The Zhou Shan project, (archipelago located in the south-east of Shanghaï- China) is born from the work of the architect Wang Shu in the Putuo District in order to transform a declining harbor installation to a new « cultural garden ». The issues connected to urban and architectural refurbishment were discovered very lately by the Chinese authorities. Few initiatives are to be studied, and almost always dealing with old traditional housing restoration process.
The project I developed aims to bring another point of view concerning refurbishment as it enhances the interest of mixing proper restoration and new construction. Four ancient constructions are totally refurbished in order to set up new functions and uses. As those buildings are located at the entry of the harbor, the project suggests to settle a reception center including an information desk and resources center, a bar/restaurant, a shop and exhibition place. Furthermore, the ancient gate building is raised with two more floors in order to create a « belvedere ».
The courtyard in the center is then covered by a great canopy, offering a shelter to the visitors, protected from rain, sun and wind. Made of prefabricated timber elements and frame, the construction system shall preserve an easy repair of structural elements, essentially in case of strong earthquake.
The canopy is covered with PV solar panels in order to produce energy for the new installations. If energy is one of the main attempts of the project, a global thought is develop in order to offer an exemplary resources management : air (ventilation, health, hygrometry), ground (minimized impact on the existing plot), water (rainwater collect for reuse), renewable materials (wooden frames and structure).
This double measures of heavy refurbishment and new construction shall guaranty the creation of a new identity, deeply founded into the original value of the site : its social role and its spatial disposition - counstruction surrounding an empty space devoted to people assembly.