SBA completes a new urban green quarter for Shanghai
The EXPO-AXIS, as the entrance building of the World’s Fair 2010 Shanghai, with one of the world’s largest membrane roof, now forms the center of a new quarter of Shanghai. The spatial concept of the EXPO-AXIS combines architecture and landscape, indoor space and outdoor space and, last but not least, overground and underground space. Each level is structured like a city and has alleyways, streets, squares and green areas.
The 'Green Ramp', a modeled embankment, which descends from street level to the level of the first basement floor runs along both the east and west side of the EXPO-AXIS lengthwise for almost a kilometre. It brings the qualities of landscape and urban space to the lower levels. The slopes and flat areas of the Green Ramp then change their width and their angle of inclination so that the contours flow around the small green areas with a flourish.
The seven different Pocket Parks are miniature islands and, by their positions in the Green Ramp, help to generate its lively and dynamic image as a park within a park. Each type has in common an embedded smaller area, the design of which represents the core part of the respective Pocket Park theme. In line with the slogan 'Plaza²', the entrance square spreads across 2 levels: the street level and the -2 level with direct connection to the metro system. Like footprints, oval openings lead towards the first 'Sun Valley', with its silent garden, whose shape dominates the square with an open and inviting gesture.
The water areas create the first link to the river Huangpu at the other end of the EXPO-AXIS with the Ceremony Plaza. Due to its position between the building and the water, the landscape architects of SBA used the element of water in the design of the square and the path to the riverbank. The design of the EXPO-AXIS shows high-quality, urban green and outdoor spaces, in line with the EXPO motto 'Better City, Better Life'. These were developed each time by the architects in conjunction with the building concept. By integrating the landscape into the architectural concept, it was possible to realise the EXPO-AXIS as a built-landscape. With the design of this built-landscape, the architects of SBA have demonstrated how cities of the future relate to the topic of 'Urban Green'.