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Minhang Riverfront Regeneration / SPARK Architects

Architect: SPARK Architects
Place: Shanghai, China
Year: 2021
Photographer: Shine Lab, Wei Min
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Architecture firm SPARK, with offices in Singapore, Shanghai and London, has recently completed the Minhang Riverfront Regeneration, the initial phase of the ambitious regeneration masterplan of the public space of the Minhang district of Shanghai. A mere two years ago the riverside area was in a state of total abandonment, faced by old disused industrial warehouses, remnants of paths and traces of many years of neglect. Today Minhang has become a vibrant district, animated by commercial, technological and institutional spaces, connected by the new 23,787 sqm urban park, within which almost all the pre-existing buildings have been upgraded.

The recently completed work has created a 750 m long recreational environment that meets the client’s and community’s desire for a public area that facilitates pedestrian connections and promotes a more sustainable living environment. This project exemplifiesStephen Pimbley, partner of the studio said – how urban open space can be a key factor in civic regeneration and social sustainability; it has in fact instilled a sense of civic pride in the district and set a local benchmark for the quality of life for the future residents.

In the Minhang Riverfront Regeneration, in Shanghai, SPARK’s design concept used the shapes of Diatoms, the unicellular algae that perform a natural water purification action, as a recurring captivating motif. The shapes of the Diatoms have been abstracted and reproduced into the two- and three-dimensional objects that animate the river banks, telling the story and the regeneration of the river and of the surrounding environment.

This initial phase of the wide masterplan includes the creation of continuous green ribbons with walking, jogging and bicycle tracks and three peculiar red pedestrian bridges that wind, linking the residential, education and business areas of the district. The landscape was designed by layering four distinct zones that enhance views and allow create for the first time accessibility to the river.

The linear zones take on an abstracted riparian form and house innovative pockets of activity with lawns, cafés, a sports park and an event plaza. The bespoke wayfinding and furniture strategy contributes to the storytelling and accessibility of the transformed environment.

  • Project directors: stephen pimbley, lim wenhui, min wei
  • Design team: danny yan, luca maccarinelli, xilin zhu , li menghao, jason ye, yang xi
  • Client: shanghai nanbinjiang investment development co., ltd.
  • Completion: october 2021

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