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Urban Canopies and Cultural Implants in the Brilliant City

Part 2 Project 2007
Martin Horne
William Flint
University of Edinburgh Edinburgh UK
Shanghai is a city of emergent social and tectonic stratification, where seemingly unfettered construction has created extremes of ‘high-rise’ and ‘low-rise’ urban conditions. The project specifically questions the oppositions and gaps that are created as a result of Shanghai’s exponential growth and development, creating architectural interventions that work within a continuum of urban tectonic change rather than towards a fixed image of the city.
The projects encompass ecological, commercial and civic programmes to work within an ‘active’ city masterplan, sprung from material and programmatic procedures, that attempt to re-stitch the gaps and cracks created within the city's tectonic stratas.

Martin Horne
William Flint


Shanghai’s scale and character subsume to negation anything of sublime sensitivity. However, its people thrive in an exhilarating throng of unplanned hybrid co-existences that accentuate the eroding effects of the naturally unstable ground upon which Shanghai’s two pre-dominant building types precariously perch. The contiguous piles of cheek-by-jowl high-rise towers that speak of China’s new economic optimism create impervious subterranean dams that exacerbate the turbulence in the colloidal-clay that keeps afloat the rickety-rafts of China’s pre-Maoist low-rise lilong. These projects offer new, ecologically sensitive, specifically Shanghai scales and constructions accommodating amazing hybridity that serves both the new economy and old needs.

2007
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