Koichi Takada Architects designs a biophilic market inspired by the forests of Shanghai
For its latest design in China, the Australian firm Koichi Takada Architects takes inspiration from the forest landscape of Shanghai and creates a series of architectural “trees” that branch out, forming a canopy over a new market. Thanks to its open and biophilic design, the Solar Trees Marketplace will be an extension of the outdoor public space, reinterpreting the traditional Chinese market as a community place.
Located in Minhang District, the project is part of the new Shanghai Tian An Caobao Road Area Residential Master Plan and, when completed, will serve as a gateway for development. The project adheres to the transformation objective one of the most polluted cities in the world in a healthier and more livable urban environment. As the team suggests, the idea of an urban forest also refers to China’s commitment to become carbon neutral by 2060.
We want to humanize neighborhood buildings, be more engaging with the public and contribute to the regeneration of communities and their neighborhoods. We want architecture to celebrate cultural identity, while encouraging pedestrian activities and a more passable and liveable city. – Koichi Takada
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The market will feature modular stands, reminiscent of traditional markets. The design uses durable features such as natural ventilation and solar panels. The pillars that branch out to form a wooden canopy are a nod to Shanghai’s forests, while the biophilic design echoes the green spine that unfolds in the residential master plan. The latter presents trees and shrubs from Shanghai, creating a new park. The project is currently under construction and is expected to be completed in early 2022.
The Solar Trees Market is the latest in a series of projects where the Sydney-based practice draws inspiration from nature and works with sustainable design principles, with the goal of creating a more livable urban environment. These design series include the Brisbane Urban Forest, a 30-story mixed-use residential skyscraper with one of the world’s most forested vertical gardens, or the Sky Trees project in downtown Los Angeles. Koichi Takada Architects’ work spans multiple programs and scales, from interior design to single-family homes to large-scale mixed-use developments. The studio’s projects include the Infinity residential building, the ARC or the interiors of the National Museum of Qatar.