Author: Wee, H.K., SKEW Collaborative
This award-winning project raises the question of speed and progress within the context of China’s rapid urbanisation and expanding middle class. Lewis Mumford attributed the biggest invention of our urban-industrial revolution to the mechanical clock, where organized time gave meaning to cities, giving urbanites the possibility of leisure. The city’s connections to community and the environment today are instead lost in the world of consumerist spectacles.
This project was designed against the context of China’s pursuit of
luxury housing in the gated housing communities immediately adjacent to it. Zoned alongside this problematic development, this project takes on the challenge of addressing some of these problems. With a renewed appreciation of the original fabric, pedestrianised streets were reintroduced to link the new retail spaces, new bridge connections, enlarged public amenities, and civic plazas. The project aims to bring a more humanised scale and temporality to these public spaces, while finding innovative ways of engaging the site’s own industrial heritage.