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The Nanjing Pedestrian Road Extension

For years the link between Shanghai’s People’s Square and World-Renowned Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street has been segregated from its world-famous Riverfront, the bund. This 500m void was frequently congested with traffic and almost non-existent walkways with storefronts spilling onto the sidewalks, causing tourists and residents to spill on the road causing traffic jams and chaos. The majestic architectural history and facades of Shanghai were visually cluttered by busses, electrical and lighting posts, and uncoordinated signage, creating an image of confusion and unease. Significant historical architectural jewels like the Peace Hotel were inaccessible visually and physically. In 2019, Shanghai called for a renewal plan with the public realm to stitch, link, and unclutter this significant void within the city via the Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street’s continued pedestrianization.

Shanghai’s History, Culture, and Vernacular were carefully considered and incorporated within the design via the choice of paving materials, sizes, and colors, which were communicated and partnered with the city’s many leaders. Lighting, Signage, and Utilities were combined, relocated, and beautified with the tireless coordination with the many departments for safety and compliance insurance. Architecture and Functional Programming bleed into the pedestrian realm via the careful planning of trees, furnishings, and the urban realm’s materiality that seperates seating, café, and passive space from pedestrian corridors. Lighting, Signage, and Security were minimized, combined, and coordinated to create flexible and uncluttered vistas to the city’s history and landmarks for all to enjoy.


As the design unfolded, numerous obstacles and challenges presented themselves with load-bearing restrictions of the underground metro line below the street and outdated electrical and utilities from pre-CAD and documentation dates. Façade design and architectural design with new tenants came into place, giving this new landmark project new life and excitement with Huawei establishing their global landmark store, announcing their ascendence and presence to China and the world within the Nanjing Road theatre.
Through the tireless team effort, Nanjing Pedestrian Street opened in September 2020, giving the city a new legacy landmark and great hope after the depression and despair of the COVID-19 Pandemic. It hosted not only the mayor of Shanghai but also welcomed the Premier of China. It played host to national and international holidays such as October National Holidays, Christmas, and New Years’ in 2021, showcasing the city’s previously repressed history and surprise relics from the past. The furnishings and benches allude to the lost Port and Chinese Junk Culture that lined the bund’s waterfront, fueling Shanghai’s economy and concession in years past. It continues to showcase and educate the city’s lost history and Jiangnan Culture via key sculptures, maps, and motifs embedded within the paving, furnishings, and architecture.
The Nanjing Pedestrian Road Extension continues to restore the citizens’ legacy, reclaiming the public realm while relinking the city’s cultural geography together. Nanjing Pedestrian Road is the result of a talented multi-disciplinary team of planning, traffic, economics, landscape, architecture, lighting, infrastructure, and artists that helped shape this urban realm for now and the future.

With pride and Honor:

The Nanjing Pedestrian Road Extension Team
ECADI (East China Architectural Design & Research Institute)

Role of the entrant in the project: Landscape architect, Architecture, Planning, Traffic, Sculpture, Lighting.

Architecture offices involved in the design: Arup

Project location: Nanjing Road, Shanghai, China

Design year: 2019-2020

Year Built: 2019-2020

 

 

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