Not far from the Shanghai Grand Theatre, Nanjing Road runs perpendicular to the river and the famous waterfront Bund. This road symbolises the history of Shanghai. It is narrow and was congested throughout the day, but the traffic has been diverted and it is now a pedestrian street.
A service line has been created: a huge, red, slightly offset strip running the entire length of the road, supporting all the essential amenities (urban furniture, lighting, plants). This line brings order and both functional and visual continuity to enhance this public area.
To the sides, the inverse was preferred, giving free scope to the pictograms and lighted signs so typical of Chinese cities.
Great care was taken with the ground work, choice of materials, urban furniture, plants as well as the introduction of works to art to the street… The crossroads and widened areas, places where people get together, are permanent sites for temporary entertainment.
The proposal from Arte Charpentier, in association with EPAD and TUP landscapers, was selected by Shanghai after an international invitation to tender in 1998. This project was based on a simple, legible solution for the design of a pedestrian area, rolling out a “red carpet” of granite, 3.5m wide, along the entire road.
This offset “red line” takes up one third of the street and contains all the equipment required for operation of a pedestrian area (kiosks, benches, waste bins, street lights, plants, telephone boxes, advertising signs, etc.) allowing pedestrians to circulate freely along the rest of the street, which is lined on both sides by shops. Many shops also renovated their facades for the inauguration of the road on October 1st 1999, without touching the lighted signs that give such character to this bustling street where business continues throughout the day and night.
– Client: Municipality of Shanghai
– Prime architect and urban planner: Arte Charpentier Architectes
– Partner: EPAD
– Landscaping: TUP Landscaping
Specificity of the operation:
– Title of the operation: rue de Nankin
– City: Shanghai, China
– Delivery: 1999
– Area: 1,2 km x 25 m