32 Solar Trees and  50 Real Trees Provide Greenery, Shade and Power to the Shanghai Marketplace | Koichi Takada Architects

32 Solar Trees and  50 Trees Provide Greenery, Shade and Power to the Shanghai Marketplace | Koichi Takada Architects

Australian architecture firm Koichi Takada Architects has designed a three-storey "solar trees marketplace" in Shanghai's Minhang District. These 32 artificial trees provide solar energy to the new commercial development, while the 50 authentic camphor trees will be planted outside the development marking the start of the green corridor that runs through the project. The artificial trees rise from the ground to create a solar canopy of timber branches, providing shade for a footpath. Spread over an area of 3,450 sq m, the organic-shaped building is the residential masterplan of the client Tian An China. The project is under construction and is planned to be complete by the end of 2021. Read SURFACES REPORTER's (SR) this post to know more about the project:


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The project spans a total floor area of 3450 sqm (37,135.49 sqft). Inspired by Shanghai's forests, the plan creates a set of organically curvilinear platforms with a sheltered canopy under which modular market stalls will be accommodated. Just like real trees, these artificial trees provide shade and shelter while permitting cool airflow through the spaces.

Generating its Power

These 32 solar trees with solar panels on translucent canopies help generate power and create sun-filled interiors. 'We want to humanize buildings in the district, be more engaging to the public and contribute to the regeneration of communities and their neighbourhoods,' says Koichi Takada, Principal Of Koichi Takada Architects. "We want architecture to celebrate cultural identity, along with encouraging pedestrian activities and a more walkable and liveable city."


Green Corridor

The firm intended to plant 50 camphor trees outside the marketplace, marking the start of the green corridor that runs through the whole project. Around 3000 shrubs and trees indigenous to Shanghai such as ginkgo, camphor, magnolia (Shanghai's city flower) and Celtis Sinensis will cover and beautify the green area. Also, colour codlings of different hued flowers will help distinguish neighbourhoods within the master plan and guide inhabitants to find their home.

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Strong Sense of Community

Along with designing for the future, the architects also pay tribute to the past. The firm added modular market stalls with this it aims to create a balance between being modern while referencing Chinese tradition since markets were a place of social and cultural gathering in the past.  So, the design intends to present a strong sense of community for the future generation.

The architects feel that their nature-inspired approach will help to transform one of the world's most polluted and overcrowded urban environments into a healthier and more sustainable place to live.

Project Details

Project Name: Solar Trees Marketplace
Client: Tian An China Investments Company Limited
Architect: Koichi Takada Architects
Location: Shanghai Minhang District, China
Status: Under construction
Completion: December 2021
Building type: Commercial Retail
Site Area: 3770 Sqm (40,579.94 Sqft)
Images courtesy: Koichi Takada Architects/Doug & Wolf

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