New City of Pujiang

New City of Pujiang

Architect
Gregotti Associati International
Location
Shanghai, China | View Map
Project Year
2007
Category
Cities

New City of Pujiang

Gregotti Associati International as Architects

The new city occupies a 9-miles long area on the River Huangpu and lies 8 miles south of the center of Shanghai. The new city of Pujiang is being built for 100,000 inhabitants and was the winner in the closed international competition announced in 2001. The competition falls within the “One City and Nine Towns” project, which is a strategy to reorganize the metropolitan area of Shanghai by creating a multi-center scheme with nine urban nucleuses. The construction of a city, with restricted heights in an agricultural plain crisscrossed by canals and dotted with small villages, poses the significant problem of how a city should be founded. Western influences on the new city are visible in the manner in which the city dialogues with the greater Shanghai area and the environmental setting, which here is implemented through an orthogonal grid common to both the classical Western city and ancient Chinese tradition. The brief requested that the settlement be structured around the division of flow and control of the waters. The project offers an urban scheme on three integrated levels: a primary road network divides the area into large blocks (984 x 984 feet) that contain the intervention units: these are urban fabrics of low, medium, and mid-high density. A second grid of bicycle and pedestrian paths within the large blocks establishes the hierarchies between routes and commercial streets. A third grid of canals, some of which are navigable, rationalizes the system of water channels and establishes the infrastructural and landscape link between the inhabited area and the river. The three-grid scheme rests on a central axis that cuts through the entire city, joining the river on the west side to the eastern edge, where manmade “bastions” act as an urban boundary towards the freeway and the subway rail line to Shanghai. Around this formation, there is a zone for medium- sized companies. The central axis is where the main public and private urban functions are concentrated: these include the “Palazzo Italia” to the west, i.e., an urban gateway, the western section of which bounds a large water plaza. The identity of the central axis owes much to the sequence of theme gardens and public spaces, and the university, recreational and sports facilities towards the western side. The city is required to provide sections with different population densities. The project responds by implementing a strategy of progressive density from north to south, where three districts will be installed with their own public facilities. In the 251 areas beyond the river, low-density developments combine with landscaped spaces and internal ponds, spaces designed for sports and leisure activities, a “moored” island by the riverbank, and a sports stadium built within an artificial hill. The medium-density fabric is taken as the standard design unit that establishes the basic specifications for the different categories of intervention. The variety of combinations between built and non-built spaces allows for a range of solutions with heights of 3 or 4 floors. This design unit also introduces a system of furnished public plazas that, given their location inside the large blocks, are innovative elements in the Chinese city, which traditionally lack public spaces.


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