Shanghai is undergoing dramatic changes in every daily aspect. Most visible in Architecture, as low class areas and old quarters are demolished and replaced by fancy shopping malls or office high rises with a speed unseen anywhere else.


There is kind of a consciousness for preservation, but no tools, rules or strategies are present. The rapid vanishing of Lilong compounds, the historic city fabric, is the topic of this project. Since the cultural revolution hopelessly crowded and not fit for the 21st century dozens of these dwellings have been destroyed and its tenants forced to move to low standard suburban high rises.


My projects aim is to relocate the compounds overpopulation in a single new building, erected directly within the original compound. Thereby the original density is restored and historic buildings can be renovated. The original tenants stay and the city can preserve its valuable architecture heritage. The building further enhances the compounds qualities by adding missing parks and green area as well as public and communal space.


The project is based on a site specific research (conducted in 2004) and is a direct answer and result to the specific needs of its location and surrounding. However, the most interesting part of this project is the process and concept as it can be applied anywhere else, following the same guidelines and principles. The design of the building itself is completely site specific, based on the Lilong building type and therefore typically Shanghainese.


This project was my thesis in architecture, executed and presented at the University of applied Arts, Vienna under professor Zaha Hadid.