Architects turn Shanghai cement factory into new culture district

Images courtesy of MVRDV/Ucharm
Dutch-headquartered architect MVRDV has unveiled plans for a 34,000-sq-m leisure and culture district on Shanghai’s waterfront, which it designed with Schmidt Hammer Lassen and Shanghai-based Atelier Deshaus.

The “Gate M West Bund Dream Center” will occupy a former industrial site with an old cement factory on the banks of the Huangpu River.

The shells of disused buildings will be renovated to avoid waste and cut carbon emissions.

Industrial buildings will become cultural spaces, while newer structures will be turned into hotels, restaurants, and shops.

The central structure will be the Dream Center Hall, a former warehouse.

It will have restaurants on the lower floors, a large column-free exhibition and event space on the top floor, and a mezzanine level above.

Jacob van Rijs, MVRDV founding partner, said: “This project is an excellent demonstration of how the time between a building’s realisation and its renovation seems to get shorter and shorter.

“It used to be that we only transformed culturally significant buildings from earlier time periods; here we transform not only 20th century industrial heritage, but even unfinished buildings from recent years. It goes to show how much value every city has in its existing structures that is ripe for designers to unlock.”

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