武汉平和坊百年历史街区景观及室内公区设计 | UAO瑞拓设计
图片来源：UAO瑞拓设计 / 赵奕龙 / 贾然
The project is located in the former British leased area of Hankou where there are several century-old proteced buildings. The process of urbanization has brought about the transformation of the building functions of the original concession plots. Built in 1905, the Pinghe Packaging Factory, originally was a foreign cotton packaging warehouse founded by the British business Liddell Brothers; After the reform and opening-up, it was scattered and rented out as hotels, bars, warehouses and other functions. The new transformation design will integrate and transform it into a cultural and creative industrial park.
Aerial night view ©赵奕龙
Overall of the project © 赵奕龙
The center of the site is the former residence of Lutz, which was built in 1913 (It was the bishop's residence before liberation, and is now the museum of the riverbank district). And in the central space of the project site, the original church building has been removed for the construction of the first tunnel across the Yangtze River. The vacant lot was divided into small courtyards by several ownership units: The courtyard around Lutz’s house has become a outdoor repository for the museum’s collection; The courtyard around the ventilation shaft of the Yangtze River Tunnel occupies most of the space along Shengli Street. The ventilation shaft has been built in the shape of an ancient bell tower, becoming one of the tallest structures in the site and an unmistakable landmark.
The site before renovation and the surrounding historical buildings ©UAO瑞拓设计
On the north side, the dormitory of the Foreign Trade Bureau and the original Poyang Street Primary School have long been vacated, and the original courtyard wall has divided the site into a smaller and mutually isolated spatial pattern. On the northwest corner of the site is the Russian Orthodox Church built in 1893, which occupies a position on the corner of the road. During the renovation process a few years ago, it also formed a courtyard space of its own. In addition to the four roads around the site, the century-old preservation buildings are surrounded by Shengteaching Bureau, Jingming Foreign Bank Building, Bao’an Foreign Bank Building, Mechali Bank, Ye Peng’s Former Residency, Shaxun Foreign Bank, etc. These historic buildings are of different styles, and together with the Ping Ping packaging plant on the site, they form the urban appearance and texture of the original British Concession complex.
Site analysis diagram ©UAO瑞拓设计
The first step of landscape design is to extend the urban texture of this area. By sorting out the functions and spatial layout of the plots, the original fragmented space is integrated and knitted, so as to respond to the urban axis requirements of this area in urban planning. The axis of the city was not formed during the British Concession, but as a conduit to the Yangtze River due to the open-cut construction of the tunnel. This passage destroyed the texture and density of the original concession area, but from the other side, it provides a rare public green space in the high-density block, and has the function of a green corridor hanging along the river. In the future, it will also connect with the public green space of Hankou River Beach on the bank of the Yangtze River in Wuhan.
Aerial top view of the project ©赵奕龙
In the first step of opening the axis of the green corridor, the walls between the plots should be dismantled, the originally divided plots should be mended, and the complex internal plane flow lines should be twisted to integrate them into interconnected Spaces. Also thanks to the selfless support of various ownership units, the wall was removed or moved back smoothly, forming the square on the central axis facing the former residence of Luz.
The integration of fragmented spaces on the site ©赵奕龙
The integrated outdoor space consists of both open squares and narrow alleyways, creating Spaces of varying densities. The open square is paved with large size granite; Roadway space is 100*100mm small stone pavement; The atrium of Pinghe Packing Plant is paved with 100*50mm slender granite; The different specifications of pavements echo different spatial densities.
Corresponding to the paving of different spatial densities ©赵奕龙
Looking outside from the alley ©赵奕龙
Looking up to the sky from the patio ©赵奕龙
The opposite of “design in moderation” is “overdesign”. In recent years, the domestic landscape design is full of “overdesign”, especially the landscape design of the sales department of real estate: full of stacking elements and over-interpretation of culture, collage of web celebrity materials and excessive pursuit of exquisite, such as the Chinese cornice, dry-hung stone feature wall to create layers of landscape block, and even call it by a good name of ‘trading the scenery with moving steps’. The biggest criticism of these landscape projects is that the existence time is very short, and the building is dismantled as soon as it is sold, which is a great waste. The second is ‘same imagines of the city’, most of the sales department’s landscape is like a copy and paste, lack of innovation and ideological connotation. And finally in the way of photo presentation, they over-retouched, creating an illusion of unreality.
Landscape design, compared with architectural design and interior design, needs to pursue the concept of moderation. Landscape designers, always want to put themselves in the position of walk-on, do a good supporting role. So, what are the criteria for appropriate design? Li Tao, the chief architect of UAO, believes that appropriate design should be a process of logical reasoning based on following and analyzing various limitations of the site, arrive at the appropriate solutions. At the same time, artistic processing is carried out on the logic.
The central axis is above the Yangtze River Tunnel. First of all, according to the size of the building, Lutz’s former residence is not big enough to bear the heavy responsibility of being axis building. However, from the perspective of urban location, it is enclosed by the long side of the buildings on both sides, with a strong sense of perspective and depth. In order for Lutz House to assume the responsibility of the axis building, a ceremonial shallow water surface was designed to enhance the sense of ritual. When an event is held, the water can be drained and become part of the square again.
A ceremonial shallow water surface was designed to enhance the sense of ritual ©赵奕龙
Closer look of the shallow water surface ©赵奕龙
Secondly, “above the tunnel” has also become the most important factor limiting the design: no big trees can be planted, no permanent buildings can be built; We deal with the layout of the site strictly according to the influence line of the tunnel. Tall trees are planted on both sides of the line, and terraced grass and persimmon trees are designed on the south side to block the parking lot at the back of Pinghe Packaging Plant; The south square is equipped with ginkgo biloba and marble pavements.
The south square is equipped with terraced grass and persimmon trees ©赵奕龙
Detail of the terraced grass ©赵奕龙
Ginkgo biloba and slingstone pavements on the north ©赵奕龙
In response to the fact that no permanent structures will be built above the tunnel, the central axis square of Pinghe Square is relatively empty, but it brings convenience for holding various activities in the later stage. After the epidemic in 2020, UAO designed a temporary public welfare market on the square: ‘Amusement 2020’ the market made of scaffolding, according to the standard unit combination of 2*2*2, using light and the transparency of the mesh cloth to form the image of “Kongming Lantern” floating in the sky.
Temporary public welfare market on the square: ‘Amusement 2020’ ©赵奕龙
Street view of the market ©贾然
The scaffolding and the “Kongming Lantern” floating in the sky ©贾然
A two-storey “street art gallery” is built on the side of the landscaped lawn with scaffolding and aussom boards.
The scaffolding and the “Kongming Lantern” floating in the sky ©贾然
In the square surrounded by three century-old buildings, UAO uses modern components and classical buildings to contrast and juxtaposition, increasing the attraction of the site, so as to achieve more open and multifunctional public use. UAO also hopes to make use of its strength to do some public welfare design to help Wuhan and give back to society.
In the surrounding alleys, bamboo is used to cover the walls. The original trees are kept in each small courtyard, but several courtyards are connected in series by the method of nested doorways.
The small courtyard with the original trees ©赵奕龙
Bamboo is used to cover the walls ©赵奕龙
Several courtyards are connected in series by the method of nested doorways ©赵奕龙
The landscape and interior renovation of the historic district is not a process of sticking to the old ways. Instead, new elements should be implanted to reflect the contemporary sense. These newly inserted parts, using contemporary materials such as steel structure and glass, contrast with the red brick and cement of the old building. The juxtaposition of the old and the new in one space.
The steel structure building at the corner of the site ©赵奕龙
The juxtaposition of the old and the new in one space ©赵奕龙
At the corner of the site, a new evacuation staircase was added to the original small building. UAO transformed a negative space into the scenery of the courtyard space through the outer steel structure and stained glass.The juxtaposition is especially reflected in the design of indoor public space.
Evacuation staircase with outer steel structure and stained glass ©赵奕龙
As a century-old building, the Pinghe Packing Plant has been renovated with the addition of stairs and elevators in accordance with the new regulations.
UAO uses black steel as the main design element for the new public elevator. The steel material is reversible and contrasts strongly with the brick wall material of the historic building. Steel plates are used in the railing of stairs, the themed walls of elevator rooms, the moulding of bathroom partitions and the roof garden. The steel plate combined with the large scale English capital letter light box of the building partition forms a very contemporary expression.
Black steel as the main design element for the new public elevator ©赵奕龙
The black steel plate provides a strong contrast to the brickwork of the historic building ©赵奕龙
Application of Steel Structure and Glass ©赵奕龙
The application of zonal theme color paint marks the theme color of each building, so that visitors can quickly reach the designated building and floor. For other non-key public parts, the design only becomes “guidelines”. The site is simply arranged. Security facilities and lighting facilities are added to highlight the original style and spatial characteristics of the building.
The design of landscape and interior public area of Pinghe Square not only follows the principle of weaving the architectural space of each area together, but also follows the principle of keeping a certain distance between the new design and the old building. This is not only the physical distance, more is the age distance of design, distance of the material texture and distance of the space scale. Especially in every scale of space, the materials of each age are displayed and compared: red brick, granite, self-leveling, steel plate, etc. To keep the old flavor of the original space and show the charm of the old space, to juxtapose them and knit them together is the focus and core of the renovation design.
New space for rest ©赵奕龙
The indoor public area of thePinghe Packing Plant after the renovation ©赵奕龙
The initial project model ©UAO瑞拓设计
Site model ©UAO瑞拓设计
Master plan ©UAO瑞拓设计
Landscape master plan ©UAO瑞拓设计
图片来源：UAO瑞拓设计 / 赵奕龙 / 贾然
Landscape and interior Commons renovation design team: UAO Design
Host Designer: Li Tao
Team members: Zou Yueqin, Zhang Jieming, Wang Xianhui, Kong Fanyi, Li Lixia, Long Kecheng, Hu Bingsheng, Yan Luodi, Su Zhangxi
Architectural Design: CADI
Chinese: Li Tao
Translator: He Daiheng