New Jiangwan Ecological Exhibition Center, Shanghai


Site and Program

On the north edge of Shanghai city, an isolated wetland of about 10 hectares has remained undisturbed for several decades. Now it becomes a nature reserve and a part of the park system of New Jiangwan City, a new town developed around the wetland. Since the fragile ecological system can only afford guided tours of small groups, it is necessary to establish an exhibition /observation center at its west side for the public to use. In the architect’s long-term plan, two elevated walkways will radiate from the Center into the reserve so the entire area will be accessible to the public.

Three Design Concepts

1. Breaking the “Black Box” Considering the unique characters of the exhibits, the design breaks away from the “black box” stereotype of museum design, making live species and outdoor natural environment the main exhibits. Rising two stories high, a semi-underwater window nearly 13 meters long shows a complete section of the wetland from its bottom and water body to its shore. The sunken courtyard outside of the west wall on the second floor displays through a window live plants typical in the wetland. Five cameras are installed across the reserve. Visitors can see real-time images anywhere in the reserve by pointing a laser pointer to the corresponding area of a model on the first floor. Finally, the observation deck on the roof affords visitors a direct, panoramic view of the wetland. A cantilevered observation deck extends 7.5 meters into the wetland to allow visitors a closer look of the tree tops and birds.

2. Gradual Revelation The design borrows the idea of “gradual revelation” from traditional Chinese architecture to create a sense of mystery so that visitors will treasure the reserve even more. To people on the street the building appears as a small hill with many trees, blocking views further into the reserve. After walking downwards into the half-buried first floor, visitors are attracted to the underwater window which makes people temporarily forget what happen above the water surface. On the second floor, a layer of metal mesh (to be covered with ivy) hangs outside of the glass wall facing the reserve. In addition, a layer of film is glued on the glass wall to show historic maps of Jiangwan. Only after the visitors climb onto the roof deck, the scenery of the reserve fully reveals itself to them. People can then return to the entry plaza through a path on the slope of the man-made hill.

3. Green Architecture Because this reserve will become a tiny oasis within a dense city, the project should consume as little as possible the green area and, ideally, should increase the greenery. Accordingly, the west side of the building is covered with earth and plants similar to those in the reserve. On the east elevation, a green mesh shields the building too. Considering the fact that the building occupies the former site of a house, this design actually increases the total amount of planted area. The earth shelter design also improves the energy conservation of the structure. Plus, openable windows on the first and roof levels will allow passive ventilation during the mild weathers.

Project Data

Location Songhu Road at Yingao Road, Shanghai

Project Period 2004-2005

Site Area 2,420 square meters

Floor Area 362 square meters

Client Shanghai Chengtou (Division for New Jiangwan City)


Architecture/ concepts of exhibition: Pu Miao (Design Architect), Shanghai Landscape Architecture Design Institute (Architect of Record)

Landscape: Zhuang Wei (Shanghai Landscape Architecture Design Institute, same below)

Structure: Xu Man, Chen Yan, Zhang Yewei

Plumbing: Ru Wenmei

Electrical Engineering: Zhou Leyan

HVAC: Yi Haifeng

Exhibition design: Shen Haopeng Design Studio

Photographer Pu Miao


Journals Architectural Journal (China, 7/2006), Time+Architecture (China, 6/2006), and books Sixty Six -World New Architecture (2006) and Contemporary Architecture in China 2004-2008 (2008)

Award of Excellence, The First Architectural Design Awards, the Architectural Society of China (ASC), Shanghai Chapter, 2006

Short-listed, the 7th Far Eastern Architectural Awards, 2010




1. 打破“黑匣子 充分利用本设施展品的特点,本设计打破了博物馆建筑设计中传统的“黑匣子”概念,把活的动植物及室外的生态环境作为主要展品。为此设计了一个贯穿一、二层,长近13米 的水下观察窗。从窗中能看见湿地水底,水体到岸上的一个完整剖面。在二层陈列厅的西墙外设计了一个下沉庭院,人们可以通过观察窗看到庭院中活的园内典型植 物。整个保护区内设置了五个摄像头。参观者可在一层的保护区模型上用激光笔点看任一区域实时转播的景观。最后,屋顶层的了望平台为参观者直接观察区内景观 提供了一个180度的全景画面。在屋顶上设置了一座出挑7.5米的悬挑平台,使人们可以就近观察水面对岸的树冠及鸟类。

2. 逐步揭示 本设计借鉴了中国传统空间中“逐步揭示”的概念,给参观过程一种探访“桃源”的神 秘感,从而使人们更珍贵被保护的环境。从城市道路望来,整个建筑体被处理成一个长满树的小山,挡住园内景色。当参观者沿下行台阶进入半地下的一层时,揭示 湿地剖面的水下窗使人们暂时忘记室外水面以上的景色。来到二层的展示厅,大片面向园内的玻璃幕墙外覆盖着一层将爬满攀援植物的钢丝网,玻璃上并贴有显示江 湾历史地图的磨砂塑料薄膜。只有当参观者登上屋顶平台后,保护区的真面目才终于全部展开。最后人们可经人造山坡上的台阶缓步回到入口广场。

3. 绿色建筑 由于本保护区将成为被建成区围绕的宝贵绿地,博物馆应尽量少占区内的绿化面积,最理想的是甚至能增加绿化面积。我们因此将建筑主体的西面埋在复土下,上植与保护区内植被构成相近的各类乔灌木。又在需要开窗的建筑西立面外悬挂金属网一道,上面将爬满攀援植物。从而使建筑“消失”在保护区内现有的草木葱郁的环境中。由于本工程是建在拆迁房屋的宅基地上,通过这样的设计,博物馆的建设将反而会增加绿地面积总量。上述复土设计同时提高了本建筑的保温能力。本设计并在一层及屋顶层设可开启窗,使本建筑在春秋季可使用自然通风,以达到节能环保的目的。


地点 上海淞沪路(殷高路口)

时间 2004-2005

基地面积 2,420平方米

建筑面积 362平方米

业主 上海城投新江湾城工程建设指挥部


建筑/展览设计概念: 缪朴(上海市园林设计院顾问)

园林: 庄伟 (上海市园林设计院,下同)

结构: 许蔓,陈彦,张业巍

给排水: 茹雯美

电气: 周乐燕

暖通: 翼海风

展览设计: 沈浩鹏设计工作室

摄影 缪朴


期刊《建筑学报》(7/2006), 《时代建筑》(6/2006), 图书《建筑六十六》(2006) 及《中国当代建筑 2004-2008》(2008)



Click on an image to enlarge it 欲放大图像请点击画面

Comparison between the "black box" model and our scheme


The street-side elevation (west elevation) looks like a small hill covered by trees.


Shaded and downward entrance suggests entering “another world”.


From the Entrance looking toward the underwater windows in the first-floor Exhibition 从入口望一层陈列厅中的水下观察窗

Vertical penetration between the exhibition spaces on the first and the second floors. 一、二层陈列厅的空间垂直贯通。

From the south end of the second-floor Exhibition looking north.


The maps and bird specimens on the glass curtain wall along the east side of the second-floor 二层陈列厅东面玻璃幕墙上的历史地图及鸟类标本。

Details of the map, bird specimens, and outdoor metal mesh at the second-floor glass curtain wall. 二层玻璃幕墙上的地图,鸟类标本及室外金属网细部。

Windows to observe live plant specimens on the west side of the second-floor Exhibition 二层陈列厅西面的植物观察窗

The observation decks on the roof 屋顶上的了望平台

From the cantilevered deck on the roof looking toward the stair tower.


The middle part of the wetland-side elevation (east elevation)


The cantilevered deck in the east elevation 建筑东立面上的悬挑平台

Details of the east elevation at night 建筑东立面局部夜景

Site Plan 总平面

Location Map 基地周边地图

First Floor, Second Floor and Roof Plans 一、二层及屋顶平面

Section 剖面