Background and condition before renovation
Shanghai Rowing Club is located at No. 76, South Suzhou Road, between Shanghai Garden Bridge and Zha-pu Road Bridge, adjacent to Suzhou Creek in the north, and across the bank from Shanghai Building.On the south side is the city road, close to the former Union Church and the former British Consulate. The Bund is on its east side.
▼苏州河对岸远观，view from the other bank of Suzhou River © 章鱼见筑
The rowing club has a history over one hundred years. It was once composed of three parts: the boathouse on the east side, the clubhouse in the middle part, and the swimming pool on the west side. Before the start of this project, only the central clubhouse and the west arch were rebuilt as they were. The swimming pool on the west side was filled with four lawns, and the east side was surrounded by greenery, which was inaccessible. The figure of the roof truss was decorated on both east and west walls of the club building, suggesting the original spatial layout.
▼对岸正视，north facade from the other bank of Suzhou River © 章鱼见筑
Form evolution in history
▼改造前俯视，plan view before renovation © 同济原作设计工作室
The original rowing club was founded in 1903. After liberation, it was demolished and reconstructed to varying degrees and became a swimming pool of Huangpu District. In the early 1990s, due to the construction of the Wusong Gate Bridge, the east wing of the building was pulled down, and the west wing was replaced with a flat roof, which was used as a tennis court. The central clubhouse was increase the height by four meters and built to four floors. On June 20, 2009, the rowing club was almost demolished due to urban construction. The structure of the clubhouse was preserved and rebuilt in 2010 according to its original appearance. The west side swimming pool was filled as lawns according to the characteristics of the swimming pool. This design is to restore the original state of the building to a certain extent.
▼改造后俯视，plan perspective after renovation © 章鱼见筑
Retrospective shaping of architectural form
▼改造前建筑西翼，view from west of the shape before renovation © 同济原作设计工作室
The design is started with the overall space combing. It opens the pedestrian space between the rowing club and the flood wall, expands the hard ground on the east side of the building, and organically integrates the rowing club with the riverside public space, while retaining and strengthening the spatial layout of the original rowing club.
▼南苏州路人视，east view from South Suzhou Road © 章鱼见筑
On the west side of the building, combined with the outdoor landscape and the arch, the steel structure frame is used as the basis to modernize the original swimming pool and build an abstract structure frame. The slender steel structure uses the form of lattice columns and composite steel beams interspersed with each other, judging by the traces of the site and historical drawings, recovering the frame form and grid relationship. Tension steel cables between the roofs, combined with the steel structure concrete column foot to plant climbing plants to form an ecologically green interface. The lights are hidden in the gaps between steel structures to form a quiet lighting environment at night.
▼东侧正面看划船俱乐部，east facade © 章鱼见筑
On the east side of the building, in a structural pattern similar to that on the west side, 8 groups of steel structure light stands are prefabricated to form a light array square. Grass-planting bricks are laid inside the square. The relatively simple light array reminds the original boathouse space and becomes a more landscaping and relaxing public space combined with the landscape lawn. The two sets of steel frames in the east and the west lead the citizens to trace the morphological characteristics and spatial atmosphere of Shanghai Rowing Club as a translucent image that overlaps with reality.
▼东面看划船俱乐部，east view © 章鱼见筑
Excavation and restoration of the swimming pool
As the original important part of the rowing club, the swimming pool should become a distinctive highlight in the shaping of the public space. Therefore,the swimming pool needed to be excavated and restored. After preliminary and careful “archaeological” excavation, the swimming pool structure was discovered Intact, and the surface mosaic was basically intact, which strengthened the confidence in restoring the pool space. There were also three long axial ridge walls added in the pool.
▼透过棚架看后面建筑，see the buildings through the scaffolding © 章鱼见筑
relation of the scaffolding and the truss on the facade © 章鱼见筑
▼与滨河公共空间的链接，connection with the waterfront public space © 章鱼见筑
We removed existing vegetation and mound and the three walls. The pool space saw the light of day again, presenting the original spatial state: more than 50 meters long and 30 meters wide, consisting of a shallow pool and paddling pool. In the further design, we tried to retain the original shape and material charm of the swimming pool, focusing on improving the accessibility and publicity of the swimming pool and restoring the surface of the swimming pool.
▼市民在泳池中拍照，people taking pictures in the swimming pool © 章鱼见筑
intergration of the steps and bases of the colomns © 章鱼见筑
▼马赛克与栏杆细部，detail of mosaic and rail © 章鱼见筑
Participation in the history of the future
So far, the pool space has become a public space under steel truss roof. People can enter the pool and look back at the time change from the perspective of the “pool bottom”. The space of the swimming pool can become an exhibition hall, a cafe, a stage, a catwalk or any other multi-functional states, allowing citizens to experience the sense of place and social interaction of the original rowing club with a brand-new lifestyle. Shanghai Rowing Club will continue to participate in the future history as a public space.
▼灯阵广场，steel structure lights square © 章鱼见筑
▼东侧正面划船俱乐部夜景，night view of the east facade © 章鱼见筑
▼泳池内部，in the swimming pool © 章鱼见筑
▼夜景，向西鸟瞰，night view, westward bird-view © 章鱼见筑
▼历史形态沿革，shape change of the building © 同济原作设计工作室
▼钢结构细部，detail of steel structure © 同济原作设计工作室
Project name: Renovation of Shanghai Rowing Club and surrounding public space
Address: No. 76 South Suzhou Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai
Time of design: 2018.3
Time of completion: 2021.5
Client: Landscape Administrative Bureau of Huangpu district
Architectural design company: Original Design Studio, TJAD
Chief architect: Zhang Ming, Zhang Zi
Architect: Wang Xunan, Ding Chun, Guo Luwei
Structural design company: Dujing Architectural Design Institude, TJAD
Structure engineer: Wang Rui, Wang Jinhua
Equipment design company: No.1 Architectural Design Institude, TJAD
Water Supply & Drainage Engineer: You Bolin, Shan Chenguang
electrical engineer: Wang Ying