Shuangxiang Village, Jinze Town, Qingpu District, Shanghai
Zhuang Shen and his design team at Atelier Archmixing were allowed to explore spatial planning and design for rural revitalization through the renovation of older agricultural greenhouses in located in Shuangxiang Village, northwest of Jinze Town in Qingpu District, Shanghai.
To achieve this, the old agricultural machinery warehouse has been transformed into a rural workspace and a community exchange station to meet villagers’ daily needs.
Additionally, various multifunctional spaces have been added for different departments or professional workshops, temporary exhibitions or community activities.
In the meantime, through the renovation and organization of the surrounding farmland, the environment has been improved, resulting in a better ecological environment.
The now-renovated Shuangxiang Rural Revitalization Laboratory is located in Shuangxiang Village is one of the typical villages in Jiangnan water towns, situated not far from ancient towns such as Zhouzhuang, Jinxi, and Jinze.
The area boasts abundant water resources and picturesque landscapes.
The laboratory has been transformed based on an old agricultural machinery warehouse in the village.
To the east there is an ecological lotus pond connected to Dongdang; in the southeast sits Zhangjiabang Village, on the north side there is a large area of natural ecological forest, on the south side paddy fields are located, and to the west side it neighbors Shuangxiang Road.
How design can contribute to rural revitalization is currently a key research focus for spatial designers.
In 2023, this village was included in building Shanghai Metropolitan Area Rural Revitalization Demonstration and Leading Practice Sites.
Government authorities aim to build not only a practice base for modern urban agriculture technological integration and innovation and the sustainable development in ecological green agriculture but also a place showcasing the inheritance of Jiangnan pastoral farming civilization.
Furthermore, it is envisioned as a venue for interchanging innovative rural revitalization systems in the Yangtze River Delta region.
The old agricultural machinery workshop is a 60m long, 9m wide structure divided into three segments.
Each segment is self-contained and disconnected from the other.
To create a connected and shared space for the new construction, while fully utilizing the original space and preserving its integrity, the design avoids significant structural modifications.
Instead, it implements light partitions within the original building and introduces a 3.7m wide transportation corridor along its southern side.
This corridor, closely integrated with the original building, activates various functional modules.
The lightweight and transparent corridor is built with on-site agricultural greenhouse construction techniques.
This approach not only optimizes the architectural functional flow but also accommodates new functions such as scenic viewing, exhibition displays or outdoor coffee seating.
The design achieves a light update and organization of the old agricultural machinery workshop and combines it with entirely new agricultural greenhouses.
Despite the tight schedule and low budget constraints, the project has successfully created a new space to meet new usage requirement.
On the western side of the original factory’s longhouse, there was a dismantled temporary color steel sheet house.
Seizing this opportunity, the design introduces a new, two-story, structurally independent space on the original site.
The new space follows the sloped roof form as it is on the old building, enveloped in a double-sloped concrete shell. The gable side is covered with a glass curtain wall.
A 1.5m gap separates the western gable wall and the old structure, inviting daylight.
This gap space is a one-story-high glass structure that leads to the tea service space.
It is designed for future use and operations on the ground floor.
The eastern glass gable wall directly faces the lotus pond and boasts expansive views and pleasant scenery.
The agricultural greenhouse has also extended to the southern side.
At this point, old and new spaces are finally matched.
On the ground floor, a light steel staircase was built along the north side, leading to the second floor.
The slab on the upfloor is recessed on the north and south long sides, leaving a 1.5m high high space inside the shell.
On the eastern side, beyond the glass gable wall, there is a projecting observation balcony towards the lotus pond.
The staircase turns from the north towards the building’s central axis, penetrating through the roof and leading to a 12-meter high suspended rooftop.
This rooftop serves as the highest point for the entire building, where visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of the surrounding scenery: lotus ponds and vast golden rice fields are right nearby, stone bridges and water village settlements are plainly visible in further distance.
On the other side, green and luxuriant is the ecological forest.
The entire rooftop space is surrounded by the picturesque rural scenery, creating quite a picture of lively and vivid pastoral life.
The ripping fence on rooftop is built with bright orange laminated glass, distinctly visible even from the village entrance.
It has become an iconic symbol of the building.
Through architectural renovation, environmental organization, and functional optimization, this site provides local villagers, rural planners, experts, scholars, and all rural life lovers with an ideal place for academic exchanges, on-site work, ecological experiments, and daily services.
Project Name: Shuangxiang Rural Revitalization Laboratory
Architects: Atelier Archmixing
Design Team: Zhuang Shen, Ren Hao, Tang Yu, Zhu Jie, You Shiyu, Xu Xiaoyu, Guo Wei, and Cheng Jinfeng
MEP: Shanghai Shencheng Construction Design Co., Ltd.
Interior Decoration: Shanghai Alanli Cultural Tourism Development Co., Ltd.
Construction: Jiawei Construction Group Co., Ltd.
Client: Government of Jinze Town, Qingpu District
Photographers: Xia Zhi