Tianjin Commercial Street Roofing
Located in the new town of Tianjin Zhangjiawo, the project deals with a large-scale roof construction to cover and protect an existing commercial street. With a length of more than 170 meters, added to an existing structure, the project represented a challenge of its own. From the very beginning the idea was to enhance the presence of the new roof through an urban strategy that would transform and improve the current area.
Designing a roof of these dimensions needed to be undertaken with utmost care. To avoid that the huge volume would be perceived as an apathetic mass, it was necessary to break and segment the mass both in plan and profile, and to perforate the roof freely – wherever required by the existing urban incisions along its path.
Profile and height of the new construction address the hierarchy and importance of the existing street.
The project had a second challenge. Besides functional and aesthetic issues, the technical requirements posed strong constructional restrictions – due to an existing underground parking below the street.
For this reason – and in order to control the budget – RhineScheme’s proposal fully respects the existing architecture regarding constructional aspects.
In a first step the main directions of the buildings along the street had to be defined to get the basis for the new structure.
Then it was necessary to define height and shape of the new roof and its relationship with the existing roofs.
Finally, the planes of the cover have been extended beyond the limits of the existing walls and roofs, in order to protect and avoid damage to the existing buildings. To affect the existing architecture as little as possible, the supports are reduced to a minimum with columns located in strategic points.
The construction has been solved by using a mere metal structure. The choice of materials, stainless steel, galvanized steel and glass, creates a special atmosphere, with reflections changing with the time of day and weather, and with the effect of improving the spatial quality.
Lighting has been a key issue in the intervention. Inside, the natural light filtered through the openings accentuates the idea of an “uncovered cover” and highlights the commercial value of the inner street. Whereas at night carefully placed spot lighting create a different mood with different focus points along the street.
Finally, the design provides a variety of spatial experience to attract city life and increase the commercial value of the area, which has been the initial motif of the intervention.