Shanghai Baosteel Pioneer Park
International Competition 1st Prize / subsequent design commission
The Wusong industrial zone is located at the northern end of Shanghai’s Baoshan district, known for decades as the industrial base for the iron and steel industry of the region. In addition to its remarkable historical and cultural heritage, geographically it has the advantage of interesting water resources. Today the Wusong industrial zone is going through important transformations due to its location in the city, acting as a gate between the city center in the south-west and the industrial area in the northern suburbs of Shanghai.
The ‘Wusongkou Venture Park’ of the Baosteel Group is the largest industrial complex in Shanghai. Since its beginnings, the manufacturer has grown at an amazing pace and continuity, and now after 30 years of pure iron and steel industry, Baosteel Group is leading the pioneering regeneration of the old factory area in the Baoshan Wusong district.
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.