End-of-studies Design Project Teaching Ecosystems / Natural environments Livability / Social Practices Obsolescence / Renewal / Recycling
Yangpu Qu
New Jiangwan City, Shanghai, China

The Warehouse Transformation in New Jiangwan City

Transformation of an industrial wasteland into a third-place and start-up incubator
Original language
University course
Double Master's Degree Program ENSAS-CAUP Tongji

Like the innovative and attractive Wujiaochang urban center located in the south of the new city, New Jiangwan City is part of the new promise of urban innovation highlighted by the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai entitled "Better city, better life", in a context of overpollution that affects the major Chinese and global megacities. Thus, Shanghai's political leaders have defined New Jiangwan City as a "smart city" and "Eco-City" contributing to the Chinese urban and economic showcase. In fact, it is home to the headquarters of Nike China. In the new city live about 40,000 inhabitants (average age 40 years) out of the 100,000 originally planned. It represents a part of the population of the Shanghai elite (academics and CEOs). This results in a lack of social and urban life called the "rèqì" 熱氣, translating to "urban heat".

The site is located in the west of New Jiangwan and borders the major road axis that crosses the city from east to west and surrounded by huge road avenues (2x 5 lanes). The wasteland is composed of 3 buildings aligned creating a long strip measuring 260 meters long, 26 meters high and 21 meters wide. The structure of the whole building is made of steel and forms a post and beam system highlighting the flexibility of the layout and the architectural possibilities to integrate functions or elements in drawers in the metal framework.

Therefore, in view of the existing infrastructure, taking into account the two urban phenomena raised, which are, the weak urban social dynamics weighing on the city's economy, and the encouraged use of the car at the expense of soft transportation, how could we create a welcoming, dynamic, economically viable and environmentally friendly place that could combine formal and informal spaces while promoting the "Smart" and "Eco" character of New Jiangwan City?

In response to this problem, the general concept is to propose a spatial structure, a third place, creating the framework for economic activities cohabiting with informal activities (urban agriculture, space for collective sports and dance sessions, etc.), based on one of the most singular places of New Jiangwan City, an 80-year-old industrial wasteland, testimony of the past and contrasting with the contemporary buildings of the surrounding districts.

Moreover, the integration and manufacture of a new soft mobility, constituting the economic heart and the image of this new innovative district, by the creation of a laboratory factory, a kind of "POP UP factory" which will change the manufacture of product according to the urban needs having for trademark New Jiangwan City becoming the city of the innovative mobility. Like the pearl necklace strategy, this new economic system as well as its social and urban attractiveness is based on the presence and use of the green and blue frameworks producing informal activity as structuring elements where leisure activities are developed along the quays. Along the pedestrianized banks, other functions are grafted onto the site, such as Fudan University, the Bay Valley science and technology park, the numerous student residences and the multifunctional district to the north along the Huangpu River, creating a metropolitan connection that generates a significant flow of citizens. The objective is to generate a low-tech and energy self-sufficient place thanks to the natural elements that the site benefits from: a continuous sea wind, the presence of a large waterway (22 meters wide) and the strong presence of the sun throughout the year.

Thus, this building of another time, established in this generic Chinese city, will form an innovative place of work and urban break thanks to the presence of establishments of restoration, culture and urban agriculture mixed with many spaces of informality.

Keywords urban renewal, industrial heritage, urban infrastructure, public space, New Jiangwan City