70.8% of the earth’s surface is water and Shanghai is approaching a point of overflow. Future development will require the inhabitation of this surface area. In addition to a fascinating physical property caused by the surface tension of water, the meniscus is a strikingly relevant metaphor for the urban predicament of contemporary. As an urban metaphor, the meniscus is associated with periphery, threshold, development, and tension.
The Architectural Association visiting school workshop required designers to consider Shanghai’s urban waterways as a necessary frontier for development. Directed by Tom Verebes and instructed by tutors Daniel Gillen and Soomeen Hahm, students analyzed the river dividing Pudong and Puxi districts present function and program in parallel with the urban fabric and use these factors to parametrically design future growth strategies.
The multinational students worked in section, to investigate the architectural response to fluctuation of the water table along the Z-Axis, with the intention of blurring the 0,0 fluid datum. Students were taught parametric software Grasshopper to geometrically define spaces and zones of population within the waterscape, utilizing natural properties found in water such as erosion, dissolution and fluid paths.