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Atelier Scale：“Dazheng” is derived from the merger of two national rubber companies: Greater China Rubber Factory and Zhengtai Rubber Factory. Both of them boast numerous milestones in the history of China’s rubber industry. With the deep adjustment of Shanghai’s industrial structure in recent years, the production line of the rubber factory was relocated and the factory was transformed into Vi Park, a park for high-tech enterprises with diversified operations.
1 缘起 Origin
With invitation for transformation, Atelier Scale cooperated with the property owners and professional teams to dynamically transform the factory with a glorious history in the modern era. In the design phase, the top priority is how to balance the “new” and the “old”. We found that we could not simply resort to “retaining” or “rebuilding” the renovation project with complex sites. We need to make flexible and appropriate decisions based on complex on-site conditions, costs, and construction conditions. We believe in the continuity of the factory’s history, and we hope to maintain the fresh vitality of the new park during its historical course through our design efforts.
▽橡胶厂公园鸟瞰图 Aerial view of rubber factory park
2 旧结构 . 新业态 Old Structure. New Pattern
Founded in the 1920s, Greater China Rubber Factory produced the first pair of “Shuangqian” rubber shoes and the first “Warrior” tire in China, which marked the birth of China’s national rubber industry. Originating in 1927, Zhengtai Rubber Factory was the manufacturer of “Warrior”, a time-honored tire brand.
▽大正橡胶厂的历史轨迹 The historical track of Taizheng Rubber Factory
The overall plan for Dazheng Rubber Factory was not made overnight. In over 30 years of industrial development, the factory has been continuously adapting itself to the ever-changing production demand and it has developed into a function-oriented factory with stable and orderly operations.
▽场地厂区结构的布局演变 The evolution of the layout of the plant structure of the site ©大小景观
Dazheng Rubber Factory was transformed into Vi Park, a headquarters park for innovation and R&D enterprises. The new plan not only includes the enterprise office area, but also introduces new business patterns such as supporting commercial and sports facilities so as to provide an open and healthy R&D environment for upcoming enterprise office groups. Besides meeting various business needs, the landscape was also tailored to more diverse outdoor scenarios in order to bring vibrant public life to the community.
▽华谊万创·新所的业态规划 The business planning of Huayi Wanchuang New Office
▽充满活力的公共生活场景 Vibrant public life scene
3 旧空间 . 新体验 Old Space. New Experience
After visiting the site for many times, we have systematically summarized and classified the space in the park. By analyzing spatial types and the site status, we extracted their characteristics and design challenges, which became the bases of the landscape design strategies.
▽场地的空间特质和挑战 Spatial Qualities and Challenges of the Site
▽景观空间设计策略 Landscape Space Design Strategy
大正秀场 Dazheng Square
Dazheng Square is the square between Building 103 and the sidewalk of Humin Road, the main display area facing Humin Road, and the main pedestrian entrance to the park. As the main activity space on Humin Road, the square is expected to offer users and surrounding residents an urban living space with public properties and richer choices of life activities, in addition to visual presentation.
▽大正秀场鸟瞰照 Aerial photo of Taisho show
▽改造前的103厂房及前广场 Factory 103 and the front square before renovation
▽改造后的大正秀场成为公共生活的客厅 The Taisho show after renovation becomes a living room for public life
▽改造前的102厂房和入口广场 Factory 102 and the entrance square before renovation
▽景观材料和颜色与建筑立面相呼应 Landscape materials and colors echo the building facade
▽原广场与城市道路被一堵围墙隔开 The original square is separated from the city road by a wall
▽围墙拆除后的边界成为充满活力的坐席带 The boundary after the demolition of the wall becomes a vibrant seating area
The border between the square and the sidewalk is vital to creating the open and friendly spatial atmosphere. There is a height difference of 300 to 600mm between the site and the municipal sidewalk, which are separated by the factory wall. After removing the wall, we have designed a seating belt facing the square by utilizing the height difference. The seating belt, planting pool, and sliding facilities offer a rest space with a clear view on the side facing the municipal sidewalk and an inward sitting space on the side facing the square.
The decoration extending from the columns of the building resembles tire tracks, echoes the structural frames one by one, and carries forward the historical memory of the building into the new environment.
▽铺装的“胎痕”象征着大正迈向未来的足迹 The “tire marks” on the pavement symbolize Taisho’s footprints towards the future
▽围墙拆除前封闭而内向的环境 Closed and introverted environment before the wall was removed
▽开放的空间吸引了更多人群的来往与驻留 The open space attracts more people to come and go
紫藤廊架 Wisteria Pergola
At the edge of the shade gallery near the main entrance, there is an abandoned underground reservoir. The aboveground part of the reservoir is wrapped by a steel frame. With the reservoir lying abandoned for years, an old wisteria on the adjacent green land has climbed all over the steel frame and covered the top of the whole structure. In order to protect the old wisteria and the natural “canopy”, we transformed the original structure of the underground reservoir into a sunken wisteria pergola. The new pergola structure is used to support the wisteria, which will grow along the wire rope. The water storage space is filled into a sunken sitting garden, where new life scenarios are created under the wisteria flowers.
▽原有的地下蓄水库爬满了紫藤，结构已老化 The original underground storage reservoir is covered with wisteria and its structure is aging
▽为了保留古紫藤重塑结构成为景观廊架 In order to preserve the ancient wisteria, reshape the structure to become a landscape gallery
▽基于原有水库的范围和结构进行改造 Renovation based on the scope and structure of the original reservoir
▽紫藤下部空间被充分激活，成为宜人的下沉花园 The space under the wisteria is fully activated and becomes a pleasant sunken garden
生活巷 Life Lane
The life lane next to Dazheng Square supports most of the commercial activities in the park. It also dynamically connects Dazheng Square and the waterfront square. We also renovated the facade of the Dazheng building’s first floor to create a vibrant commercial pedestrian street. The ground pavement was also redesigned to meet the needs of outdoor diners and pedestrians. The ashlar bricks, which resemble tires in color, were used to enhance the interaction with the business activities. An array of special lamp posts was combined with the hanging light curtain, thus forming a light corridor with strong visual effect and creating a commercial atmosphere. Several full-crowned camphor trees preserved along the street witnessed the history and will witness new lives that will unfold under the shade.
▽原有的巷道内杂草丛生，两侧建筑的联系也被围墙阻断 Weeds are overgrown in the original alleyway, and the connection between the buildings on both sides is also blocked by the wall
▽清晰而通透的道路空间为丰富的商业活动提供了良好的基础条件 Clear and transparent road space provides a good foundation for abundant commercial activities
▽被保留下来的香樟作为历史的见证者将继续陪伴着厂区的成长 The preserved camphor will continue to accompany the growth of the factory as a witness of history
滨水步道 Waterfront Boulevard
Hengjing Port on the east side of the park has clear water and rich vegetation, offering an excellent natural experience; however, the wall isolates the entire waterfront areas. Between the building and the wall is only one narrow and crowded trail, causing a gloomy and unappealing walking experience. By removing the walls, preserving trees, and rearranging the understory, we created an open waterfront view while maintaining a natural experience. A runway around the park passes the waterfront, combining with the conveyor belt to create a site for recreation and offer more diversified functions. The storefront steps facing the waterfront were transformed into a sitting area for rest, fully releasing the possibility of the waterfront boulevard.
▽横泾港的后勤小道内完全被杂乱的植物和围墙所挤压 The logistics path of Hengjing Port is completely squeezed by messy plants and walls
▽释放后的步道有着更好滨水体验和动静结合的空间属性 The released walkway has a better waterfront experience and a spatial attribute that combines movement and stillness
4 旧设施 . 新材料 Old Facilities. New Materials
The materials are the most direct expression of the characteristics and historical memory of the site. Hence, we strive to preserve the original industrial characteristics as much as possible, while elaborately choosing new materials to achieve the design effect and meet use requirements. After conducting on-site evaluations, we took a targeted approach and discussed areas to be preserved or renovated. Therefore, the old and the new often integrates with each other, showcasing the past and the present in the same space.
▽保留混凝土平台被重新利用，摆放着由回收的轮胎改造而成的休闲座垫 The preserved concrete platform is reused, and there are leisure cushions transformed from recycled tires
▽景观家具与灯具等细节上处处体现着场地的工业氛围和历史属性 Details such as landscape furniture and lamps reflect the industrial atmosphere and historical attributes of the site
▽厂区内原始的空间布局在设计中得到了完整的保留 The original spatial layout of the factory area has been completely preserved in the design
▽通过对厂房和中心广场的修葺和整理，这块充满历史记忆的场地焕发一新 Through the repair and arrangement of the factory building and the central square, this site full of historical memory has been renewed
5 旧植物 . 新生活 Old Plants. New Life
In our first visit in the site, we were deeply impressed by the flourishing vegetation. Tall camphor trees, metasequoia trees, and magnolia trees were flourishing in the vacant, decaying factory area. The first principle of landscape design is to retain the natural experience offered by the plants. After coordinating with the building and construction units again and again, we have retained 147 trees in the entire area. These trees have become the most important carrier of memory, and the understory space has also underpinned new life.
▽园区入口现状有一片高大茂密的香樟树林 There is a tall and dense camphor forest at the entrance of the park
▽经过梳理的林下空间将更为开放，留下这个时代里新生活的记忆 The combed understory space will be more open, leaving memories of new life in this era
▽被地灌层围堵起来的林下空间和旧设施房 Undergrowth space and old facilities enclosed by ground irrigation
▽林下空间被充分释放，改造后的建筑与环境更加协调地结合在了一起 The space under the forest is fully released, and the reconstructed building is more harmoniously combined with the environment
▽在漂浮步道的引导下，人们将自己的活动足迹延伸到了树林之中 Guided by the floating trail, people extend their activities into the woods
▽原本封闭的树林变得更加亲切，人们可以更加自然地步入其中 The originally closed forest has become more intimate, and people can walk into it more naturally
▽飘落在浅色的铺装上的落叶给环境带来了季节的气息 fallen leaves on the light-colored paving bring a touch of the seasons to the environment
▽改造前的巷道有林荫夹道的空间 The roadway before the renovation has a space between the tree-lined roads
▽改造后的巷道回应了曾经的自然体验 The reconstructed laneway responds to the former natural experience
▽植物带来了季节变化的感知 Plants bring the perception of changing seasons
▽秋色叶与连廊立面相呼应 Autumn leaves echo the corridor facade
▽场地内保留的水杉 Metasequoia preserved in the site
6 小结 Summary
During the renovation of Vi Park, we have always remained sensitive and concerned about the current status of the site. Amid the dialectical reflection on the old and the new, we have sought the best way to present the revitalization of the factory. When the history of the site lies undisturbed, we uncover and reveal it. When its potential is identified, we amplify and strengthen it. When it falls into decline, we reinvigorate it creatively. When it remains intact, we preserve it and keep it alive. Instead of simply “retaining” or “rebuilding” the renovation project, we need to make flexible and creative design decisions with an appropriate degree of “accuracy”.
▽露台外的保留香樟林 Preserved camphor forest outside the terrace
Note: The successful transformation of the project is only the first step. Only after the operation of the enterprises in the park can its vitality be fully activated and its value to the city be realized. Together with Nancy Studio, Atelier Scale has tracked and recorded Vi Park for a whole year, expecting to open a new chapter of the site that once created numerous industrial achievements.
Design Name: Rubber Factory Park
Project Name: Vi PARK
Location: Shanghai, China
Landscape design: Atelier Scale
Design team: Zhong Huicheng, Wang Di, Lan Hao, Ling Qimei, Lin Juan, Xiong Zhengzheng and Zhang Yibin
Client: Shanghai Huayi Group Chemical Industry, Shanghai Vanke and Minhang Nongsheng
Architecture design: Shuishi and Xing Design
LDI (Local Design Institute): Shuishi
Landscape construction: Shanghai Yu Chi Landscape Engineering
Signage design: Corlette (Shanghai)
Photo Credit: Nancy Studio
Acknowledgment: He Yuxin, Qiu Yinhao, Zhou Chanyue，MaoJiu couple
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