In 1996, Arte Charpentier designed Central Plaza square in Shanghai, in the administrative district of Pudong’s new town hall. This new area of Pudong, located 6km from the banks of the Huangpu, was part of a much larger local planning project.
Many new buildings and installations have appeared in this district, a true symbol of China’s economic boom. The new Pudong district has been transformed, with the addition of a large park, the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum (上海科技馆 in Chinese) and a concert hall. The strategic role of the central square is to unite the public area opposite the town hall and science museum and to provide access to the new park.
Central Plaza federates the public area in front of the town hall and science museum, providing access to the new park. Underneath it lies the terminal of the new underground line, a shopping centre and car parks. It was designed in an attempt to define an urban area, conferring shape and coherency in spite of being added after the positioning and design of the juxtaposing buildings.
This is the philosophy behind Central Plaza, a vast square, approximately 200m along each side. Raised terraces serve as promenades and rest areas, framing the square and sheltering the gardens. The central terrace is circular and surrounded by ponds. Footbridges lead to the central park and a series of glass pavilions, like greenhouses, in the park offer access to the underground car parks. The square is the stage for fountains and water features, gardens and terraces, pergolas and loggias… becoming the symbol of the new district.
– Project owner: Shanghai municipality
– Architect: Arte Charpentier Architectes
– Partner: TUP (landscaping)
– Project address: Pudong
– City: Shanghai
– Country: China
– Project programme: design of the town hall square
– Delivery: 1996
– Land: 40,000m²