Shanghai Baosteel Pioneer Park

The start-up area has been divided into three key nodes along the main city artery, TongJi Road.
The new development, ‘Wusongkou Pioneer Park’, will play an important and demonstrative role in major innovative industries such as science & technology, cultural and creative industry, modern services with new materials, smart manufacturing, 3D printing and energy and environmental protection. To enhance the comprehensive urban quality, it will offer large spaces for start-up businesses, workshops, educational programs and social activities as well as leisure and shopping possibilities.

Node 1, the ‘Art creative cultural area’, is located at the northern edge of the industrial transformation site and its interface with the city outskirts. This site will become an indispensable link between the center and the periphery, not only because of its location, but for the historical meaning and value for Baosteel Group Corporation and Shanghai. It was here, in 1978, where the first pile of the iron and steel factory was driven into the earth.

Considering the historical value and the charm of the first factory building, the architectural proposal preserves the precious buildings and elements and merges them with new innovative materials and functions.

The functions of this plot are focused on cultural and high-standard creative developments. Office towers with commercial podiums rise along TongJi road to serve the whole neighborhood and act as a noise barrier between the elevated highway and the low-rise cultural heart of the node. The center of the plot then becomes a cultural hub, with a steel museum, library, entertainment hall, workshop ateliers and co-working spaces for creative minds. The scenery towards the west river bank is an open plaza with cafes and restaurants for relaxation and leisure.

To emphasize not only the urban but historical and cultural importance of this node, the project proposes a super high-rise as a symbol of the growth and sustainability of the Baosteel Group Corporation. The super high-rise offers space for high level commercial functions, finance, offices and a 5 star hotel. A restaurant/lounge-bar with a 360 degree view over the area is planned to serve at the 71st floor.

Node 2, the ‘Casting urban life area’ is located at the intersection of TongJi Road in the east and Shuichan Road, in the north. This node is divided in two, the east part and the west part.

The plot in the east is next to the subway and bus station, which makes this area very active and a perfect spot for the new growth of high and middle-rise office and Soho towers, with commercial podiums for shopping, entertainment and dining as well as kindergarten, children’s playground, language school and dance school to serve the residents.

The west part has another scale, more quiet, with charming existing buildings and an amazing outdoor scenery, which gives the node the character of a small hidden place that perfectly suits for an escape from the urban hustle to enjoy diverse cultural exhibitions and small restaurants and café & bars.

Node 3, the ‘Technical creative office area’, is located at the south edge of the Wusongkou Pioneer Park, which contains the old steel pipe factory, and has a closer connection with the surrounding districts, such as large residential and commercial areas. As the southernmost point of the Park, it is the south gate to the area and is welcoming the visitor with a solid and elegant representative image.

The existing layout of the factory buildings spreads out perpendicular to the avenue and lets them align to each other closely with a strong character. Based on the linear array footprint of the existing buildings, the new volumes develop upward, and become an image of stacked steel plates with an east west orientation. The skin of the new architecture is covered with corten steel and square windows with convex-concave shading elements, to emphasize the industrial character.

Fuzhou Hengjie Heritage Intervention

Today, Wenchangli District is the most complete cultural area in the city of Fuzhou. In Song dynasty, Hengjie Street was the main road leading from Wenchang Bridge to Zhengjue Temple. It was the starting point for the development of the whole riverside district, north and south. During the Minguo period it incorporated the Catholic church and other notable landmark buildings. After 1949, its urban situation experienced a fracture with the development of new large scale residential buildings.

The central concept of this intervention project is the protection of the built and unbuilt heritage, and its gradual improvement, preserving the cultural and architectural values while organically incorporating business and commercial functions related to tourism.
The protection of the existing buildings and cultural experiences has the purpose of maintaining the existing sense of history, time and way of life. A step-by-step development improves the heritage in phases recovering the original culture and gradually increasing the content of experiences, according to the growth of demand in a reasonable combination.
The working background is formed by three main sources: The intervention level of the preservation planning done by CAUPD with historical and cultural background study; the architectural measurements, on-site discussion, technical exploration and analysis; and the commercial strategy and product definition.

The three main elements are combined to create a “New Hengjie Street”, based on: The physical heritage (i.e. the preserved and restored architecture and landscape); the cultural heritage (with the high culture of Linchuan and the local historical functions of the past); and the new touristic vision (with commercial functions necessary to attract and serve visitors).
The plaza at the main crossing is the heart of Hengjie Street. It embodies the most important values of the district in a warm and lively, elegant outdoor space: Mudanting Plaza.
The noblest Minguo and Gan style facades are restored and brought to view, linking them to Linchuan high culture – as elegant Hotel and Library.
All the historical functions are recovered, the bank and traditional craft workshops as exhibit spaces mixed with restaurant or cafés.

To the east we encounter the fabric arts and crafts area, marked by the Fabric Arts Plaza at the crossing of Dongxiangcang Street, where the Gan style façade buildings on both sides of the plaza are restored and repurposed as restaurant, boutique hotel and fabric arts workshops.
The main research and analysis was focused on finding an identity for Hengjie Street and covered the history of the Wenchangli district, its urban character and potential, its architecture and landscape heritage, and its own function of commercial history.
The urban role of the Hengjie Street sector is to create connections between the areas north and south to form a complete Wenchangli historic cultural district, incorporating all existing resources, serving as a “Linchuan cultural window”.

The existing situation reveals different conditions and architectural styles of different value. The preservation strategy will guide the intervention with the goal to highlight these values.
The architectural heritage is mainly expressed in the facades. The facade analysis revealed 42% Gan style, 36% mixed or damaged, 4% Minguo style, and 18% post 1949 modern.
In order to strengthen and highlight the architectural values, facades are restored, repaired and rebuilt, eliminating those with no value, reinforcing the historical character of Hengjie Street. Some modern elements are added to achieve a diverse, realistic town atmosphere. After the intervention, 80% is related to historical style, 7% is Minguo style, 6% is demolished for public spaces and 10% are modern elements.
Another source of identity is the original mix of commercial functions of Hengjie Street, which still rests in the memory of its oldest inhabitants. These functions are recovered and integrated as tourist resource, as exhibition spaces and workshops in combination with cafés and restaurants.

In the first stage of development and intervention, nodes 1 and 2 can demonstrate the strategy.

Node 1

The first operation is the creation of new urban connections required to improve connectivity and cultural synergy from north to south.
A new plaza marks the main crossing of Hengjie Street with this new north south connection. Both plaza and new alleys also reveal Ming walls, previously hidden to view.
The existing functions are recovered and restored as exhibition spaces with art workshops related to the traditional crafts sold on these properties.
The buildings with strong architectural value are preserved as relic houses.
A new boutique hotel is proposed, restoring the important Minguo and Gan style facades and preserving interior layouts, whereas in the deteriorated areas only the original spatial layout is preserved for new guestroom functions.

Node 2

On the crossing of Hengjie Street and Dongxiangcang Street, another plaza is proposed, demolishing modern buildings of limited value.
The existing craft shops are restored into the memory of visitors by repairing and rebuilding two fabric workshops.
A sculptural setting is created in the plaza.
Other buildings are restored as cafés, restaurants and youth hostel, in an alley which – in the future – will connect to the Central Plaza of the whole Wenchangli District.

Changchun 1948

Seeing the industrial heritage of the past as a chance to form attractive, creative, innovative spaces, is still not much developed in China. Singular and successful attempts in the biggest cities, Shanghai and Beijing, are exceptions. In Changchun, RhineScheme made a variety of proposals in the form of feasibility studies and business/usage concepts of how to keep and integrate a suitable amount of the old factory halls and revive them with new functions.

Some of the iconic factory buildings as well as typical, unique, sometimes peculiar industrial relics of the past have been seamlessly integrated. A number of fascinating artefacts found in situ have been transformed into artistic sculptures. In the same way landscape elements – mainly the immense rows of big trees having grown on the plot for over 60 years – could be preserved and become part of the new ‘commercial landscape’. Even if a complete conservation of the old building structures was not always possible, brick materials have been re-used extensively in facades and pavements, and great efforts have been made in reshaping buildings that resemble the local findings.

This exceptional commercial area is tailored to local culture and conditions and also to Changchun’s specific urban planning history with Russian influence.
The project is an outstanding case study and one of the early examples in China transforming an abandoned industrial site into a successful mixed-use area. Especially in the evening and night hours ‘Changchun 1948’ unfolds a special charm and magic atmosphere.

Quelle Complex Nuremberg

The “Quelle mail-order machine” with its approximately 250,000 m² usable area is probably the most consistent realization of a perfected logistic concept. To this day, the building impresses with monumentality and lightness.
After the insolvency of Quelle Group in 2009, 82 years after its founding, all conveyor systems were dismantled; the former function is barely visible in the building today.

In 2015, the hammer of the auctioneer fell in the foreclosure sale of the Quelle Shipping Center at 16.8 million Euros for the Portuguese real estate developer Sonae Sierra, who would like to rebuild the area.
RhineScheme’s German partner practice ksg, who developed a usage concept for the Quelle building, is also involved in the further planning. The future complex is intended to offer a mix of shopping, commercial, sports and community facilities.

Carlswerk Cologne

After acquiring the premises of the Carlswerk for an international investor group in 2007, BEOS Corporation began creating a new future for one of the most important industrial areas in Cologne as a modern commercial campus with an urban mix of office, commercial and service areas.
Step by step – as the previous user moved out by the year 2015 – the 20 partially listed industrial buildings have undergone gradually a change of use and have been refurbished.

A total of approximately 100,000 square meters of usable space, from simple archive or back-office use to high-quality office lofts, offers a broad spectrum in immediate vicinity of the focus areas of exhibition and media industries.
The master planning as well as the conversion of the listed brick buildings “Kupferhütte” (1893) and “Werkstatt” (1897) come from RhineScheme’s German associate ksg.

Xingang Shipyard Cultural & Entertainment District

The site holds a number of historical relics to be integrated into the urban planning. The whole plot is intended to become a vibrant mixed-use city district with emphasis on culture and entertainment.
The overall design provides around 550,000m² of commercial areas, 620,000m² cultural uses, 300,000m² offices and 270,000m² residences, as well as some 70,000m² areas for creative industries and research.

A logical grid shaping infrastructure and traffic forms the backbone of the urban concept, combining subway lines, regional and local car traffic, and generous pedestrian boulevards through the district and along the waterside. Architecture is giving a third dimension to the infrastructure by forming adequate and memorable urban spaces along the arteries of development.
An integrated city district with mixed functions will live day and night – 24 hours, 7 days per week. To this intent, residential communities have been carefully integrated into the urban pattern: One provides apartments along a newly created canal, with courtyards opening up towards the water; the second provides high-end living facing the planned seaside park.

Successful urban planning creates images that remind of other cities: The Promenade along the harbour reminds of the Promenade des Anglais’ in Nice with its glamorous hotels. The Wharf Park in the former dockyards reminds of the ‚Upper East Side Park’ in New York. The Ocean Plaza, a traffic square almost in the centre of the development, reminds of ‚Potsdam Square’ in Berlin. The shopping street with its natural stone buildings is like Berlin’s splendid ‚French Street’. The Grand Gallery reminds of the passages of Milan, creating a shopping universe with courtyards and lanes. Finally, the water course which brings the sea deeper into the city is evoking images of Amsterdam or Copenhagen.

But on top of that, this urban quarter will be a unique creation with its own personality and charisma, shimmering between old and new. Existing factory buildings are kept as eye-catchers in the focus of important visual axes, mainly accommodating cultural uses. These buildings, as landmarks and symbols for the urban transformation, are giving a distinct identity to the place.

Last not least, the most expensive construction site along the water is given as a public park to the citizens: a green shoreline in the midst of the old dockyards. The Wharf Park – as trademark of a livable city – will be the magnet for visitors searching for recreation. By a water front boulevard, it is connected with the adjacent city areas and will attract and lead many people along the water’s edge.
Closely connected to the park, but dedicated to festivities and open air events, the Central Plaza is formed by historical heritage found in situ: A gantry crane and a former factory hall, both interlocked by a timber platform, are forming an open space that conveys the charisma of the historical use. This big square is linking park and boulevard by a continuous green roof.
The new mixed-use harbour quarter has best potential to become a successful development within the metropolis of Tianjin. A unique network – formed by on-site facts and findings, by infrastructure, urban spaces and mixed functions – will eventually create a recognizable and memorable place.

Shanghai 777 Factory

Metal in a warm charcoal grey is used for windows and secondary cladding elements, e.g. for hidden air conditioning units.
The project includes a 9-level newly constructed office tower, the façade of which follows the same design principles as the refurbished buildings, making it an inseparable part of the whole development.

Siebengebirge, Cologne

For a long time the building with its steel frame, built in 1908/1909 by the architect Hans Verbeek, was not considered to be capable of repair. In particular the large depth of the building, combined with the low storey height, begged the question of sufficient natural light and successful marketing.

The building was in need of modernization, which on the one hand would respect the character of the building and on the other would guarantee the sustainability of use.
In order to reduce the interference in the listed building to a minimum, RhineScheme’s German partner practice ksg dispensed with providing widely used light-courtyards.

Eventually the architects created generously proportioned living areas by the water, through the use of intelligent, open layouts and through glazed balconies. In all, 130 flats were created on eight floors with attractive commercial areas on the ground floor along the newly created River Promenade.