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MAD unveils design to extend old cement factory warehouse with spaceship-like floating volume

China Architecture News - Oct 31, 2023 - 11:54   1895 views

MAD unveils design to extend old cement factory warehouse with spaceship-like floating volume

MAD has unveiled design for the renovation and extension of a warehouse at a former cement factory with a spaceship-like rooftop extension in Shanghai, China.

Named The Ark, the 15,312-square-metre project includes the renovation and extension of the "Wanmicang" warehouse on the southside of the Shanghai Zhangjiang Cement Factory. 

MAD envisioned a three-dimensional hierarchy of time and physical dimensions through the juxtaposition of old and new structures. 

MAD unveils design to extend old cement factory warehouse with spaceship-like floating volume

The elongated, curved metal structure is placed on top of the two warehouse walls and will include a research lab, logistic services, atrium, balcony and a public space.

The ground floor, described as "a multi-functional urban living room", will include a public space, co-working spaces, logistic services, commercial spaces, North-South connecting corridor and a multi-functional hall. 

MAD unveils design to extend old cement factory warehouse with spaceship-like floating volume

MAD calls this new addition as "a rising ark", and according to the team, "the transformed building will bring new life to the decaying industrial site by transforming the park into a multifunctional public waterfront space integrating culture, creativity, commerce and shared offices."

The Shanghai Zhangjiang Cement Factory was once one of the three largest cement factories in Shanghai. Originally built in 1971, the structure had witnessed the development of Shanghai's urban construction in the past 50 years before its ceasing production in 2013. 

MAD unveils design to extend old cement factory warehouse with spaceship-like floating volume

The warehouse was once the first stop for ships to send raw materials to the cement factory for processing, and it is also the largest existing building in the cement factory. Its riverfront façade, like a vast painting scroll, is the urban memory of generations of Shanghai people.

In recent years, pioneering architects from home and abroad have since been commissioned to design a cluster for the park that will preserve historical industrial buildings such as the "10,000-Metre Silo", the "Cement Silo" and the "Kiln Tail Tower" through continued reuse. 

MAD unveils design to extend old cement factory warehouse with spaceship-like floating volume

"Through renewing and reusing the historical industrial buildings and developing facilities for research and development, cultural and sports services, and creative commercial support, the cement factory will be transformed into a complex campus with various types of business and dynamic architectural spaces," MAD explained.

MAD unveils design to extend old cement factory warehouse with spaceship-like floating volume

"It gives the future a sense of history"

"Industrial heritage is preserved and utilised not only because of the historical memories it carries, but more importantly because it gives the future a sense of history," said Ma Yansong, founding partner of MAD Architects.

"So we don't need to celebrate and consolidate industrial aesthetics here, but rather focus on the spirit of the contemporary and the future," Yansong added.

MAD unveils design to extend old cement factory warehouse with spaceship-like floating volume

The MAD team will preserve the original industrial architectural look of the warehouse, however, the old roof will be replaced by an ark-like metal volume that resembles a "floating" object. 

The new addition creates a contrast between the roughness of the old concrete and the smoothness of the new metal and aims to give new life to the dilapidated factory building. The original industrial space will be transformed into a multi-functional urban living room. 

The upper volume forms a long mottled façade of the original industrial building which has been repaired and reinforced to become part of the memory and soul of the new space. 

MAD unveils design to extend old cement factory warehouse with spaceship-like floating volume

The west wall facing the Zhangjiang Sub-centre was removed and replaced by a full-face suspended glass curtain wall, which is set back from the original wall to create a 24-hour urban public space on the outside.

The bright, open factory space will be visible from behind the transparent glass curtain wall, on the other hand, the design takes advantage of the long, narrow and tall volume of the warehouse to add an interior space with a great sense of depth. 

MAD unveils design to extend old cement factory warehouse with spaceship-like floating volume

Upon visitors entering the interior, the visitors are greeted by "an unfolding giant ark", a metal ladder leads up to the roof, attracting people to embark on a journey to explore the future and the unknown. 

Underneath the ark are the mottled walls of the old factory building and a tiered garden. The gardens are filled with creative, cultural and catering businesses that together create a vibrant new community that can activate the larger urban space.

MAD unveils design to extend old cement factory warehouse with spaceship-like floating volume

The studio makes a separation between the old and new structures with a glass curtain wall between the old factory wall and the floating ark. 

"Light pours down from the gaps in the curtain wall, falls on the garden, and is reflected on the slightly reflective stainless steel ceiling at the top to fill the entire space with a sense of natural light and greenery," MAD explained. 

"The sunlight changes its angle over time, animating the old bricks as if to remind people of the passage of time and the history of this site," the office added.

MAD unveils design to extend old cement factory warehouse with spaceship-like floating volume

In order to invite people inside the building to enjoy the riverside view, the first floor of the old factory building is opened up along the river and integrated with the waterfront plaza. 

Additionally, a corridor was set up in the middle of the building to connect the plaza in the park with the riverbank. A newly designed bridge connects the two sides of the River, allowing more people in the area to enjoy this new public space more conveniently.

The rooftop extension was envisioned as an additional urban public space where people can freely access this space and enjoy the view of the Chuanyang River in the distance. 

MAD unveils design to extend old cement factory warehouse with spaceship-like floating volume

The eaves of the Ark tilts down gently to minimise the oppressive feeling that the height of the building may have on the banks of the Chuanyang River and at the same time optimise the view from the roof terrace.

MAD unveils design to extend old cement factory warehouse with spaceship-like floating volume

The floating effect of the Ark is enhanced by adding new columns, floor trusses, spanning trusses and large spanning beams, etc. 

The old walls are reinforced and repaired by means of studs, steel wire mesh and steel frames, etc., in order to retain the sense of historical vicissitudes to the maximum extent.

MAD expects to complete the project in 2026.

MAD unveils design to extend old cement factory warehouse with spaceship-like floating volume

Ground floor plan

MAD unveils design to extend old cement factory warehouse with spaceship-like floating volume

4th floor plan

MAD unveils design to extend old cement factory warehouse with spaceship-like floating volume

Section

MAD unveils design to extend old cement factory warehouse with spaceship-like floating volume

Programme distribution diagram

MAD unveils design to extend old cement factory warehouse with spaceship-like floating volume

Circulation diagram

MAD unveils design to extend old cement factory warehouse with spaceship-like floating volume

Structure analysis diagram

MAD unveils design to extend old cement factory warehouse with spaceship-like floating volume

Concept diagram

MAD recently unveiled design for a new culture and arts center that is hidden beneath white metal roofs scattered like "bamboo leaves" in Anji, China. 

MAD is also working on the new China Philharmonic Concert Hall, which is nearing completion in Beijing, China. The office's new project, Qondesa, a new mixed-use tower will rise in Quito, Ecuador.

MAD Architects was founded in 2004 by Ma Yansong. One of the most renowned Chinese practices, MAD is led by three partners Ma Yansong, Dang Qun, and Yosuke Hayano.

Project facts

Project name: The Ark | Shanghai Cement Factory Warehouse Renovation
Location: Shanghai, China
Date: 2021 - 2026

Site area: 6,742 square metres
Building area: 15,312 square metres
Building height: 24 metres

Principal Partner in Charge: Ma Yansong, Dang Qun, Yosuke Hayano
Associate Partner in Charge: Fu Changrui
Design Team: Zheng Chengwen, Zhang Tong, Zhou Rui, Shiko Foo

Client: Shanghai Quan Cheng Development & Construction Co., Ltd.
Executive Architects: Tongji Architectural Design (Group) Co., Ltd.
Structural Consultant: Archi-Neering-Design/AND Office
Façade Consultant: Shanghai CIMA Engineering Consulting Co. Ltd.
Interior Consultant: MAD Architects
Lighting Consultant: TS Shanghai Tunsten Lighting Design Co., Ltd.
Landscape Consultant: Design Land Collaborative Ltd.

All images & drawings courtesy of MAD.

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