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gmp converts disused stainless steel factory turned into art academy in Shanghai

China Architecture News - Jul 06, 2021 - 15:11   2137 views

gmp converts disused stainless steel factory turned into art academy in Shanghai

The team of von Gerkan, Marg and Partners Archi­tects (gmp) has won an international competition to convert a disused stainless steel factory into an art academy in Shanghai, China.

The 860-meter-long factory will have its distinctive basic structure, including the characteristic ventilation towers on the roof, that would accommodate the Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts.

The Baowu Stainless Steel factory is located in the Wusong industrial area, the factory started operations in 1986 and, for 30 years, played an important part in China’s steel production. The project is being developed as part of a larger redevelopment plan transforming old industrial site into an art district. 

gmp converts disused stainless steel factory turned into art academy in Shanghai

Central corridor. Image © Willmore CG

Having been vacated in 2016, the monumental building has been designated for conversion into the main location of the Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts, a focal point of the art quarter that is currently being created on the site of the former industrial estate. 

The art academy, which is part of Shanghai University, is one of the country’s key institutions for the study of art and for international art exchange.

"In China, too, the revitalization of existing buildings is becoming increasingly popular," said gmp. 

gmp converts disused stainless steel factory turned into art academy in Shanghai

Communication area. Image © Willmore CG

gmp's new project is currently one of the most important reuse projects in an urban context. The firm will preserve the basic structure of the industrial building, while using corten steel frames that will frame an access corridor in the core of the building - running from east to west along the central axis for the entire length of the 860-meter-long building. 

"These new frame elements resonate with the existing industrial architecture—the dark concrete and the dark steel framing," said gmp.

The corridor will double up as an exhibition area and will generally be a place where students, teachers and campus visitors can meet. 

gmp converts disused stainless steel factory turned into art academy in Shanghai

Image © Willmore CG

There are five points where the axis can be crossed by north-south traffic: three pedestrian intersections and two cross-over points for motorized traffic. At these points the corridor is built in the form of a bridge.

The distinctive structures on the roof are integrated in the design as space-defining roof lights that give the corridor a certain rhythm along its entire length. 

gmp converts disused stainless steel factory turned into art academy in Shanghai

Bird‘s-eye view south. Image © Willmore CG

The facades will be opened up and replaced with large glazing panels and metal mesh as a second skin. The design includes important energy-conserving devices for the air conditioning of the building, such as the activation of the existing natural roof ventilation, the new double-skin facade, and floor channels that provide natural cooling to the inlet air. 

gmp converts disused stainless steel factory turned into art academy in Shanghai

Main entrance west with plaza. Image © Willmore CG

With its approximately 220,000 square meters of gross floor area, the new art academy will include all important teaching facilities as well as studios, a publicly accessible forum with restaurants and retail areas, a library, sports facilities, a museum, and more exhibition areas. 

The planned halls of residence on the campus will provide accommodation for the academy’s 600 teaching staff and 4000 students, many of whom will come from abroad.

gmp converts disused stainless steel factory turned into art academy in Shanghai

Bird‘s-eye view southwest. Image © Willmore CG

gmp converts disused stainless steel factory turned into art academy in Shanghai

Bird‘s-eye view southwest, existing. Image © gmp Architects

gmp converts disused stainless steel factory turned into art academy in Shanghai

Interior space organization. Image © gmp Architects

gmp converts disused stainless steel factory turned into art academy in Shanghai

Schematic corridor frame arrangement. Image © gmp Architects

Project facts

Design: Meinhard von Gerkan and Nikolaus Goetze with Magdalene Weiss

Competition Lead: Li Yang

Project Management, China: Pan Mei, Zhang Yayun

Competition Team: Guo Qiang, Philipp Wüstenberg, Raymond James Tripodi, Su Wen, Vincent Paar, Wang Yehan, Zhu Lingli, Zheng Yilin

Structural Engineering: schlaich bergermann partner

Power Engineering: Transsolar Energietechnik GmbH

Air Conditioning: Institute of HVAC Engineering, Tongji University

Client: Shanghai Baosteel Stainless Steel Co., Ltd.

GFA: 220,000 m²

Top image © Willmore CG

> via von Gerkan, Marg and Partners Archi­tects