Abandoned airport transformed into “urban art park” in Shanghai

Five decommissioned oil tanks set in an abandoned airport have been transformed into an "urban art park" in Shanghai, to a design by New York headquartered OPEN Architecture.

Located along the Huangpu River, Longhua airport was once the largest in east Asia, and has now been repurposed to create various art zones, such as "Super-Surface", "Urban Forest", and "The Plazas"

The underground Super-Surface connects the oil tanks together to form room for public programmes and exhibition spaces.

Five of the oil tanks will be transformed into galleries, one of which will house a white cube to protect delicate works, while the other will remain completely intact. The three other tanks will be renovated to serve as multi-functional exhibition, leisure and activity spaces.

An "urban forest" will cover the entire length of the site, attracting wildlife and containing sculptures and industrial machines.

Two plazas will be located between the Super-Surface and Urban Forest. The 55 sq m Urban Plaza will host large ceremonies and festival events, and contains embedded "misting devices" to create fog. The grass covered Event Plaza can hold smaller events and parties.

To the east of the Event Plaza, a water pump house and a 25m x 48m fire-fighting pool have been transformed into a space for events and small exhibitions.

Opening with the art centre are three inaugural exhibitions: a group show of Chinese contemporary artists, Under Construction, a solo show of Argentinian artist Adrián Villar Rojas, and the first Shanghai show of the Japanese art collective TeamLab: Universe of Water Particles in the Tank.

Images courtesy of OPEN Architecture

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