Thanks LANDAU for authorizing the publication of the project on mooool, Text description provided by LANDAU.



LANDAU:As a participant in the landscape design work and a witness in the whole construction process, I would like to tell you a story about the Shanghai · COLUMBIA CIRCLE · Old City Reconstruction Project. Special thanks to Shanghai Vanke, OMA, WEST-8, BPI, Shanghai East China Design Institute and their artists for the collaboration in the design process.



寻找前世定今生  Look for the Past & Decide the Nowadays 

上生新所所在地块内有3栋历史建筑,原项目称作哥伦比亚生活圈(Columbia Circle),是当时外籍侨民运动、休闲、娱乐以及聚会的主要高档场所,是普通平民只能经过仰望之地。而对中国近代建筑史有着深远影响的匈牙利建筑师邬达克又在此地留下了一栋具有三十四年代殖民装饰风格的别墅。因为别墅的主人曾是孙科先生,又为它的身上烙印了历史的发展进程见证者徽记。

The site has three historical buildings once known as Columbia Circle, which was the main high-end club for foreign nationality to exercise, relax, entertain and party at that time. It was a place where ordinary people could not touch but look up. Further, the Hungarian architect Laszlo Hudec, who had a profound influence on the modern architectural history of China, designed a villa with colonial decoration style in the 1930s and 1940s. And the villa has been marked as a witnesses of the history process to move forward a single step for his once owner Sun Ke.




Today, it is still located in the most prosperous area, in the center of Shanghai, to radiate Shanghai urban culture, education, green space and office area within 1 km. Open the dust-laden door hidden for seventy years, with its mottled walls, destructive repair marks and haphazard overlap of temporary structures, only plants and cats can enjoy an uninterrupted rest here.



旧改项目的痛点  The Pain-Point of the Renovation Project 



COLUMBIA CIRCLE’s architectural style actually covers every period of the last century, and the style is syncretic. The client hired OMA, one of the world’s leading architectural firms specializing in design and renovation to interpret the characteristics of each place through the study. The designer adopted Mondrian style for grid layout and as a result, the landscape design here becomes a large checkerboard, which needs to be coordinated and safe enough to hold up the story logic of all the architectural forms.

As a large commercial complex with 49,000 square meters, the project site does not have a great advantage: access to the main city road (West Yan’an Road) is very narrow and old buildings line both east and west; West side Panyu Junction is original Sun Ke Villa’s entrance. It is covert and implicit; The other west side is Anxi Road as planning road; South side is Niuqiao Road; it gets through the old neighborhoods; Where do people come from?





Utilization of Site Resources

The plants in the plot are lush and clear. From the beginning of the design, it shall be adopted for the maximum conservation and utilization. Add the current entrance elevation of each building on site to determine the vertical design, drainage design and pavement design of outdoor roads.



商业综合体空间  Commercial Complex Space 


The entrance of the most prosperous municipal interface
The final design to be conducted is pure; it has got rid of all the first drafts of complex project designs. White ceiling LOGO, white building, white sculpture, even if a small number of signs are hidden in the green wall.




红毯广场是本案中最大的一块场地,有60x35m,方案设计师对标了相近尺度的巴黎Stravinsky喷泉广场和意大利维罗纳delle Erbe广场,将它被定义为一个多功能的室外集会的中心,未来承载各种活动举办的可能性。微微的2公分水面及繁复的地面石材拼花也是极大挑战了设计师和施工者的精湛技艺。

Gathering Plaza

The Red Carpet Square is the largest site in this case, with area of 60x35m. The project designers have benchmarked the similar scale of Stravinsky Fountain Square in Paris and delle Erbe Square in Verona, Italy, and defined it as the center of a multi-functional outdoor gathering, bearing the possibility of holding various activities in the future. Water surface with depth of only 2 cm and complex ground stone parquet also greatly challenged the designers and builders of exquisite skills.





Social space

Magnolia Square is the core area of the case, surrounded and wrapped by buildings, camphor and magnolia grandiflora. The trees are beautifully shaped and shaded by the wind to offer a most ideal space for close communication between people. As a result, only the trees are preserved, and the green space is changed to pavement. But in the construction drawing design, we found that there is a difference in height of about 1m between the four buildings. After determining the reasonable vertical elevation of the square, it was found that the local trees and soil balls were higher than the site elevation. Finally, adjust measures to local conditions, the trees have been built to be a colored pond, also added a place for occasional rest.



商业空间细节设计  Detail Design of Commercial space 



Preserve the history in the renovation

In the process of design, the designers consulted and searched a large number of historical materials of architecture, and made one-to-one correspondence from the black-and-white photos that could be found in the archives and the book office to the scene. As Mr. Liang Sicheng said, our profession and social responsibility guide us to protect the crystallization of human wisdom. Restore the old appearance of the building history, do rescue restoration and do not let a new round of commercial construction damage the history. It is also the core guiding ideology of the most important work in the urban renewal design.





Pavement Design

The forms of architecture are varied. We have considered the colors that can be the background color of a checkerboard. The best solution is definitely green grass, which is the most inclusive of all, but as a commercial project, it is not suitable. Warm color is soft and inclusive; Dark gray is neutral and low-key; Black, as the edge, clear and strong, can coordinate a variety of color transition. During the stage of preparation for construction, we searched ore samples of these three colors throughout the country and after comparison, the sample is sealed. And then, we began to make floor parquet samples. Discuss the actual joint proportions and joint radians by referring to the above information to achieve quality product control in the early stage of construction.




Propose the concept of “paving area for building base”. Because of the diversity and complexity of the building, the large stone slab road will be chopped up when encountering these lines and a large amount of cutting on site will result in insufficient fineness, and the construction period will be affected. We changed the paving materials in the “base paving area of the building” to use 100×100 small marbles to add a “cushion” under the building, which was delicate but stable; the overall paving is rigorous, echoing the architectural Mondrian style for grid layout planning concept.




Vertical and drainage problems are the most difficult problems in the old project. First, accurately map the elevation of each building entrance, and then map the earth ball elevation of each tree. When we got the field survey data, we found that the elevation of the site in this case was lower than that of the municipal road; the Columbia Country Club has sunk 50 cm into the ground because of the overall settlement of the building, and the ground level of each building is different. Unlike heavy excavation in new projects, what the renovation of old buildings can do is to minimize the damage to the base pavement and correct to a level that can be balanced everywhere. Then we should determine whether the rainwater collection form is line drainage or point drainage, and access the rainwater well nearby. But there’s only one problem you have to make sure– for commercial projects, there shall be no water on the ground, no water in the rainstorm as design requirements that must be met.





Details and Feelings

As a “cultural and creative” business center, Shangsheng–Xinsuo is different from the sameness of shopping malls and office buildings, and needs to take humanity and feelings as the design language. This design symbol integrates history, spirit, culture, exquisite life idea. Just like a floor drain, an inspection well cover, and carvings on the floor– they will cause tourists to stop. History is ancient, but the outdoor signs and cloth, using black and stainless steel, is full of modern sense, while it is also calm and solemn, together with the overall environmental effect to appear a condition being both unified and unique.




The power of humanity cannot be produced by strange shape exaggerated design-products or expensive material accumulation. In Shangsheng-Xinsuo, a lot of stories and art climb up the old walls, as well as the black and white history infuse into the new era of color. The old city of Shanghai increasingly followed the same path of urban development focused on conservation and development, just as many cities in developed countries we visited.



结语  Conclusion


This is the west of Shanghai, which contains a lot of past events. Designers brushed the dust of history through paper and pen, and they gifted a space new life. In the days to come, we believe that in many other urban centers, there will be many dusty treasures that need to be carefully sorted out and excavated.





Client: Vanke
Location: No. 1262 yan’an west road, Shanghai
Architectural master plan: OMA
Architectural later period designs: Shanghai east China design institute
Landscape master plan: WEST-8
Landscape detailed design and construction: LANDAU
Lighting design: BPI


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