What is an "Existing building"? "Existing" means something is now present, available, or in operation. It exists because it plays a role in its time, and because it is useful to people and its existence is valued.
Dates back to the 1840s, Japan, Europe and the United States established their own concessions (foreign settlement areas) in Shanghai, where we are based, following the Opium War. Influenced by foreign cultures, Shanghai developed its own unique culture and is still dotted with "existing buildings".
In the Shankangli project, there was a Sikh church and ancillary facilities on the site that were built during the concession period. The church, which was once popular with the people, lost its function with the end of the concession period, and in recent years it had become a slum, with buildings and residences that had been wildly extended and renovated. We planned a conversion that would improve sustainability while utilizing the "existing buildings" and transformed Shankangli into a "creative village" combining work studios and commercial facilities.
China's economic development has led to a surge in high-rise buildings in urban areas. In contrast to these landscapes, the historical buildings from the concession period and the factories and other structures built during the reform and opening-up period in urban areas, as well as the green, low-rise streets of the past, are being re-evaluated. We want to make the most of "existing buildings" and add sustainability and functionality to bring out new attractions and actively promote Shanghai's affluent lifestyle.
The solutions we can offer to society are to breathe life into "existing buildings" that have been left behind and are no longer needed, and to "renew buildings, change lives" by exploring “regeneration” while staying close to modern lifestyles and continuing to enrich people's lifestyles in the future.
* “Placemaking” is a concept proposed in the US in 1960s, meaning creating places and focusing on transforming public spaces to strengthen the connections between people and these places. Placemaking is a process centered on people and their needs, aspirations, desires, and visions, which relies strongly on community participation.
The Process of Renovation
Four Core Values
1, Well Placemaking
Create vibrant spaces where people naturally gather: provide unique commercial spaces and workplaces that stimulate creativity.
2. Re-enhance the attractiveness of places and maximize their value
Decipher the historical context and intent of the buildings/space, renew and utilize existing buildings as much as possible, and propose lifestyles that help connect people to the community and build the community.
3. Earth and environmentally friendly
Reuse of materials (e.g. old bricks and tiles are stripped and used for external walls). Adopt passive design, using solar panels and grey water, improved insulation and air tightness, and maximizing the use of natural energy.
4. Reduce development costs
Reuse resources wherever possible and reduce costs by 20-30%. Maximize the use of existing structures (minimizing removed parts and structural reinforcement) and limit scrap-and-build as far as possible.