New York practice, Ennead Architects is designing a new research and development community in Shanghai, China. The project, Taopu Sci-Tech City, is located on the western edge of Shanghai and is part of a new district being planned around one of city’s largest future public parks.
Ennead’s competition-winning scheme presents three critical approaches for creating an iconic, connected research and development district. First, the design actively engages its context, creating strong visual, pedestrian and infrastructural connections with the surrounding site, district and city.
Second, the design establishes a unifying architectural language that creates both individual moments and a cohesive identity for the development as a whole.
Last, a network of spaces, both indoor and outdoor, develops a fluid pedestrian experience with memorable urban spaces within the city to support a 24/7, active, mixed-use urban environment.
Peter Schubert, a Partner at Ennead International said: “Our design goal was to create something greater than a single building; our goal was to create a memorable and connected civic district.”
To achieve this goal, and given the relatively low FAR for the project’s various blocks, the design includes a series of linear building edges that enclose five primary public park nodes. Each node creates an individual spatial identity, while together creating a cohesive identity for the entire R&D campus.
Critical to the success of the project is the design’s utilization of a multi-level pedestrian network. Multilayered pedestrian spaces combine the lower ground level, street level and upper ground level together to create a fluid architectural landscape experience that activates symbiotic relationships between retail areas, park spaces and streetscapes. Each public node provides opportunities for the creation of retail hubs at these three primary pedestrian levels, and for clear pedestrian connections to the site’s existing subway and transportation infrastructures.
Sustainable landscape systems are a critical component that help merge the architectural and urban-scale designs with the surrounding landscape and infrastructure. These systems include green roofs and planted terraces, a network of connected ponds and canals, and a connective network of pedestrian pathways and landscape corridors.