Australian firm Koichi Takada Architects has designed a "solar trees marketplace" in China’s Minhang district, 20km southwest of Shanghai, complete with 32 artificial trees that rise from the ground to create a canopy of timber branches.
The 3,450 sq m market is based on a set of organically curved podiums that will allow modular stalls to be stacked on three levels.
The trees are built with timber branches and leaves that offer shade for a footpath, and also contain solar panels on translucent canopies.
Fifty authentic camphor trees, planted outside the development, mark the start of a green corridor that runs through the project and the Tian An Caobao masterplan.
When complete, by the end of the year, it will act as a gateway to a new residential area, called the Shanghai Tian An Caobao Road.
Koichi Takada, said: "We want to humanise buildings in the district, to be more engaging to the public and contribute to the regeneration of communities and their neighbourhoods.
"We want architecture to celebrate cultural identity, along with encouraging pedestrian activities and a more livable city."
Images courtesy of Koichi Takada Architects/Doug & Wolf