Unique urban design proposal for Shanghai
All ancient, historic and contemporary cities have hidden spatial orders, geometric, distributive hierarchies, that can be associated with subdivision techniques. Cellular ‘Network’ City presents work and research that has been directed towards designing and researching accelerated modes of Urbanism in one of the fastest expanding and ‘densifying’ cities in the world – Shanghai. New definitions and forms of intelligent and interconnected urban organisations were investigated, seeking the potential to redefining the existing urbanism, and install within a coherent yet differentiated architectural systems and urban spatial order, applied on a broad range of scales, while in the same time engaging with the challenge to plan for future urban growth and evolution.
Cellular ‘Network’ City looks at a city as mathematical expressions of global and local regulations, codes and policies, played out parametrically in time, continually reshaping the spatial relations of parts to whole. Pursuing computational tools with inherited capacities to manage high orders of complexity, it presents a subtle modulation of urban and architectural spaces, structures, systems, and components, while experimenting with new forms of iterative graphic space – dynamic pattern formations with continuous yet discrete cellular spatial properties – generated from associative modeling and algorithmic procedures.
It has twofold: firstly a prototypical Urban_Expo for Expo 2010, as well as planning for several possible futures for the legacy of the site after 2010, proposing a new civic, cultural and consulate core for Shanghai. An urban cellular network is proposed to configure a thick, deep and ‘multiplicitous’ urban ground strata for the Expo 2010 and to endure beyond. The spatial cells and connections are proposed to extend laterally across the site and to grow vertically in a series of new iterative tower typologies that define a coherent yet differentiated organisation of sectional movement in a diversity of scales, densities, heights and programmatic ‘mixities’. Various site-scaled systems are coded with specific rules of growth and expansion configured from straight line segments to articulate gradual spatial transitions and subdivisions with a segmented mathematical approach to the formation of curvilinear spaces and structures. Curved surface modules are controlled locally within bounding discreet volumes and are arrayed serially at various scales to form aggregate building structures, space dividers, porous facade systems achieving high orders of organisational complexity resulting from simple local rules.
Cellular ‘Network’ City was presented in front of the AA School of Architecture Candidacy Jury on the 25th of January 2008, thus concluding a 16-months of group design research in Parametric Urbanism, and leading to the award of MArch Degree in Architecture and Urbanism.
Team members involved in the project were Jinqi Huang, Junkai Jian and Lina Ahmad.