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Pocket Plaza / Atelier Archmixing

Pocket Plaza / Atelier Archmixing

Pocket Plaza, Yongjia Road. Image © Yu Tang, Pingnan ChenUnder the gallery. Image © Qingshan WuView from the southwest of plaza to the city street. Image © Qingshan WuDetails of gallery. Image © Qingshan Wu+ 26

Shanghai, China
  • Architects: Atelier Archmixing
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  773
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2019
  • Photographs Photographs:  Pingnan Chen, Yu Tang, Pingnan Chen, Qingshan Wu, Lide Li
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Hong Di Lai, Shanghai SKF Builder, Shanghai Zijia Metal Decoration Co., Ltd.
  • Leader Designers:Shen Zhuang, Hao Ren, Yu Tang, Jie Zhu
  • Design Team:Shen Zhuang, Jie Zhu, Lide Li, Xinhui Ding, Jidong Yin, Hongbang Chen, Shuijuan Lu, Xin Qiu
  • Client:Shanghai Xuhui District Construction, Transportation Committee, Xuhui Tianping Road sub-district Office
  • City:Shanghai
  • Country:China
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Pocket Plaza, Yongjia Road. Image © Yu Tang, Pingnan Chen
Pocket Plaza, Yongjia Road. Image © Yu Tang, Pingnan Chen

A Small Plaza Enclosed with Galleries
Yongjia Road is located in a historical downtown district in Shanghai, with many old residential blocks scattered in its neighborhood. This road is of pleasant scale and luxurious greenery, crowded with small retails. One can sense a strong living atmosphere here. The Pocket Plaza in lane 309 sits in the middle of Yongjia Road. Taking the opportunity of old quarter renovation, Xuhui District Government decided to dismantle two rows of shabby residences with fire hazards and transform the site into a public urban space. Based on observation, we believe that an open plaza with appropriate scale would be most necessary and suitable for this neighborhood.

Aerial view of Pocket Plaza. Image © Qingshan Wu
Aerial view of Pocket Plaza. Image © Qingshan Wu
Sketch
Sketch
Temporary maket. Image © Pingnan Chen
Temporary maket. Image © Pingnan Chen

After demolishing those old buildings, the site turned out to be a rectangular area, 18 meters in width and 40 meters in depth, almost at a right angle with the street. It is enclosed on three sides (the east, south and west sides), shaped like a pocket. We created here a small square fully enclosed with open galleries. The ground of the square is 0.5m higher than Yongjia road, providing a sense of territory and an interestingly elevated view of the cityscape. Inside the square, a dry fountain can be switched on or off on required conditions, which serves as a soft management strategy to control the usage. The south end stands two secluded auxiliary rooms of continuous folded surface, separating from the square as a notable boundary, covered with weathering steel wall.

Under the gallery. Image © Qingshan Wu
Under the gallery. Image © Qingshan Wu
West gallery and fountain. Image © Qingshan Wu
West gallery and fountain. Image © Qingshan Wu

The entrance connects to the street with a gentle slope, defined with a logo wall and a framed flower bed with low shrub beside the sidewalk. An iron sliding gate was installed at the northeastern corner to achieve better management. The iron-gate and the shrubs keep the height at about 1.2 meters as a boundary for the plaza. The residential pediments of both the east and west sides were repainted in its original appearance, for the west side, the old surface texture was also preserved. They are partially hidden behind the bamboo grove planting along the open galleries.

The entrance. Image © Qingshan Wu
The entrance. Image © Qingshan Wu
The gallery with suitable height. Image © Qingshan Wu
The gallery with suitable height. Image © Qingshan Wu

Timber-steel Structure and Red Tiles
Four galleries with a basic beam frame formed a windmill shape, enclosing the rectangular plaza. The ceiling of the open galleries is intentionally lowered to 2.1m-2.7m, a friendly height harmonious with neighboring buildings. The open gallery adopted a timber-steel structure. Based on its rational architectural form, we added dramatic details to build public attention.

View from the southwest of plaza to the city street. Image © Qingshan Wu
View from the southwest of plaza to the city street. Image © Qingshan Wu
The gallery with suitable height. Image © Qingshan Wu
The gallery with suitable height. Image © Qingshan Wu

Each typical unit of the timber-steel beam frame is composed of steel pillar, wooden beam and steel cable. The steel pillars consist of two pieces of flat steel. The wooden beams are multi-layered. Their cantilevered parts are used to bear the light metal roofing. The weight of the building is transferred from the wooden beams to the steel pillars. The end of the beams is fixed with steel cables in order to keep its balance. All joints are assemblage ones. These joints are rotatable only in one direction, so that they can restrain the rotation of beams and counteract the wind force pushing roof upwards.

Details of gallery. Image © Qingshan Wu
Details of gallery. Image © Qingshan Wu

The residence in the neighborhood is mainly painted with warm-toned color or built with ganged bricks, which are very common in Shanghai’s urban area. Therefore, the plaza ground was paved with common red water permeable brick; its wooden beams, soffit and benches are made of light color logs and the weathering steel wall is painted rust red. In this warm-toned context, the steel pillars were painted into astonishing bright green by fluorocarbon spraying. Such a sharp color contrast has brought a kind of everyday relaxing atmosphere.

Friendly to pets. Image © Pingnan Chen
Friendly to pets. Image © Pingnan Chen

Project gallery

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Project location

Address:Lane 390, Yongjia Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai, China

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Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "Pocket Plaza / Atelier Archmixing" 30 Nov 2020. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/952332/pocket-plaza-atelier-archmixing> ISSN 0719-8884
Public space for residents and the public. Image © Pingnan Chen

上海永嘉路口袋广场 / 上海阿科米星建筑设计事务所

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