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FISH : The project is located in the 32/4 Hill Plot in the 39 Neighborhood, Changning District, Shanghai, adjacent to Zhongshan Park and the bustling commercial area of Yuyuan Road, with convenient transportation and a large flow of people and vehicles on the main road. The site is located on Fenggang Road, surrounded by a number of residential communities, which brings a high residential density. However, due to the lack of green space and public space in this area, the overall atmosphere was relatively crowded and depressing. Considering the main user groups of the site, this design aims to open the public interface of the city and increase the green space, while offering a quiet change of pace from the downtown bustle and providing the surrounding residents with a community backyard with both viewing and relaxing functions.
原貌 Original site
The original situation of the site was surrounded by enclosing walls, within which were several temporary sheds. The form of this area is closed and narrow, the land resources are limited, and the living conditions around are complex. The west side of the site is backed by the fence and the building gable, behind which are mostly old bungalows, and the building façade is not continuous. The site is directly opposite the vegetable market, which attracts a large flow of people during the morning and evening shopping hours. The street is narrowed, which will cause a certain degree of congestion, but it also endows the site with the potential to become a community communication center in the future.
▽改造前场地现状 Original site condition
The main purpose of this project is to create a high-quality urban public green space with both ecological and aesthetic value, which would open the interface, converge and unify the surrounding chaotic environmental elements, provide a place for community residents to gather and relax, and re-stimulate the vitality of the community. After the site demolition was completed, we carried out many rounds of discussion, and finally decided to transform the site in four steps: erecting the pergola, paving the floor, laying the tree, and placing the stone.
▽场地轴测图 Site axonometric drawing
起架 Erecting the pergola
How does the implanted landscape element connect community relationships and provide an open “sanctuary” for surrounding residents? How does it echo the narrow and long site form? We immediately thought of a linea pergola with its back against the gable of the building across the site. After repeated and rigorous structural deliberation and form adjustment, we finally chose an interspersed frame structure to build this strip-shaped structure so that it can provide a shelter function while having good permeability and openness.
▽开放的“庇护所”廊架 Open “Shelter” pergola
▽廊架剖面图 Pergola section drawing
The folded plate top echoes the sloping roof of the building on the west side. In terms of the material selection, we went with stainless steel to guarantee the strength and durability of the pergola structure. We boldly used high-saturation yellow spray paint on the entire structure to make it more noticeable, so that it creates bright colors in the surrounding environment in low-saturation color to form a visual focus and attract people to go. In addition, this choice of color echoes the warm color of the building walls behind the site. Therefore, although the structure is eye-catching, it still harmonizes with the background environment.
▽节点轴测图 Node axonometric drawing
▽廊架结构爆炸图 Pergola structure exploded drawing
Inside the pergola, the top surface is made of continuous corrugated metal plates to form a sparkling reflective effect, which adds interest and weakens the oppression at the top of the frame. When the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, the shadows of the trees, the shadows of the pergola, and the reflection of the corrugated plates work in concert with each other, creating vivid and rich changes of light and shadow inside the pergola.
▽廊架内部金属波纹板细节 Metal corrugated panel detail inside the pergola
When people walk through it, the orderly arrangement of colonnades and changing lights and shadows create a strong sense of the passage, allowing people to relax in a trance. Clean, white-washed stone floors and bench enhance the under-the-eaves area’s simplicity and purity, enhancing the sense of community as people pass through, rest, play, and watch at the same time.
铺地 Paving the floor
After considering the pergola, it was time to think about the hard paving connecting the pergola to the street. To leave more site area for greenery, we used simple and restrained lines to extend the geometric order of the pergola. Also, we cleverly handled the vertical difference from the street to the floor of the pergola with stepped hard stacking. The floor is lined with black volcanic rock, gray granite, and white-washed stone plates, which make the ground rich in color change, further enhancing the sense of geometry and making the space more delicate and interesting.
▽节点轴测图 Node axonometric drawing
On the north side of the site, the larger side near the three-fork pedestrian junction, the designer tightens the hard edge with a wide-washed stone lounge chair, inviting people to gather. They can sit, semi-recline, climb, and play over here. The outdoor openness of the lounge chair is greater than that of the pergola’s interior space, giving users more options for resting areas while also giving the location more character and interest.
▽躺椅与铺地 Lounge and paving
布树 Laying the tree
To improve the ecological and aesthetic value of the site, we carefully chose a number of stunning and artistic mature Japanese maple and hackberry clumps to transplant into the site, and we repeatedly adjusted each tree’s points and orientations on-site so that it achieved the best skeleton effect, supplemented by neat shrub hedges, forming a rich vertical plant structure. It is worth mentioning that the building wall on the north side of the site has been brushed out of its concave and mottled texture due to the use of special technology, which is very clean and attractive, and we deliberately keep it from being obscured by plants, making it the background of the entire site, further increasing the vertical hierarchy of the site.
▽丰富的场地立面层次 Richly layered site facade
We used clea meadows to soften the transition interface between the pergola and the street, allowing for more room for people to move. Under the eaves of the pergola, the transition from soft to hard is achieved by neat rows of Hairawn muhly, which keep the space under the eaves clean and pure and also make the space in the pergola more dreamy.
▽风拂动下的粉黛乱子草 Hairawn muhly stirred by the breeze
置石 Placing the stone
The original stone placement scheme was to match the Japanese maple, creating a simple and clean courtyard effect. The crane’s working space is, however, severely constrained by the high-voltage line and the nearby street tree. Even if the interference factor were to be eliminated, the crane would still likely hit the recently transplanted Japanese maple and break its stunning branches. To ensure the integrity of the shape of each tree and not destroy its atmosphere, the previous stone placement plan had to be abandoned. We took a different approach in situ, which is bounding the back of a chaise longue and creating a rock garden through the staggered placement of stones and perennial flowers.
▽自然野趣的岩石花园 Wild and natural rock garden
In practice, we first arranged and appropriately buried the pre-selected stones in this rectangular small space, and then temporarily selected rosemary, China lotusdaisy, tulbaghia violacea, iris, molasses grass, nassella tenuissima and miscanthus sinensis as materials from the nursery base, and repeatedly adjusted the planting location and group distribution around the stone in the form of potted plants to confirm that the best effect was achieved before formally planting them. This small garden is rich in color and goes up and down, which makes it full of wildness, and form a great contrast with the modern courtyard beside. Also, it dissolves the slightly embarrassing negative space caused by the inclination of the recliner back, and has become a wild space with a unique charm.
开放 Open to the public
Less than one hour after the construction fences were removed, a mass of surrounding residents flooded into the site, and everyone was excited and happy to use the open public green space. The elderly rested quietly on the pergola benches, children climbed and played in the recliners under the care of their parents, and the young people took their pets for a walk or brought their cameras to photograph. The vitality and cohesion of a community are on display in this small pocket park.
▽改造后的场地成为人们喜爱的社区口袋花园 The transformed site becomes a community pocket garden that people loved
▽施工过程 Construction process
设计团队：潘山 潘晶 李木子 杨玉鹏 蹇卓君
Project Name: Pocket Park: Fenggang Greenbelt
Project Location: Changning District, Shanghai
DesignTeam: Shan Pan, Jing Pan, Muzi Li, Yupeng Yang, Zhuojun Jian
Landscape Area: 1200㎡
Design Time: July 2021
Completion Time: October 2022
Photography: Shan Pan
Author: Zhuojun Jian
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