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Change Studio: Forgotten run-down warehouses and factory floors have been rejuvenated by the influx of cultural and creative industries. While being transformed with a new lease of life, the area becomes a hybrid of post-industrial park and urban space – what we call a Thriving Neighbourhood.Buildings and completion of landscape are only the start. We have left space for neighbourhoods in the area to grow. After people start to work, ship, gather, and live here, buildings and landscape will grow upon human interactions, ever-improving along with the transformation of the city.
▼铁轨下的文创小镇 FUNS iTown amid elevated railway
The project is located between East Fourth Ring and East Fifth Ring roads of Beijing, fragmented by several railways. It was the warehouse of Beijing Glass Company prior to 2015. Some of them were used to store glasses, some were leased out to paint and lime factories, while others were used as workers’ dormitories. Redevelopment plans have given this fringe area of historic significance and unique environment possibility of improvement. It was also made the polit section of the area’s redevelopment.
▼周边关系 Project Surroundings
Six railways cut through the project area. A series of commercial, office, recreational, and creative zones dotted across what were factories and warehouses, forming a new hybrid community. As the landscape designer, Change Studio planned the most optimised transport links that connect the fragmented neighbourhoods, together with other contractors and the client. The result is integral and multifunctional. Through the designing process we aspired to optimise the technology and usage of materials, so as to control cost and leave buffer for the project’s operations later on.
▼平面图 Site plan
▼轴测图 Axonometric drawing
桥上的风景和桥下的生活 Scenery and life around the railway bridge
Buildings with light grey walls and sloped tops dotted across the area, long with modern well-lit venues. Roaring trains pass by and weave together the past, now, and future, giving the town some weight of history and sense of literature and arts.
Waiting for the next train to pass by while sitting at the café by the road is a popular pastime. Trains with green carriages of the old days give off industrial glory of the last century. They share this moment with static buildings and humans, each subtly connected to one another. The space under the railway bridges is liberated from the function of the railway, becoming the interface between public space and roads. These plots of new spaces provide a lot of recreational and enjoyable environment along the blocks, with terrain management and the introduction of plants. Some under-bridge spaces were designed into parking lots, competing the functions of the blocks. Other parking spaces are outside the main town area, saving the town centre for pedestrians and non-vehicle transport.
▼轨道功能分解 Sub-railway space illustration
▼铁轨下的生活 Life under railway bridge
▼铁轨下的空间连接两边的街道 Space under the bridge connects the blocks on two sides
▼通过地形的设计和植物的引入提供了许多舒适的轨道下的休闲场所 Terrain management and introduction of plants provided pleasant recreational space
▼利用轨道下的空间来停车，完善了街区的功能配套 Utilisation of under-bridge space as parking lots completes neighbourhood functions
留白 Blank space
街巷是小镇最重要、最复杂的核心体系，我们把它设计成一个连续的、灵活的共享空间，将公共和私属部分编织在一起。小镇内有许多优秀建筑师的作品，我们用化繁为简的设计策略整合街巷，并最大化的突出建筑丰富的形态。大部分场所为流通和灵活的活动留下了开放 的公共空间。比如等火车的花园 、轮滑广场、街角艺廊等等。当火车开过的时候，当商家精心的布置成为街头最吸引人焦点的时候，当轮滑广场充满人气的时候，这才是街区生活最美的风景。
The roads are the most important and complex core systems of the town. We designed them as continuous, nimble, and sharing spaces, with some public and private spaces interconnecting. The town has a lot of works by top architects, so we integrated their works into parts of the roads, minimising the designing of the roads and maximising the rich forms of the architecture. Most venues have left ample open space for activities, such as parks for train spotting, roller skating square, and the art gallery at the street corner. The most beautiful time of the neighbourhood is when people are drawn to shops’ exquisite decorations, and when the roller-skating square is full of people.
▼概念手稿 Concept draft
▼等火车的花园 Ideal park for train spotting
▼呼啸而过的绿皮火车 Roaring trains with green carriages
▼街角的风景 Street corner
▼人的融入才是小镇生活最美的风景 Humans are the most beautiful scenery of the town
▼轮滑广场 Roller skating square
▼小镇街景 Street view of the town
▼小镇内精彩的建筑作品 Magnificent buildings in the town
Neighbourhood flooring utilises modularised light weight cement blocks, which are easy and fast to implement, and save as much as 50% construction cost. In the park that people wait to see trains passing by, installment from recycled cement blocks created new atmosphere.
▼模块化的混凝土铺地 Modularised concrete flooring
不断生长和进化 Ever-growing and evolving
Rich greenery of the streets are an important component of the biodiversity of the town. Trees, vines, and climbers with flowers contrast with buildings. The greenery adds warms to cold cement spaces. We also carefully designed resting spaces along the greeneries.
▼繁茂的、生机盎然的植物与小镇一起生长 Flourishing flora grow together with the town
▼照片记录下不同时期的植物空间 Photos of plants in different periods
▼不同时期的照片也记录下了小镇的变化 Photographs from different periods, recording the changes in the town
The unique aspect of the project is the co-existence between tenants and the spaces under the client’s control. This is realised under the macro coordination of the operator and relied on active public participation in design and the recreation of public spaces. This is a new way of life. With the addition of filming studios, art centres, recording studios, among other things, more events and activities will take place, such as forums and cocktail receptions. These events keep the neighbourhood alive and provide the public with new and developing platforms. iTown is a new generation of public space that’s taking place instead of finished by design. This visionary openness give others space to leave their mark as the city develops.
▼共建、开放、包容、多元的小镇环境，可以容纳各种配套空间 Co-built, open, inclusive, diverse environment, accommodate a variety of supporting space
▼小镇被设计成为正在进行的场所，一起期待岁月的雕琢 The town is designed as a place in progress, looking forward to the sculpting of the years together
The project demonstrated how forgotten spaces are transformed into attractive venues, supporting elasticity for society, culture, environment, and economy. Materialising this level of cultural sustainability and aesthetics that catches eyes demands complex collaboration between the designers, engineers, investors, and the community. Thriving Neighbourhood can be a solution to a lot of challenges in modern city planning: appropriate intervention and intentional hands-off, creating room for joint efforts from multidiscipline teams.
Project Name: Beijing Xidian FUNS iTown
Location: Gaobeidian, Chaoyang, Beijing
Area: 3 ha
Client: Fan Tian(Beijing) Group
Landscape Design: Change Studio
Photography: Wang Ning
审稿编辑 任廷会 – Ashley Jen
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