Residence, Guest Accommodation, Stable + Office

mini-city of culture:
BAU590 Nanjing Pukou Haiqiao Community Service Center

keeping a low profile:
BAU 214 Suzhou Qingshan Hotel Phase I

positive space, human scale, and a blue-green net:
BAU 213-1 Jindi Yunhu Housing

dis-integrated guest houses :
BAU495 Pine Pillow Retreat

don’t look at me, don’t look at me:
BAU436 Nanjing Jiangning Demonstration Kindergarten

new buildings, old topography:
BAU424 Suzhou Qingshan Hotel Phase 2

don’t just re-use the typology, improve it!
BAU310-1 Hangzhou Changbanxiang Housing

defining the perimeter, programming the centre, inhabiting them both:
BAU238 Town Plaza, Xinqiao, Jiangyin

turning outside-in:
BAU199-2 Wuxi Fudi Forte Parktown Sales Pavilion

beyond PODS, networks, and nodes:
BAU552 Chengbei Urban Design project, Nanjing

podium and bill(ding)board:
BAU547 Nanjing Yaxi Town Central Hospital

inner sanctuary, outer crust:
BAU546 Nanjing Gaochun Qiqiao Hospital

an excessive minimalism:
BAU478-A U-Park Incubator, Shang Qing Huai, Nanjing

a plane of reference:
BAU474 Nanjing Zijin Gaochun Science and Technology City

rips in the fabric by place:
BAU461 Nanjing Tangshan Tourist Resort South District

other ideas of hospital:
BAU446 Fuding Hospital

architecture AND terrain:
BAU445 Suzhou Hi-tech District Cultural Center

crust: in-between and on the edge
BAU426 Shaoxing Jianhu Keyan Tourist Resort Planning

eco urbanism:
BAU425 Chongqing Eco Valley City

microcosm:
BAU348 Kunshan Hyper Complex

beyond the picturesque:
BAU347 Kunshan White Pagoda Park

don’t just re-use the typology, improve it!
BAU310 Hangzhou Changbanxiang Housing

building a community not just housing:
BAU302 Shanghai Ludi Baoshan

upside down program – ‘private’ circulation becoming ‘public’ circulation:
BAU254 Shanghai Wai Gao Qiao Culture Centre

extra-large private space as public space:
BAU199 Parktown, Housing, Fudi Forte, Wuxi

mini-me:
BAU197 Jindi Sanlin Pavilion

staggering:
BAU191 Wuhan Cuiwei Housing

urban camouflage:
BAU227 Hangzhou Sports Centre

positive space, human scale, and a blue-green net:
BAU213_1 Jindi Yunhu Housing

the resort at the end of the yellow dirt road:
BAU543 Emerald Village at Soul Bay

critical regionalism and abstraction:
BAU487 Nanjing Yaxi Citta-Slow

hospital for the ill, health care for the healthy, aged care for the elderly: BAU469 Zhaoxiang Hospital

communities as schools and schools as communities:
BAU408 Networks School Zhangjiang

tear open the package: BAU247 Qingpu NGS Supermarket

urban sponge:
BAU324 Cixi Commercial and Culture Center

lyrical islands in pragmatic seas:
BAU530_1 Nanjing Gaochun Su-Wan Interchange Hub

fractured enormity:
BAU281 Chongqing Huarun

ring roads AND peripheral parks:
BAU243 Shanghai Ring Park

simple box OR 3 points in space – you choose:
BAU204-2 Ningbo Wanda Office

many utopias:
BAU129 Xinhu Pearl City Housing Development

a close family:
BAU125 Zhejiang Power Company HQ

stretching, squeezing, bending, trimming:
BAU550 Huanglong Xigu Urban Design

BOTH networks AND objects:
BAU497 Wyndham Cove Eco Sub-urb

ethics, democracy, difference:
BAU470 towards a socially sustainable Canberra

warp and woof:
BAU460 Jingzhou Museum

sustainable technologies for clean living:
BAU396 Nanjing Residential

network of learning:
BAU341 Yushanwan School

not in galleries, but a way of seeing:
BAU338 Jingqiao Ramp Restaurant

shopping sandwich:
BAU321 Jiangyin Wuxing Commercial Centre

celebrating the collective, the intimate, the sustainable, and the local:
BAU312 Suzhou School

21st century Ponte Vecchio:
BAU287 Shanghai 2010 World Expo Bridge

antidote: not another ghetto city:
BAU285 Chengdu North Central

at last …finally …some diversity:
BAU282 Jindi Sanlin Office

recycling and beyond
BAU264 Jiashan Lu Apartment Block

an assemblage of difference:
BAU256 Shanghai Hongqiao Performing Arts Center

streets as shelters, bars as amphitheaters, landscapes as playgrounds:
BAU235 Jinqiao Community Bars

reduce, reuse, recycle:
BAU220 Shanghai Sculpture Space

binary oppositions defining a field of operation – all we wanted was a park:
BAU122 Xiamen International Exhibition Centre

the hotel as microcosm of the city:
BAU018 Marque Hotel

…very strange:
BAU016 Penny Lane

the beautiful and the extraordinary:
BAU013 Hopetoun Bush Resort

a dynamic yet stable vehicle:
BAU510 Suzhou Tram Co. Headquarters

palimpsest:
BAU486A Jiangyin Docklands Park

innovation both inside and out:
BAU433 Zhangjing Nobel Lake Park & Network

exquisite corpse
BAU416 Genetic City Caofeidian

landscape becomes urban design becomes architecture:
BAU390 Duolan Dong Dong Mixed Use Complex

BAU386 Symbiotic City

repetition and difference:
BAU384 Kunshan Pavilions

no longer drowning – waving:
BAU339-2&3 Suzhou Creek Promenade

yet another point of view:
BAU339-1 Suzhou Creek Serpentine Park

ordinary not heroic, symbolic not monumental:
BAU318 Hangzhou Xiaoshan Government Headquarters

woven threads:
BAU234 Jiangyin Arbour Park

private precincts, public networks:
BAU226 Pudong Yangjing

creative networks:
BAU224 Chengdu Fenghuangshan

maximize commuication and cross fertilization:
BAU208 Linping New City Centre

more than just a technopolis:
BAU206 Hangzhou Xiasha New City Centre

a second network embracing history, smalllness, and complexity:
BAU193 Chengdu West New District

a park for everyone and everyone in their park:
BAU189 Hongqiao Park

disorder – not randonmness but beyond order:
BAU182 Chengdu East Village

mosaics of teaching, networks of learning:
BAU149 Huai’an Tertiary Education District

walled cities within a walled city:
BAU147 Xi’an High-Tech Precinct CBD

co-existence without incompatibility:
BAU138 Jiangxi Xinyu Networks City

clarity and unpredictable adjacencies:
BAU119 Jinqiao Sports & Leisure Centre

space-time conflict:
BAU544 Shanghai University Campus

Top