背景 | The context
The size of the typical block in new Chinese cities starts from approximately 500×500 square meters. The problem of the mega block is two-fold: 1. It is anti-urban – it weakens the interaction between buildings/communities and the city; 2. It is high-carbon – it makes an automobile-oriented city where public transportations stop outside the block and its scale does not support walking.
This observation suggests that the effort to reduce carbon emission could become an attempt to increase urbanity, which in turn inspires a modest, potentially effective, design strategy: Reduce the size of the block.
▼22个微型街区组成的城市肌理，Urban fabric formed by 22 Mini Blocks ©田方方
项目 | The project
When Atelier FCJZ was given the opportunity to design an office park outside of Shanghai in the satellite town of Jiading, the Industry 4.0 Demonstration Base, we defined the challenge as following:
The bigger questions: An office park is typically suburban, can we turn it more urban? What are the qualities of urban space? How to make the people use and enjoy them more?
Furthermore, we focused on one specific question: How small can a block be?
The size of a block is determined by density, scale, and program. A block is part of the urban fabric and defined by streets.
▼从肌理推进街区和街道，Zooming in on blocks and streets ©田方方
肌理 | The fabric
在我们提出的总体规划中，通过低层数 （4层），高密度（平均总体规划容积率1.2 /街区容积率2）平铺和混合功能，来提高城市的便捷性：这些建筑主要为高科技公司办公，一层为公共/商业设施，居住部分（由于中国的功能分区法规中要求工业园内只能有租赁公寓和酒店，而不能有公寓）在顶层。
▼全景鸟瞰，可看到限高为4层，Overall birdsight view showing 4-story height limit ©田方方
In the master plan we propose, urban accessibility is improved by a low-rise (4 stories) high density (average master plan FAR 1.2 / block FAR 2) carpet and mixed programs: Mainly offices for high-tech companies with public/ commercial facilities on the street level and some residential elements (rental apartments and hotels but not condominiums due to Chinese zoning regulation) on the top floor.
街道 | The street
The primary urban space here is the street, which is 10 meters wide and spatially defined by the 3-meter wide covered walkways on the ground level of the buildings on both sides. As the project is situated in the southern Yangtze River region, covered walkways protect pedestrians from long rainy season and excessive sun in the summer.
▼典型十字路口，Typical intersection ©田方方
▼广场，The square ©田方方
▼步行道的十字路口，Intersection of pedestrian streets ©田方方
街区 | The block
考虑到每家公司将拥有上限为4000平方米的建筑，零售店和餐饮希望位于街角位置，便于步行及街区之间的连接性，以及创造尽可能多的建筑街道界面，我们将街区的大小设置为41.2 x 41.2米。
After considering the facts that each company will own the building up to 4,000 square meters, retail outlets and eateries would desire corner locations, walk-ability and connectivity between blocks, and more building-street interface in general, we set the block size at 41.2 x 41.2 meters.
▼一个街角，A street corner ©田方方
其他重要的维度 | Other important dimensions
街区/建筑模数：将41.2米分解为5个8米的柱距，两端再各有0.6米用于建筑外立面处理。41.2 x 41.2米也符合每座建筑4000平方米的容积率，该面积允许若干小公司或一家大公司占用一个街区。这是一个单栋建筑的街区。虽然所有的建筑大小相似，但每个建筑的平面和立面设计都不同，这使得此开发项目能够满足不同企业的空间和身份的需求，并丰富了城市空间的体验。
▼总图，Site plan ©FCJZ
Grid: Approximately 50 meters x 50 meters from street center to street center.
Block/Building module: 41.2 meters break down to 5 x 8-meter column-to-column bays plus 0.6 meter on each end for potential architectural articulation of facade. 41.2 x 41.2 meter meets the floor area ratio of 4,000 square meters per block thus to allow a block to be occupied by a number of small firms or one large company. It is a single-building block. While all the buildings are of similar sizes, each one is designed differently in terms of floor plans and elevations, which allows the development to meet the varied space as well as identity needs of the businesses and enriches the experience in the urban spaces.
▼变化的立面设计，Changing facade design ©田方方
▼13号街区楼立面细部，Facade detail of Block-Building 13 ©田方方
First 4 blocks: When we started the architectural design of the first four blocks, we were asked to facilitate a number of public functions, such as a convention center and a hotel, which result in a 8-story buildings. To be true to our master plan, we designed two separate pieces of architecture: One is four 4-story block-buildings on the ground; another is 4-story continuous loop-building that “floats” on the top of the blocks.
This is an indication that the mini block may work for a higher density.
▼2013年最早建成的4个街区，First 4 blocks were completed in 2013
There are 22 block-buildings designed by FCJZ. The 41.2 block is the antithesis of the typical 500-meter and up mega block (Super mega block would go up to 800×800 meters). It’s the Mini Block.
▼15号街区楼，Block-Building 15 ©田方方
▼8号街区楼，Block-Building 8 ©田方方
▼9号街区楼，Block-Building 9 ©田方方
▼12号街区楼，Block-Building 12 ©田方方
▼14号街区楼，Block-Building 14 ©田方方
▼11号街区楼立面细部，Facade detail of Block-Building 11 ©田方方
▼20号街区楼立面细部，Facade detail of Block-Building 20 ©田方方
▼7号街区楼天窗，Skylights of Block-Building 7 ©田方方
The master plan concept is reinforced by several other measures:
Integrated circulation: While planning a series of pedestrian streets, we introduced to some of secondary circulatory routes the concept of “Shared Street” to mix street life and vehicular traffic through careful design to achieve safety and accessibility at the same time. Unfortunately, this idea was not fully realized.
▼景观步行道，Pedestrian street with landscape ©田方方
▼弯曲车行道，Bending vehicular street ©田方方
▼车行道的一个弯道，A bend on a vehicular street ©田方方
Covered walkway system: Already mentioned with the street, a 3-meter wide colonnade or cantilever is required on the street level for all the buildings, as specified in the design guidelines.
▼步行道两侧的骑楼，Pedestrain street with covered walkway on both sides ©田方方
▼沿着步行道的骑楼，Under covered walkway along a pedestrain street ©田方方
▼沿着车行道的骑楼，Under covered walkway along a vehicular street ©田方方
Building envelope: Setback is not permitted from the second floor and up, also as specified in the design guidelines.
▼21号街区楼局部开放的首层，Block-Building 21 with partially open ground floor ©田方方
▼13号街区楼内庭院，Courtyard of Block-Building 13 ©田方方
▼5号街区楼内庭院，Courtyard in Block-Building 5 ©田方方
▼5号街区楼走廊，Passageway of Block-Building 5 ©田方方
▼11号街区楼内庭院，Courtyard of Block-Building 11 ©田方方
▼7号街区楼室内，Interior of Block-Building 7 ©田方方
▼9号街区楼室内，Interior of Block-Building 9 ©田方方
▼14号街区楼室内，Interior of Block-Building14 ©田方方
设计过程 | The design process
The conventional master plan for control in China does not define the specific locations and configurations of buildings and as a result it does not control the quality of urban spaces. We developed design guidelines between the stages of master plan design and architectural design as a critical tool for implementation. Therefore, other design institutes/offices participating in the project have all followed the design guidelines.
Upon the completion of the project, we believe: Small is beautiful.
▼傍晚街灯亮起的街道，Evening view with street lights ©田方方
Yet one question remains unanswered: What is urbanity?
客户/Client: 嘉定工业区/Shanghai Jiading Industrial Zone
地点/Location: 嘉定工业园区，嘉定区，上海/ Jiading Industrial Park, Jiading District, Shanghai, China
主持建筑师/Principal Architects: 张永和/Yung Ho Chang
项目团队/Project Team: Dan Chen、刘靖、刘向晖、蔡峰、董书音、林方杰、刘扬、郭庆民、吴瑕、黄舒怡、沈愉恒、赵春雷等/ Dan Chen, Liu Jing, Liu Xianghui, Cai Feng, Dong Shuyin, Lin Fangjie, Liu Yang, Guo Qingmin, Wu Xia, Huang Shuyi, Shen Yuheng, Zhao Chunlei Etc.
建筑：上海建筑设计研究院有限公司/Architecture: Arcplus Institute of Shanghai Architectural Design & Research (Co., Ltd)
景观：同济大学建筑设计研究院/ landscape: Tongji Architectural Design (Group) Co., Ltd
建筑面积/Building Area: 70085.7 ㎡
结构材料/Structure and Material: 框架混凝土拱结构，钢桁架结构/ Reinforced concrete arch, Steel truss
设计周期/Design Period: 2012 ~ 2014
竣工时间/Completion Time: 2020