WallaceLiu：London based design studio WallaceLiu have re-imagined a 20m wide, 1km long highway in the South Western Chinese city of Chongqing as a shared surface‘livable street’ by replacing the delineation and monolithic character of the highway with the language and scale of a public space. The site represents the typical periphery of a modern Chinese city that has changed its land use as the city expands. The highway, Yannan Avenue, along which 7 large plots of land were purchased by the state-owned developer PKU Resource (北大资源), will become a route through nearly 20,000msq of street retail and high-density residential compounds and adjacent to existing low-income social housing.
▼大道局部，人车共用铺装的做法削减了车辆交通的主导地位，the partial view of the avenue, the shared surface paved on the highway and pedestrian removes the dominance of vehicles
WallaceLiu won the project in 2014 through a competition with an initial idea that certain safety issues created by pinch points in the street could be used to argue that the highway width in its entirety could be reduced to two lanes. This however raised concern in the local planning and transport department and eventually, with the support of the client, we managed to secure support for a shared surface design where we paved over the highway instead. The shared surface, as a typology of public space, aims to remove the dominance of vehicles. It provides a blurred boundary between the actual road and its surrounding parks, plaza, compounds and other urban facilities. We imagined the entire highway to be transformed into a walkable and playful place.
▼大道局部，相似的路面铺装模糊了实际道路与其他空间的边界，the partial view of the avenue, the similar pavement provides a blurred boundary between the actual road and its surroundings
▼人行区域局部，使用与机动车道类似的暖色调石材铺面，the partial view of the pedestrian, using the warm stone pavement similar to the highway
The resolution of the idea was made through the paving of the highway with a new granite surface, the repaving of pedestrian areas with a similar material, the removal of pedestrian barriers and most signage including road markings and the introduction of a new type of kerbstone that was flush with highway and pavement. Through careful design of the new street levels we were able to retain the existing sub-base and drainage therefore significantly reducing the cost of the new work. Because we could not reduce the width of the carriageway we had to engage with its scale through design to remove its visual dominance. We did this by enlarging the new landscape elements such as public benches and planters, the main path through the park and the width of pocket squares to radically alter the visual proportion and impression of the overall place as one walks down the street.
▼关键开放空间中的预制钢木坐凳，样式是可坐可爬的“波浪”平台，the off-site manufactured steel-timber furniture in the key open space, designed to form ‘wave’ of sit-able and climbable decks
▼“波浪”式的预制钢木坐凳细节，the details of the ‘wave’ off-site manufactured steel-timber furniture
▼公园绿地里的小号座凳，供更需要安静的个人使用，the smaller seats clustered around the park for calmer individual use
The middle section of the street is the most significant part of the change where the existing street park on one side adopted an entire new geometry of paths whilst keeping existing mature trees. An informal and unfenced public playground was created at the southern end of the park by digging into the landscape to create walls and slopes for climbing, sliding and imaginative games. A set of large planters and seating was placed opposite the park creating a mirrored green space in a consistent language, therefore locating the highway at the centre of a green promenade.
▼公园南端的儿童活动场，高低起伏的斜坡绿地和攀岩墙壁营造了儿童在自然中玩耍的印象，the informal and unfenced public playground at the southern end of the park, its slope and walls create a space for climbing, sliding and imaginative games
The existing gingko trees were to be become part of the open park and offer shade alongside newly added mature trees to encourage people use the street in the extreme hot summer of Chongqing. We also designed a series of coloured canopies to help lift the generally grey tone of surrounding towers, framing and filtering views at significant stopping places in the street. They are made with hanging perspex panels mimicking coloured clouds over a pebble-grey coated steel structure to cast complex and vivid shadows on the ground. Other key design elements include a set of off-site manufactured steel-timber furniture. This seating is designed to form a ‘wave’ of sit-able and climbable decks that can be used for large or small gatherings and that encourage children to play on them. They also act as new psychological signals for traffic to slow down as they pass by. Smaller seats are mostly clustered around the park for calmer individual use.
▼吊挂彩色有机玻璃板构成的天蓬，有助于改善周边的灰色调，the canopy made with colorful hanging perspex panels helps lift the generally grey tone of surroundings
▼天蓬细节，details of the canopy
▼天蓬的玻璃板在日光下将其丰富的色彩投射到地面和草皮上，the vivid shadows on the ground and lawn created by the colorful canopy
▼人行道地面铺装细节，the details of the pavement of the pedestrian
▼改造前后局部平面图，the before and after partial site plan
▼景观详图，details of the landscape design
设计团队：Jee Liu（刘婕）, Jamie Wallace, Manshu Cui（崔漫舒)
摄影：WallaceLiu, Etienne Clement
Design Company: WallaceLiu (London)
Location: Chongqing, China
Client: PKU Resource Chongqing office (北大资源重庆公司)
Program: Public park and street
Design team: Jee Liu, Jamie Wallace, Manshu Cui, Eavy Sun
Photography: WallaceLiu, Etienne Clement