Shanghai-based practice 100 was founded by the trio of architects – Marcial Jesus (Chile), Javier Gonzalez (Spain) and Jenny Fang (China) – to establish an international collaborative workshop based in China with a specialised interest in street architecture and urban interventions.
The firm has designed Crystal Pool, a creative public space intervention for the opening of a new mixed-use complex located in the New Bund, the emerging international business centre in the Pudong area, with the aim of fostering entertainment and social interactions among new visitors, appealing to kids, youngsters and adults alike.
The 470m² project comprises a staircase that connects the street level with the public rooftop of the commercial building, and also the landing area on the street level in an attempt to link both levels through an eye-catching connection which will encourage visitors to use the staircase as a public space.
The staircase has been sprinkled with “water drops”, different typologies of mini-tribunes, carefully designed to provide a range of different seating and lounge positions overlooking the whole central intersection plaza. Those “water drops” would then create a “water puddle” on the bottom landing area, a pool of fun for the younger visitors, containing an obstacle track and a virtual pool with fun features as a playscape.
The resulting space is rendered as a playscape on the street level, filled with basic geometrical objects such as bubbles and waves popular among kids, besides shaded seating features for adults, connected by a funky staircase. The project demonstrates that from just being a common public circulation space, these places can be transformed into urban hotspots for the city’s residents for reflection on the usage of the built environment around them.
Photos: Amey Kandalgaonkar