Space Renewal under Zhonghuan Bridge of Beidai Road, Changning District, Shanghai

Artist: Various from Shanghai FISH Landscape Design & Consulting Co.
Location: Space under Zhonghuan Bridge of Beidai Road, Changning District, Shanghai, China
Year: 2021
Researcher: Zhang Yujie

The project is located in the northeastern area of Beixinjing Subdistrict, Changning District, Shanghai, adjacent to Suzhou Creek, and is the intersection of the Central Overpass and Suzhou Creek. Currently, the surrounding area is dominated by residential neighborhoods and densely populated, where people have an urgent need for public open space. However, like all neglected under-bridge spaces, the base under the crisscrossing network of Central Overpass is desolate, closed and unavailable for normal use by the surrounding residents.The space under the bridge generally gives people the impression of dark and deserted, and discourages them from approaching the area, which is mainly caused by the cold columns and walls, the uncomfortable spatial scale, as well as the complicated traffic in the surrounding area under the elevated structure. Since these so-called "unfavorable factors" can't be avoided, the designer must be able to flexibly utilize the potential of these factors to bring the space back to life.

The area under the bridge is divided into three different theme parks, and the first thing that catches the eye is the bright and imaginative pink flamingo theme which breaks the gloomy impression of the original site and gives a new image to the space under the Central Overpass. The originally negative concrete pillars in the site are transformed into a vibrant, highly recognizable signature card for the space under the bridge by means of a flamingo-patterned monolithic painting. The rotating staircase around the bridge pillars is not only an attractive spot for internet celebrities in its own right, but also provides a beautiful view of the entire Suzhou Creek by walking along the staircase to the second floor viewing platform. The Rucker Park introduced does not only satisfy the neighborhood's demand for sports, but the appearance of the basketball court, which is integrated into the design tone of the site, also adds new energy and popularity to the space. Seats along the river provide a resting place for residents. The massive melaleuca bracteata dotting in the site in pink brings a rich texture and wonderful vitality to the landscape.

At night, the once dark and cluttered space under the bridge becomes bright and clean. The multi-layered lighting system brings an ever-changing visual experience, with bright colors making the venue appear even more eye-catching in the light. In addition, zebras from the grasslands in the black and white dominated Zebra Park have set the tone of sophisticated and elegant ambience for the venue.. Zebra-printed paving and pink art walkways run throughout the whole site, while floating corridors, roller-skating areas, soccer field sports and recreational facilities cater to the recreational and athletic needs of a variety of people. Finally, it is the bright yellow cheetah space. The overall tone is characterized by a sense of rough texture, forming an atmosphere and a sense of cheetah life. The basketball court and soccer field placed in the space brings more diverse and rich functions, satisfying the public's needs for sports, recreation, visit, and environment from daytime and nighttime.

For the overall strategy, the designers make use of the fashionable and distinctive color scheme and the highlighted animal theme pattern to create an identity attribute for the area, bringing a sense of local pride to the surrounding residents, and creating a link between the three blocks at the same time. Moreover, by adding functional landscape elements such as the sports court, the riverfront seating and the lighting design, the space under the bridge is transformed into a brand new place for public participation and recreation. The project will not only provide an outdoor recreational space for the surrounding residents, but will also serve as a regional business card for Changning District, extending its services to a wider area and becoming a destination of leisure for the entire Shanghai population.

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With the approval and consent of the district government, the construction theme of the Traffic Management Center of the District Construction Committee and the full support of the Greening Bureau, the design of regeneration project of the space under the Suzhou Creek Central Overpass has cooperated with experts from Urban Regeneration Majors at home and abroad as well as experts from the Department of Landscape Architecture of Tongji University to conduct a study and research on how to reuse the space under the bridge. In order to better express the design, the landscape team has also joined hands with the graphic design team to optimize the re-creation of the fashionable and distinctive animal-themed image, creating a unique identity for the area. In addition, the site cooperates with Rucker Park, which is a hotspot for sports in Shanghai, to manage the site and venues in a unified way with the aim of creating a stronger connection among the three blocks. The space under the bridge is transformed into a brand new place for public participation and entertainment through the combination of landscape public space design and open sports functional attributes, providing an outdoor recreational space for the surrounding residents and at the same time, serving the leisure life of the whole Shanghai residents.

With the innovative creation of the overall animal IP image, the introduction of the all-round citizen's sports court, the bright and bold emblematic colored drawings, as well as the visually striking public art design, the space underneath the Central Overpass has already become a unique area-based landmark in Changning District.The design team has transformed the previously uninvited grey area in the city into the most popular public space in the community. In actual operation, the professional team is chosen to manage and operate the space, which reduces the problems that may arise in the future due to mismanagement and greatly improves the utilization rate of the space. From a comprehensive point of view, such design and reconstruction not only improves the quality of life of the surrounding community, but also brings a new culture and lifestyle to the people, providing a new perspective and idea for the research and practice of urban regeneration issues, especially the reuse of unused and abandoned space, which is of great significance for similar projects throughout the country.

Progress Agency