Broken urban spaces through urban refill- Public Art Plaza

Public Art Plaza Shenzhen

date 2007

The City of Shenzhen has been one of the fastest growing cities in the past two decades. From a tiny fishing village twenty years ago to today’s metropolis of six million population, it is a miracle in urban history. Fast economic growth powers the booming of real estate development, people have to build fast and consume fast in order to keep pace with the speed of change, which is most remarkable in today’s Shenzhen urban landscape. Despite the large investments made by governments, the public spaces are usually landscaped and afforested, whose vitality fails to be brought into full play. In particular, for the low income people, public spaces are the most important leisure resources in their lives. The intervention- Public Art Plaza in Shenzhen was aim to provide an open public forum for both artists and the general public, which containing a semi-underground parking garage and also arts programs such as outdoor display area, gallery, bookshop, cafe, artist studio, and lecture hall, which creates areas that can be used to drink a cup of coffee, sit and communicate with others. This intervention was designed by Urbanus to activate the abandoned urban sites and to redefined the urban public spaces in the context of rapid urbanisation. It’s Located in one of the most densely populated areas of downtown Shenzhen- Luohu District. The Public Art Plaza is a program initiated by both the city administrator and the architect. The building stretches horizontally to the outermost corners of the site. The flat surface of the site is remolded, folded and warped to create new urban geography. The whole plaza is divided into different geographic zones, like hillside, stream and green slopes in response to the built geometry. This intervention not only creates the public spaces for the citizens to relax, it also raising awareness of art to the public, which give us the opportunity to slow down the pace of life and enjoy life in the modern city. Through this intervention in Luohu District, Shenzhen, China, Urbanus not only restores the link between independent buildings and the entire city but also bridges the gap between citizens and the city.

Image: Urbanus (pending permission)