The project comprised the renovation of 42 villas and other listed buildings, and the insertion of new buildings in the former French concession in Shanghai. High class residences and shops line a pedestrian street opening onto narrow streets, squares and gardens. The new buildings have been handled in such a way as to establish a dialogue between past and present by respecting the scale of the existing villas whilst using contemporary materials.
The majority of existing buildings are detached villas with gardens, most of which date back to the 1920s and 30s. They reflect the evolution of European Architecture and are, thus, of great historical and patrimonial value. The project aims to preserve the existing fabric whilst promoting contemporary architecture, through environmental conservation, change of use and improvement of living conditions. The renovation of the existing and the integration of modern additions, creates a high-quality environment with a typical Shanghai character.
The challenge of the project was to create a mixed-use neighbourhood, with cultural, leisure, commercial and residential vocations. The area has four distinct parts:
– A dense commercial and leisure centre, with restaurants, boutiques and cafes at the intersection of Fuxing Zhong Lu and Chongqing Nan Lu Roads;
– A pedestrian street, parallel to Fuxing Zhong Lu Road, lined with galleries, cafes and cultural spaces;
– An ensemble of 15 villas with gardens at the centre of the neighbourhood transformed into a hotel complex;
– A new residential development located between Chongqing Nan Lu Road and the listed villas, arranged around a garden.
Our project is based, above all, on preserving the historical qualities of the neighbourhood, in a country where the culture of heritage conservation is still in its infancy. The heritage to be found here is as much architectural as vegetal: it is exceptional to find a European garden-city with Chinese influences in the heart of the dense metropolis. In this historic piece of the city, contemporary architecture is combined with a network of public spaces with narrow streets, gardens and small squares. The confrontation between different epochs is the strength of this urban project with trees, gardens and green spaces as its soul.
A detailed inventory of the existing vegetation was carried out, both in the public and private areas, which allowed most of the trees to be preserved. This served as the starting point for the project.
– Shanghai Chengtou Yongye
– Architect: Arte Charpentier Architectes
– Technical consultant: Jiang’s Architects & Engineers
– Address: Sinan Mansions
– City: Shanghai
– Country: China
– Winner of the competition: 2003
– Completion: 2011
– Surface area: 56000m²
– Area: 5.1 ha