LocationWestern Square of the Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China
Design TeamWang Yan (Chief Architect with GOA); Yang Tianzhou, Deng Xifan (College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University); Zhang Xu, Qiao Runze ( Department of Architecture, Southeast University); Li Jiawen, Yu Siyuan (School of Architecture, China Academy of Art)
Text description provided by the architects. In December 2018, a set of fabricated steel installations of 500 square meters were showcased at the front square of the Power Station of Art (PSA) in Shanghai. The creation was completed by GOA in collaboration with students from Tongji University, Southeast University and China Academy of Art. Divided into three parts, namely, “Theatre”, “Exhibition” and “Leisure”, the whole set of spatial structures also present community activities, artistic performances and parent-child games to attract wide participation and spice up the vim and vigor of the blocks in winter. When overlooked from far above, the fascinating Gravitational Field by the riverside looks exactly like a white and light-weight delta.
The Power Station of Art (PSA) is an important cultural landmark in Shanghai. The square at its western entrance is often an unfrequented corner. Under its ground there is a rarely-visited parking lot that is 120 meters long and 30 meters wide. The Urban Best Practice Area (UBPA) that borders on the west side is an office area in operation, and is still evolving. The square at night sees some visitors, mainly residents going for a walk or doing some sports. We hope to reasonably arrange human activities through spaces of distinctive functions.
Exhibition – Exhibition of No Exhibition
Each day during the 20 days of the Gravitational Field activities, an artist would exhibit his/her works at the Exhibition site between 9:00 and 17:00, and such exhibition was named “X FLASH”. After 17:00, the site was completely cleared, with no exhibit left. Thus, while meeting the needs for exhibition, young designers created the experience of an Exhibition of No Exhibition: The enormous chimney of PSA became an exhibit per se in the Exhibition section. The translucent corner bathed in sun attracted people to bend down to walk from the horizontally extending low entrance into a pyramid-like Exhibition space. A huge triangular tall window faced PSA, and accurately framed the towering chimney. As a result, the Exhibition itself became an installation that captured a unique view.
Theatre – Come and Go
The Theatre is a space for performance and a place for people to have a good rest. The designers exploited the possibilities of the structure. “Come & Go” characterized the shape of the structure and was a metaphor for the gatherings and separations of human beings. The Theatre was arranged diagonally, with one end standing high by the side of the street and inviting the attention of passers-by. Those visiting the Power Station of Art (PSA) could also watch performances on the stage upon entering or exiting from the PSA. At the opening ceremony on December 8, the Elephant Band presented exciting original rock music performances on the stage, which rocked all those present. The later activities made the theatre truly come into life, and children’s ingenious uses of the structure also injected unique vigor into it.
Leisure – Under the Floating Clouds
Through a series of records and surveys, the designers found that daytime crowds and activities in the space were different from nighttime ones. From this perspective, the designers came up with a uniquely open space design for “Leisure” by picturing the space as layers of clouds floating above the square and building it as a link between the Exhibition and the Theatre. In this way, the whole space looked full of fun and originality.
The artists wove a Mobius-styled passage with red threads under the “clouds”. The white clouds, rays of light, shadows, and thin yet tight threads all contributed to the powerful expression of the space.