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



SHUISHI: “If more passive corners are turned to daily landscape that residents can use frequently, we can get a double advantage to let block renovation guide more positive public space order.”——SHUISHI Urban Regeneration Center





Tianlin Sub-district, which hosts the project, is one of the first demonstration blocks of the “15-minute living circle” in Shanghai. After completing the upgrading and transformation of the commercial interface of Tianlin Road in 2019, SHUISHI participated in the street space renewal of Tianlin East Road. On the 1.5km eastward extended section of Tianlin Road, there were many residential and commercial buildings built in different ages and with different spatial characteristics of Tianlin New Village, resulting in a rich and changeable street interface and many pocket sites. Before the renovation, most of these irregular shaped street sites were occupied by various informal ways, which were unreasonable parking, or debris stacking, or inaccessible bushes. Starting from exploring the characteristics of Tianlin community, SHUISHI and Tianlin Sub-district focused on the topic of how to transform these pocket spaces, combined solving the existing contradictions with creating new sites to serve the community life, and launched transformation of “new community spaces” in Tianlin East Road.


▽田林东路沿线多样化的公共空间形态 Diversified public space forms along Tianlin East Road


田林路上的社区生活 Community Life on Tianlin Road


According to the survey data, nearly a quarter of the permanent residents in the Tianlin East Road section are people over 60 years old, and many core families have moved here because of the educational resources in the region. For Tianlin New Village, public space here is especially lacking. When we saw that the community residents often gathered and chatted at the entrance and exit of the renovated community on Tianlin Road, we thought of further using the sites on both sides of Tianlin East Road to create more outdoor activity venues for the elderly and children in the community.


▽改造后的小区入口空间增添了休息亭 Rest pavilion added to community entrance after transformation



In the communication with the residents, we found that the literary atmosphere was a major feature of the Tianlin community life. Many of the earliest residents in the Tianlin East Road New Village had the background of engaging in technical or literary and artistic creation work. Many residents of the community liked to perform, and often gave spontaneous performances in the square in front of the community activity center. At the same time, art and technology creation are important themes of the children’s extracurricular life in Tianlin community. Many schools in the Tianlin community have kept a lot of children’s works. So we were wondering whether we could put these highlights of the community life on the street display interface in the block updates.


▽田林三中的学生作品 Student works of Tianlin No.3 Middle School



串联家与城市的“口袋式网络 A “pocket network” that connects homes and cities


We hoped to change the way people use the road through the landscape renovation of the street corners and the infrastructure space, and create a safer and more convenient slow traffic system for the community. To this end, we collected various complaints and suggestions from residents about the use of these sites, and identified nearly 10 different street pockets after weeks of repeated field research. Most of them stretched only 20 to 50 square meters, but through the fine design, they are transformed into a positive nodes for the block life.


▽将大数据分析作为口袋空间落位的依据 Big data analysis used as basis for pocket space placement

▽田林东路上的多个街道口袋构成对街道不同人群的服务点 Multiple street pockets on Tianlin East Road constitute service outlets for different groups of people in the street



We take the network linked by these pocket spaces as a slow traffic system that connects the “15-minute community life circle.” This system is composed of road landscape and a series of functional service points, which connect residents’ homes and the city, and serve as a place for community life and community culture precipitation and accumulation.


▽基于街道慢行系统而形成的“十五分钟生活圈“模型 The “15-minute life circle” model based on street slow traffic system


大板楼前的立体台阶 The three-dimensional steps in front of the Daban Building


“Daban Building” (slab-type apartment building) is the designer’s nickname for the high-rise residential buildings along the street of Tianlin Xinyuan. As one of the earliest high-rise collection residences in Shanghai, it not only has a high and long characteristic image in the volume, but also has a commercial corridor more than 1 meter high from the ground. The business corridor with a total length of more than 80 meters originally had a harmonious scale relationship with the street. The building vacated a triangular square on the side facing the street, and had the shelter of a big tree. However, before the renovation, the open space in front of the shops was filled with annoying parked cars. The entrances of the shops were surrounded by all kinds of parked cars. In addition, with the narrow steps, pedestrians were hard to approach the shops, so the quality of the street shop format was also difficult to improve.


▽改造前大板楼前被停车占满 Before the renovation, the front of Daban Building was filled by parked cars



“Give it back to the pedestrian space.” “Give pedestrians a better line of sight. Give shops more external service areas.” In the early discussions of the plan, almost everyone agreed that occupying the street pavement for parking was a disturbance to public life. Therefore, our proposed plan to move the steps outward and widen the front areas of the shops was successfully recognized by the sub-district and shops.


▽大板楼前区台阶的前移,将室外场地划分出了两个标高的空间 The front area steps of Daban Building are moved forward to divide the outdoor site into two elevation spaces



After the renovation, there are two spaces with different heights in front of the Daban Building. One group, 1 meter above the road surface, is directly connected to the entrances of the shops, connecting three outer service areas and the large ramp connecting with the road surface on both ends. The other group is a small square surrounded by curved low walls, installed with seats combined with the steps, ideal for children to play.


▽矮墙恰到好处地围出了路边的小广场与可以俯望街道的商廊前区The low wall ideally encloses the roadside square and the front commercial corridor to look over the street



The renovation of the steps was recognized by the residents during the construction period. More people liked to pass on high places. After the renovation, Tianlin Sub-district actively promoted the adjustment of the business formats and the acquisition of outdoor furniture. Fresh food shops, flower shops, pastry shops and other community businesses were gradually introduced to the Daban Building. We can often see old people in wheelchairs come to buy things here, or gather outside the shops to chat about their home lives.


▽商铺前区的拓宽提供了居民的交流空间和商铺的经营环境 The widened front area of shops provides a communication space for residents and a business environment for shops


▽改造后台阶与坡道的错落设置兼顾了,人们出行使用中的便利性与街边景观的围合感 After the transformation, the scattered setting of the steps and ramps is taken into account, for the convenience of people getting around and the sense of closure of the street landscape




In the planning of the pocket space, we paid special attention to supplement the details of contemporary life. For example, by increasing ramps and reasonably reducing the width of the steps, we are to meet the actual needs of people. We will also supplement the design of night lighting to meet people’s habit of cooling at night in summer. We will partially widen the narrow area of the sidewalk to ensure the passage of wheelchairs. The lighting layout revolves around the eaves of the shops and the edges of low walls. We gently brighten the boundary of the site with flood light to provide a more comfortable and safe atmosphere for the night activities.


▽改造后的商铺前扩宽的大平台和坡道,保证轮椅的通行以及方便居民购物 The enlarged platform and ramp in front of the shops after the renovation ensure the passage of wheelchairs and convenience for residents to shop


▽室外环境的夜间光环境设计,大大提升了场地的安全性和使用时长The night light environment design of the outdoor environment greatly improves the safety and use duration of the site



废弃杂物间变社区艺术空间 Abandoned rubbish turns into a community art space


The renovation of the utility room at the entrance of Tianlin Xinyuan is a typical case of transforming the function and use order of idle space. Before the renovation, it was the vacant bungalow on the side of the guard room and the small outdoor space. Due to the closed line of sight and inaccessibility, it was a sanitary dead angle of the entrance of the community.


▽改造前的杂物间(左)与被围墙挡住的卫生死角(右)The utility room (left) and the sanitary dead corner blocked by the wall (right) before the renovation



“We hope to change the environment here with an active use of space, and make it a beneficial space for the residents of the community.”

In the renovation plan, we removed the fragmentary partition wall of the utility room and changed the room into a complete space with double-sided lighting, so that there was an activity space that could accommodate dozens of people. We changed the inclined windows of the facade into vertical windows with windowsills, let the children put their art works around the room, and surrounded a circle of low seats around the windows, so that more children can lie on the windowsills to see the lively activities inside.


▽改造后的艺术空间,为社区艺术作品的展示提供了充分的展示空间 The transformed art space provides sufficient display space for the display of community art works




We tried our best to open every indoor and outdoor side, providing venues and landscapes accessible to the public view, and making every corner a part that can be shared by public activities. In the outdoor green space, we created a small open space and a flower path, connecting a walking passage from the community to Tianlin East Road. Both sides of the passage are decorated with different height flower pools and plants, as a space for the activity rooms to extend outdoors. Lawn lights are also lit up at night to light the way home for people coming home late.





In the joint planning with Tianlin Sub-district, this space can be used as an art classroom for the children in the Tianlin community. In fact, shortly after the completion, the Shanghai Urban Space Art Season chose here as the community art museum of “Blossoming Pu Hui Tang”, and held community cultural activities for nearly a month.


▽2022年上海城市空间艺术季期间,在社区美术空间里举行的活动 During the 2022 Shanghai Urban Space Art Season, activities were held in the community art space



街边暗角落变社区文化橱窗 Dark corners on the street turned into community cultural showcases


“Tian Yi Hui” was designed for cultural transformation of the outer wall of the campus of Tianlin No.3 Middle School. It was previously the outer wall of the school’s art and science and technology teaching building. The wall of the first floor was about 2 meters high and 70 meters long. Before the renovation, this wall lacked light and was not eye-catching, and often became a hard knot of sanitation cleaning.


▽改造前的围墙是街边不起眼的角落The wall before the renovation was a humble corner of the street




“If this corner can get more attention from people, the negative problems will naturally be resolved.” After visiting the school’s characteristic courses and student works with Principal Li of No.3 Middle School, we thought of moving the students’ works from inside the wall to the outside of the wall. The renovated “Tian Yi Hui” contains 6 show windows and 7 booths, which are mainly used to display the art and technology works of the students from Tianlin No.3 Middle School and the content related to the cultural life of the Tianlin community. It is expected that “Tian Yi Hui” could observe the rapid changes of the Tianlin community from the perspective of the children, and describe the beautiful future of Tianlin through the children’s imagination and creation.

In early 2022, Tianlin Sub-district, Tianlin No.3 Middle School and SHUISHI jointly planned the first exhibition of “Tian Yi Hui”. The children of the No.3 Middle School personally arranged their calligraphy works and book labels in the windows, and the construction achievements of the “15-minute life circle” of Tianlin community were also displayed. In the process of setting up the exhibition, many residents stopped to watch and repeatedly thumbed up for the children. In this process, we also saw the spread of the community culture in the display and reading, and new sparks sprouted in the understanding and response.


▽田林三中的学生们将自己的作品布置到街边的橱窗里 Students from Tianlin No.3 Middle School put their works in the street show windows


▽水石设计师与田林三中老师商讨布展事宜 SHUISHI designer discussed with Tianlin No.3 Middle School teacher about the exhibition arrangement


▽过路人为布展的孩子们竖起拇指 Passers-by thumbed up for the children arranging the exhibition


▽田艺荟中展出学生作品 Students’ works on display (photo source: Tianlin No.3 Middle School)


▽田艺荟中展出了田林社区“十五分钟生活圈”的建设成果 Exhibited construction achievements of the “15-minute living circle” in Tianlin Community



街道视觉秩序的整理 Arrangement of street visual order


Tianlin East Road is lined with shops of rich forms and community service facilities. In the renovation of multiple points, we start from the street visual order, adjust the building facade materials, colors and shop signboard order, depicting decent facade expressions for the streets with a breath of life while keeping the rich styles of the buildings.


▽店招改造前 Before shop sign renovation

▽店招改造后 After shop sign renovation


▽体育大厦改造前 Before the renovation of the Sports Building

▽体育大厦改造后 After the renovation of the Sports Building



▽保留原始建筑风貌的同时刻画社区的烟火气 Keep the original architectural style while depicting the vitality of the community



让街道口袋空间承载街区的生活 Let the street pocket space carry the life of the block


We have transformed about 10 gray corners, large and small, into pocket green spaces or facilities serving residents, supplementing the service functions and communication places for nearby residents and businesses, and bringing more vibrant public life scenes to the neighborhood. All the pockets participate in the governance of the community in the way of everyday landscape, creating a sustainable environment through economical and sustainable materials. More importantly, the community and surrounding urban areas are more closely connected with rich street activities and space links, actively showing the community culture based on sharing and understanding. There are both the breath of life and order, and human touch, so that the vitality of the old community continues to boost the development of the city.







Project name: Public space improvement of Tianlin East Road Sub-district, Xuhui District, Shanghai
Proprietor information: Tianlin Sub-district, Xuhui District, Shanghai
Project location: Tianlin East Road (section between Liuzhou Road and Caoxi Road)
Completion date: January 2022
Design consultant: Shen He
Street space planning and spatial scheming: SHUISHI Urban Regeneration Center 、Halcrow planning big data
Block building renovation design: SHUISHI Urban Regeneration Center
Block landscape renovation design: SHUISHI landscape Department III
Block vision and guide design: SHUISHI Technology R&D Center -Urban Space Vision Design Office
Photography: Yang Yang, Wang Xiu
Article: Dong Yijia




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