A team of urban designers and planners from Sasaki has turned a dilapidated runway in Shanghai, China into a popular public park. As a tribute to the past, elements of the former airport have been preserved in the project. At the same time, eco-technology solutions were integrated into the space, such as structures made of recycled materials and rainwater collection systems.
Xuhui Runway Park is located on the territory of the former Shanghai Longhua Airport with an area of 14.63 hectares. The jetty closed in 2011, and already then, the design team from OPEN Architecture wanted to turn the former fuel storage tanks into an art gallery.
Where possible, the park has retained the original concrete runway pavement. The designers have defined the boundaries of structurally strong sections of the strip with a width of 3, 6 m - now this is the main pedestrian path in the park, even the original markings of directions are drawn here. The playground, footpaths, fountains and the lawn feature airplane-inspired elements - for example, the lights are reminiscent of the wings of a liner.
Cultural events and performances can be held in the garden with a capacity of up to 900 people. There are bike paths, restaurants and places to relax. The park emphasizes the importance of flora and fauna with a birdwatching grove, a butterfly garden and wild gardens, where a total of 82 native plant species and 2, 227 trees have been planted.
Rainwater from the park and the nearest road is sent to the collection system, where it is filtered, and then poured into reservoirs and goes to water the plants. The structures are mostly made from recycled materials, with bamboo as an alternative to hardwood. All lighting in the park is energy-saving LED. Unsurprisingly, the project has already won the prestigious green building award in China.