Shenzhen SkyPark / Cross-Border | ArchDaily
Shenzhen SkyPark / Cross Border
Contextual coherence – macro, meso, micro level. The architects began by reviewing the overall urban context of the project (macro). Next, let’s continue by zooming progressively into the local circumstances of the site, examining the surrounding educational, commercial and residential facilities in relation to the potential accesses and connections between the river and the bay area (meso). Finally, on the given design site, they also reassessed the existing Metro station building including its parking lot (micro). The first challenge is the 1.2 km long building complex. With a total height of around 15 m, a width of 70 m at its widest point and 50 m at its narrowest point, the original complex completely cut off the neighborhoods near the access to the bay, n providing no aesthetic value or serving a specific functional purpose.
The next consideration was how to integrate the new sports and recreation area into its surroundings and how to connect it to residential and educational buildings in the immediate vicinity. This also became part of the overall investigation, although the implementation of flyovers, bridges and corridors was not part of the initial scope or the first phase of construction. In addition, the overall roof area of 73,000 m2 (with a total project area of almost 77,000 m2) aimed to provide spatial solutions, both for open and closed areas, to allow for more dynamic activities (e.g. , sports, competitions and their supporting facilities), as well as for more static and “quiet” facilities (eg recreation, nature enjoyment).
“We faced very exceptional circumstances,” says Hao Dong, co-founder and partner of Crossboundaries, “in China, infrastructure and traffic-related areas are usually owned by the government and not meant to be affected at all. for public use.. This elongated roof presented itself with enormous potential to be transformed into a usable park, accessible to a wider public, enriching the urban environment that surrounds it.
II. Nested programmatic functions – A catalytic platform. 3 specific user groups have been identified as beneficiaries of the development of the new project – the general public, local professional sports clubs (tennis and volleyball in particular), as well as 3 educational institutions: the Shenzhen Nanshan Foreign Language School and the Shenzhen Bay School, which consists of an elementary program and a junior secondary program. Transversal boundaries proposed to subdivide the plot into 3 programmatic zones for the 3 different user groups, all of which are closely related to their immediate surroundings: one for the general public, for social and cultural interaction; one for the exclusive use of adjacent schools, fulfilling educational functions; finally, one for professional sport, for training activities and hosting competitions with the public.
Particular emphasis has been placed on the fact that the 3 usage scenarios can take place in parallel. Dedicated spaces must allow them to be closed to a restricted public or open to a larger public at certain times. Each of the programmatic areas has been developed with a varied and balanced mix of sports, leisure, support and services (changing rooms, coaches and referees areas), as well as green functions, resulting in a sporting and playful landscape integrated.
The segmentation of the long-standing sports park has been influenced by adjacent educational institutions. Ultimately, the architects divided the rooftop section into 5 segments: the northernmost part is dedicated to the Shenzhen Nanshan Foreign Language School, followed by the professional sports competition and training area , then facilities at the North Campus and South Campus of the Shenzhen Bay School, ending with a space dedicated to the general public for recreation, fitness and greenery. From a functional point of view, the strip responds to the needs of several user groups in terms of sports and leisure animation, becoming a linear recreational hub serving the neighborhood.
In total, for all schools, 5 tennis courts and 6 basketball courts, as well as 2 5-a-side football courts have been placed. Also included are several running tracks (460m, 160m and a 200m straight). The competition and training area for professionals was equipped with 2 grass courts, 6 competition tennis courts, 4 practice courts, 2 clay courts and 2 volleyball courts. The community segment includes green spaces as well as a full-size soccer field.
Access and connections. All entrances and accesses to the rooftop park are located in direct proximity to the various functional areas, while avoiding unnecessary interference, accessible via a total of 6 access points. Vertical links make the North and South ends directly accessible from the ground floor, inviting the general public to climb onto the roof. Access to the school is exclusively via crossings, leading directly to the roof. They are attached to 3 secondary public entrances, in the form of elevators and stairs, for additional access from street level.
On the roof itself, circulation is facilitated by three main routes which sometimes intersect, connect and “grow” towards other functions: leisure routes, pedestrian routes and sports routes (running/skating). The paths are also distinguished by their material. Most of the pedestrian promenade is made of stone cobblestones, while the leisure path is mainly covered with wood and the sports track with a rubber surface.
Provide guidance on a human scale. The development of a wayfinding and signaling system over a very long strip, as in the case of the Shenzhen Bay project, should facilitate navigation and alleviate the apparently repetitive nature of an extremely linear site. Applying the results of the previous analysis, Crossboundaries designed an applied signaling system at macro, meso and micro scales. Macro signage is assigned to the entrances, highlighting them and ensuring their visibility from the ground floor and from afar.
Mesoscale panels are deployed along the strip and help users navigate (and find their bearings) on the long linear platform. Signal pylons are placed in 100 m increments along the strip, indicating the facilities that are in this same stretch and giving an idea of its position in relation to the north and south entrance. The upper parts of the pylons bear numbers – 100, 200, 300, etc. – indicating the distance traveled. Finally, micro-scale signs identify specific destinations within these 100m marks. They define meeting points, while serving as functional objects, in the form of benches, light cubes, bins, etc.
III. An ever-evolving experience. As the sports strip is an attractive addition to the urban neighborhood, offering a variety of recreational options, it attracts users of all profiles and ages, ensuring the area is used throughout the day by a diverse audience. . The strip also adds the visual experience of the Skypark itself, from which the surrounding cityscapes, Shenzhen skyline, and Bay Area can be enjoyed. Residents of neighboring residential complexes also enjoy beautiful views to the east, overlooking Crossboundaries’ rooftop park design.
The concept of Crossboundaries brings together educational institutions and the local community in a unique combination of sporting and recreational offerings, linked to the landscape. Additionally, it makes use of the local panorama, capturing sea views, providing an ever-changing experience. The partially elevated recreational pathway not only integrates the support facilities, but also provides an excellent place to view competitions, practice sessions, and to enjoy the view of Shenzhen Bay.
IV. Humanization & Diversification. The design language of Crossboundaries is once again distinguished by the integration of predominantly human aspects. All of this becomes visible, not only in the overall functional layout connecting communities and facilitating different usage scenarios, but also through the choice of materials and the application of environmental and sustainable principles. The project uses a lot of wood, including all the stands in the stadium, a lot of green spaces, the use of light and permeable architectural structures, not only for the buildings but also the bridges and the rails. The greenery planted along the paths both provides shade and contributes to efficient drainage and microclimate conditions.
Crossboundaries’ solution is a green accent in its environment that aims to enable a healthy urban lifestyle that goes hand in hand with the city’s youthful, entrepreneurial and dynamic character. The rooftop park development has become an attractive addition to the urban district, woven into its infrastructure and considered a community gem that many surrounding high-rise buildings have a direct view of.
“Our linear park is like a missing puzzle that connects to neighboring communities,” concludes Binke Lenhardt, the other co-founder of Cross limits. “It creates the necessary physical and visual link between the urban fabric and the seaside and aims, in passing, to satisfy the ever-increasing need of schools and the public for recreational spaces and space to breathe in a dense urban environment. . “Responsible for developing such a large-scale sports and recreational park rooftop, Crossboundaries has created a vital meeting point in Shenzhen that enhances social and cultural interaction between different groups of Shenzhen’s diverse urban population. The project succeeds in fulfilling its educational mandate and promotes sport and well-being in general, in a densely populated urban space.