Ennead Architects has designed a new research and development community for Shanghai. Located on the city’s western edge, as part of a new district being planned around one of Shanghai’s largest future public parks, Taopu Sci-Tech City will be a vibrant and well connected research district that engages its context by establishing a multilayered pedestrian network.
“Our design goal was to create something greater than a single building; our goal was to create a memorable and connected civic district,” said Peter Schubert, a partner at Ennead International. To achieve this goal and given the relatively low FAR for the project’s various blocks, the design includes a series of linear building edges that enclose five primary public park nodes. Each node creates an individual spatial identity, while together creating a cohesive identity for the entire R&D campus.
Critical to the success of the project is the design’s utilization of a multi-level pedestrian network. Multilayered pedestrian spaces combine the lower ground level, street level and upper ground level together to create a fluid architectural landscape experience that activates symbiotic relationships between retail areas, park spaces and streetscapes.
Each public node provides opportunities for the creation of retail hubs at these three primary pedestrian levels and for clear pedestrian connections to the site’s existing subway and transportation infrastructures. Sustainable landscape systems are a critical component that helps merge the architectural and urban-scale designs with the surrounding landscape and infrastructure. These systems include: 1) green roofs and planted terraces, which, along with a maximization of green area at the ground level, help minimize the storm-water run-off from the site; 2) a network of connected ponds and canals that serves as an important component of a larger regional storm-water management plan, while also creating visual beauty and recreational landscapes for the district; and 3) an integrated and connective network of pedestrian pathways and landscape corridors that help create a walkable district, connect directly with the subway and other regional transportation networks, and minimize the need for individual travel by car.