The Secret Garden Pavilion
Landscape Plaza at Tianping Rd – Henshan Rd crossing, Shanghai
This project was born with the aim of healing an existing public residual space in a central district of Shanghai. Despite the very good location this green space presently is completely without any meaningful function or identity. Its vicinity to the big Xujiahui Park it takes away its function as a park because people will prefer to go to the larger park; its vicinity to the new commercial development in historic European style it takes away its function as a plaza because people will prefer to go the opposite side of the street where the little alleys and plazas are more lively and well served by coffees and restaurants. Furthermore because of the small size and its vicinity with busy streets this site is particularly noisy and people have no reason to explore or rest in this public space.
The first aim of our design was to give an identity to this space and a clear function that cannot be a park or a commercial plaza as for example XinTianDi is. We found that the small size was adequate to create all the qualities that a private garden can have; the feeling of privacy, intimacy, human scale, protection and silence. To create those conditions of human scale and silence that can be found in many European historical cities the best way was to create an artificial courtyard. A good reason to create an artificial barrier with the street was also to continue the urban façade on Tianping Rd that is going from a building of eight floors to one of three floors and the interrupted by this residual area before starting again with a building of one floor adjacent with Henshan Rd. For this reason our “wall” imitates a urban façade of two floors in-between the one of three floors and the one of one floor to give the best gradual transition. These two floors walls will give the best protection from noise not only to our mini plaza but also to the near buildings that at the moment are directly exposed to the traffic jam of the crossing roads.
The main concept idea is to create the feeling of an empty house invaded by the green and the trees that are coming out from the roof and windows. We imagined this empty volume floating thirty centimeter from the ground to emphasize its lightness also marked by very large square openings that invites the people to come in and the trees to come outside. The central courtyard is protected by double walls not only for structural reason but also to create a more efficient filter to the noise and a more complex labyrinthic space that invites the people to explore different grades of space and privacy. The volume roof is demarked by a steel net that have structural reasons but also let the wine green climb over it in summer to shade the courtyard and be left without leaves in winter to let the sun pass through.
The floating pavilion will not obstruct the ground circular landscape pattern that will independently occupy the all project area creating a natural flow of green and people circulating around the “interior” plaza and the “exterior” alleys around the floating walls.
景观设计广场 - 天平路衡山路， 上海
THE SECRET GARDEN CREDITS:
Programme: Public open spaces, green areas, shelters, resting areas.
Architecture firm: 3GATTI
Chief architect: Francesco Gatti
Project manager: Valentina Brunetti
Collaborators: Jovan Kocic, Francesca Gotti
Client: Shanghai Xuhui district government
Location: Tianping Road crossing Hengshan road, Shanghai, China.
Total floor area: 740 m²
Design period: December 2013
Materials: Steel structure, cement boards, white plaster, cement bricks floor, perforated stainless steel benches
建筑师：Jovan Kocic, Francesca Gotti