Community Center of Baishadao Financial Town
Zeng Tianpei

Community Center of Baishadao Financial Town

Urbanus as Architects

After the 2019 Beijing International Horticultural EXPO, the Botanic Garden designed by URBANUS is the only pavilion still in operation in the campus. The plants have got adapted to the new environment, and grow vigorously. This gives us a chance to rethink the botanic garden as a new typology to promote urban life in a community.

photo_credit Zeng Tianpei
Zeng Tianpei

The urban botanic garden could become a trigger for community bonding, especially in the northern cold area. After designing the 2019 EXPO Botanic Garden, we have the confidence to persuade the clients to implant a glasshouse in every potential project as an agent for community making. Then, this Shenyang project showed up.

photo_credit Zeng Tianpei
Zeng Tianpei

Located in a new financial town in the suburb of Shenyang, this planned 5,000 square meters community center belongs to a commercial plot which will house 50,000 square meters of future development. Our program research discovered two disadvantages: 1. this new developing area does not have sufficient population to support large quantities of retails; 2. It is very questionable that how to make a typical shopping center competitive. After discussion with the client, we both agreed that this commercial center should be something special. Thus it came the idea of using a botanic garden to energize the space. The client was very much excited about the proposal, and commissioned URBANUS to design the entire 50,000 square meters project, rather than a singular community center.

photo_credit Zeng Tianpei
Zeng Tianpei

With analyzing various potential commercial models in this area, an innovative layout appeared: a greenhouse was employed as the center of all programs to attract visitors and start-up business. Due to the thermos protection, the greenhouse is not fully glass-roofed, and its partially solid roof provides a social space for upper floor communities. This model could be an attractive typology, however, it is uncommon in the reality for several reasons:

  1. For the real estate developers: the greenhouse would eat up FAR.
  2. For the Governmental Building Department: the greenhouse would exceed the footprint coverage.
  3. For the Governmental Landscape Bureau: the greenery in the greenhouse would not be counted.
photo_credit Zeng Tianpei
Zeng Tianpei

Luckily, this district is an experimental area which allows reasonable negotiation on the existing codes. The proposal is finally approved by the government on account of its potential benefits for the public space.

photo_credit Zeng Tianpei
Zeng Tianpei

This project was born during the 2020 Spring Festival. The keyword at the pandemic time was "quarantine", which also aroused the desire for community gatherings. It took less than four months from schematic design to construction documents.

photo_credit Zeng Tianpei
Zeng Tianpei

1. The site layout:
The east side of the lot is the main entry road of the town. The length of this side is more than a hundred meters long, so the logic is that a long unified street wall is more powerful to image design than a scattered volumns. In addition, this is the first phase of the project, and it is necessary to save the land for the second phase greenhouse on the west, therefore, the community center is defined within the narrow north-south boundary at east side. No basement is designed due to the intense time schedule.

photo_credit Zeng Tianpei
Zeng Tianpei

2. The main facade:
The facade is designed to display interior programs. Three community scenarios are showcased here: first, a linear library with reading tables along the windows. This library would light up the street in the long winter evenings. Second, a community multifunctional hall with its window as a big frame to expose its inner activities. Third, a reception hall with a small greenhouse garden. All of the three venues will become the components of the street wall.

photo_credit Zeng Tianpei
Zeng Tianpei

3. The front plaza:
Defined by the extended column grids, the plaza is not only used as ceremonial gathering space, but also serves other public activities, with a mountain-shaped playground.

photo_credit Zeng Tianpei
Zeng Tianpei

4. Programs and circulations:
The programs of the community center best illustrate the future lifestyle of the town, including gallery, exhibition center, conference center, library, etc.

photo_credit Zeng Tianpei
Zeng Tianpei

The clue that synthesizes those scenarios together is the concept of greenhouse. Be grateful to the vertical green system that has started to become a mature business in this area, the nature is introduced into each program, and in return, the project can be a good example to promote the vertical greenery industry.

photo_credit Zeng Tianpei
Zeng Tianpei

There are three paths from ground level to the second floor: the stair at the east that synchronized with the external staircase can lead to the reading space on the second floor; through the bamboo forest at the west atrium, the conference area on the second floor can be reached; on the south side there is an art gallery, whose triangle atrium could also make upstairs accessible.

photo_credit Zeng Tianpei
Zeng Tianpei

For the space that has no conditions for the real greenery, the graphic design is applied in lieu of real plants. The painting from French painter Rousseau inspires the design of our wallpaper and the carpets to have the motif of wild world interior. We hope the future greenhouse is not only visual, but also could be experienced in sound, smell, and taste. The greenery design of this project expresses not only an intention to build a greenhouse in Northeast China, but also a wish to set up a warm community with a greenhouse. 

Caption
Caption
Caption

Team:
Client: Liaoning Baishahu Industrial Development Co., Ltd.
Planning/Architecture Design/Interior Design/Landscape Design: URBANUS
Principal Architect: Wang Hui
Design Team: Zheng Na, Yao Yongmei, Dou Yonghui, Hu Haibo, Gao Zixu, Wang Jingfei,Hu Jiaming, Zhang Ting, Jiang Zhongyu, Li Gang, Wang Lei, Chai Bingjiang
Architectural Construction Drawing: Shenyang Huayu Architectural Design Co.,Ltd.
Interior Construction Drawing: Mulan Decoration Engineering Design Co., Ltd.
Landscape Construction Drawing: Shenyang jiutuo Landscape Design Co., Ltd.

Products Behind Projects
Product Spotlight
News
WOODlife’s floors and finishes add warmth and texture to Oslo House
17 May 2024 News
WOODlife’s floors and finishes add warmth and texture to Oslo House

Dutch flooring brand WOODlife was included in Archello’s list of 25 best engineered wood floor... More

Knox Bhavan completes energy-efficient and accessible house using prefabricated timber cassette system
16 May 2024 News
Knox Bhavan completes energy-efficient and accessible house using prefabricated timber cassette system

London-based architectural practice Knox Bhavan has completed an energy-efficient and accessible hou... More

Wangen Tower is first multi-level and climbable structure to use self-shaped timber components
15 May 2024 Innovations
Wangen Tower is first multi-level and climbable structure to use self-shaped timber components

Wangen Tower is the first multi-level and climbable structure to use self-shaped, structural timber... More

Lumi Shala by IBUKU is a sculptural bamboo-grid-shell yoga center in Bali
15 May 2024 News
Lumi Shala by Ibuku is a sculptural bamboo-grid-shell yoga center in Bali

Lumi Shala is an artisanal wellness space at the Alchemy Yoga Centre in Bali designed by local archi... More

Makoto Yamaguchi Design completes Tokyo gaming HQ with contemporary appearance of traditional Japanese pagoda
14 May 2024 News
Makoto Yamaguchi Design completes Tokyo gaming HQ with contemporary appearance of traditional Japanese pagoda

Tokyo-based Makoto Yamaguchi Design has completed the new headquarters of a Japanese gaming company... More

25 best aluminum window manufacturers
13 May 2024 Specification
25 best aluminum window manufacturers

Aluminum windows and window systems are lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and structurally strong. S... More

Detail: Red facade and triangular plot create distinctive apartment building in Barcelona
10 May 2024 Detail
Detail: Red facade and triangular plot create distinctive apartment building in Barcelona

Barcelona-based architectural studios MIAS Architects and Coll-Leclerc have completed the developmen... More

Snøhetta completes Norway’s first naturally climatized mixed-use building
8 May 2024 News
Snøhetta completes Norway’s first naturally climatized mixed-use building

Global transdisciplinary architecture and design practice Snøhetta has completed Norway&rsquo... More