Urban Valley by WIJD is a planned commercial district in Shanghai connecting Jiangpu Park in the south and a riverside greenbelt in the east to form an urban valley with infinite possibilities for residents to explore.
The architectural design features a variety of dynamic, staggering spaces. Consistent with the architectural design, the landscape design is based on scaling and gradient changes to create connections between interior and exterior, and form a spatial layout with a square externally and courtyard internally. Applying a modern interpretation to the feeling of woodlands, brooks, and mountains achieves a commercial space feeling that is both unique and natural.
As a woodland is next to the park, the design attempts to extend the urban park to the site to form a multilayered three-dimensional urban valley. Firefighting access, which previously cut through the site is adjusted to be a curve, thereby enabling the site to lead up to the woodland from different angles.
Level differences form visual interactions. The second floor is a garden shared by district residents. On the other side of the public garden is a private garden that allows residents to interact with the natural world, experience the charm of seasonal plants and escape from the stress of city life.
The brook is represented as a main entrance for the commercial district. With the scale purposefully narrowed down to replicate the form of an alley space in old Shanghai, the architects have extracted the elements of a ‘stream flowing in the valley.’ Cascade planting over the water and a cantilever form create a compelling entrance experience.
Finally, stepping stones floating on the water surface of the tropical forest allow visitors to experience the feeling of going through the mountains.