High residential density and decaying life
quality are ubiquitous among historic quarters in metropolis
of China. This project aims at improving Lilong residents’
lifestyle and life quality by presenting inspiring landscape
in dense residential environment in an ingenious way.
Project Location, Scope and Size
The site covers 21,000 square meters area of
Lilong settlements in the heart of Shanghai.
Site and Context
The site is the Lilong settlement of Shanghai.
"Li" means neighborhoods, "Long"
means lanes. These two words combine to describe an
urban housing form which characterizes the city of Shanghai.
Indissociable from the growth of Shanghai from 1840s
to 1949, Lilong settlements still comprise the majority
of housing stock in the city center today. As a low-rise,
ground-related housing pattern, Lilong settlement has
many advantageous features: hierarchical spatial organization
network, separation of public and private zones, high
degree of safety control, strong sense of neighborly
interaction and social cohesiveness, and so on.
However, most Lilong settlements are facing
the demolishment or the transformation into commercial
block so as to bring more commercial benefits for the
government due to the lack of the necessary protection
of Lilong settlements during the past 50 to 100 years,
the surprisingly high residential density accompanying
the occupation and destruction of the public space,
and the gradual degradation of the life quality.
So is the site for landscape design. The
majority of Lilong residential constructions in the
site is dated from 1910~1930 years, and still suitable
for living after many rounds of maintenance. Under the
living condition of which the average living space is
8.6 m2 per person (the average living space in urban
area of Shanghai is 15.5 m2 per person ), 1400~1500
people are living in such a place of Lilong settlement
without open space and green, including 30% of renters.
Since the site is near the most bustling commercial
blocks of Shanghai, rapid construction and development
is in process around it such as a large number of five-star
hotels, upscale shopping centers and apartments. The
site is a concentrated expression of the social culture
shock, the oppression of modern skyscrapers imposed
on the historic blocks, and a strong contrast in urban
life and landscape.
The final purpose of this design is the upgrading
of Lilong residents’ life quality. This intention
is based on the following two points:
First, for the essence of the residence
landscape, it is residents’ life that should genuinely
be concerned and protected, and it can serve as the
original intention of understanding and designing.
Second, although the complexity of the
design object has included various conflicts such as
urban life, social benefits, and scenery, the two sides
are equal and should be treated as the same. It should
not be ignored to strive for the extending space and
increasing influence of the jeopardized Lilong life.
Concept and Main Issues
Lilong, an area with special culture and different
lifestyle, shapes the unique view of the city. Our reconstruction
is to improve the life quality and the living style.
This reconstruction will extend into more Lilong settlements
properly reconstruction, bring the historic quarters
Sustainable Development and healthy vitality.
First, our suggestion is that upon the
roof of the Lilong settlement, the space, enveloped
by the outline and the shadow of skyscrapers, can replace
the public space to accommodate stuff. In this way,
the space upon the roof of the Lilong settlements can
be transformed into unique view, and also the design
will restore the public space for residents by putting
all the sundries into different quantities of spherical
settings, according to the residents’ different
needs, and lifting these settings up to the ideal height
along vertical bars.
Second, Lilong settlements need some new
sorts of energy. To the Lilong residents who gain low
income and suffer gradually degrading life quality,
some new sorts of energy are useful and essential, for
instance, solar energy. Solar energy can be collected
by the solar energy panel set on the top of the vertical
bar through which the energy will be transmitted to
the storage box that is buried underground at the end
of the bar so as to provide energy for the residential
lighting and the mechanical movement of the spherical
settings and the vertical bars.
Third, we are trying our best to help
Lilong residents to realize their dreams about residence.
Lilong residents hold a lot of expectations for living,
such as beautiful gardens, crowded parties and tranquil
relaxation. All these expectations are natural, but
they cannot be realized because of the gap between these
expectations and the real living condition. Besides
accomodating stuff, the spherical settings can be designed
into containers for plants, flowers, and fish, totally
up to the residents’ liking. Being lifted high,
the spherical settings will leave the courtyard and
the terrace spared. Based on the limited space, intensive
usage should be applied, and facilities require occupying
minimum space. A series of facilities—free bending
tube bar with various functions—are installed
in the courtyard, the terrace, and some other space
for activities, which guarantees the compound of multiple
functions: courtyard lighting, clothes airing, climbing
vine and so on, by means of only occupying a small amount
of space. Meanwhile, this design will help local residents
create new courtyard life through choosing other alterations.