Revitalizing Shanghai’s Waterfront: MVRDV’s West Bund Dream Center Transforms Industrial Buildings into Cultural Hub
MVRDV has just introduced its comprehensive plan and architectural vision for the construction of the Gate M West Bund Dream Center in Shanghai. Formerly home to a cement plant factory, the design uses the existing structures for cultural programs and combines them with new structures to house new functions. The Dream Center aims to revitalize the riverbank area into a thriving cultural and recreational district.
MVRDV’s design concept involves facilitating movement and transportation, echoing the site’s past of material transportation for manufacturing cement. All over the scheme is a network of orange walkways, ramps, steps, and bridges connecting various buildings. Throughout the project, the layout emphasizes key axes that define public areas. The scheme features activated rooftops, raised terraces, and a system of staircases and lifts. To create a unified atmosphere along the Huangpu River’s banks, the project repurposes the former industrial facilities and integrates them with contemporary designs.
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. –Jacob van Rijs, MVRDV founding partner
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The property is made up of unfinished buildings from previous redevelopment efforts. MVRDV’s strategy involves refurbishing old buildings while maintaining existing ones, reducing overall carbon emissions. Newer developments are planned to house hotels, restaurants, and retail programs, while industrial buildings will be converted into cultural venues.
The development is part of a more significant trend of cultural initiatives on the West Bund, located south of Shanghai’s city center. Within the masterplan, the northern part of the site will be designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects and Atelier Deshaus, while MVRDV will be in charge of the southern component, including transforming the center structure into The Dream Center Hall. Featuring an exhibition hall and retail functions, this former warehouse will preserve its industrial character with a minimalistic glass infill.
Last month, MVRDV won a competition to design two structures within the Tianfu Software Park in Chengdu, China. One of the structures is a 150-meter-tall tower that acts as a centerpiece to the entire campus. Additionally, MVRDV and LOLA Landscape Architects have just revealed the new development of “Grüne Mitte” in Düsseldorf, Germany. Centered around open communication, negotiation, and compromise, the project aims to introduce 500 new apartments and community spaces to enhance the neighborhood. Finally, MVRDV has just announced the WärtZ masterplan, that repurposes a former business park near the railway station into a dynamic innovation hub.