The Netherlands

West 8 urban design & landscape architecture b.v.

Nico Koomanskade 1021
3072 LM Rotterdam
The Netherlands

+31 (0) 10 485 5801


West 8 Brussels urban design & landscape architecture bvba

Waaienberg 123
1745 Opwijk

+31 (0) 10 485 5801

United States

West 8 urban design & landscape architecture p.c.

2133 Arch Street, Suite 101
Philadelphia, PA 19103
United States of America

+1 347 371 2252

Balancing Retaining and Rebuilding

Columbia Circle, Shanghai, CN

Bringing together different architectural styles and functions to create a unique environment that honours the historical significance and future potential of a space.

In a combination of preserving and rebuilding, West 8 worked closely with renowned Chinese project developer Vanke to transform a historically significant location in Shanghai into a cultural hub with a vibrant mix of entrepreneurial spaces, educational facilities and research laboratories, corporate offices, residential and retail spaces, as well as hospitality and cultural venues.

Columbia Circle is a melting pot of architectural styles, containing three preserved Spanish Colonial Revival style monuments, former industrial buildings, a villa designed in 1925 by Hungarian architect László Ede Hugyecz, and the former Sun-Ke Garden Residence and Garden which is a cultural relic under national protection. In the 1920s, the former Columbia Country Club Camp (CCC), an American social and sports club was active here, establishing a range of buildings for recreational purposes, including a swimming pool and several tennis courts. In 1952, the Shanghai Institute of Biological Products took over the campus, developing the site in isolation from the context of the city. After the institute ceased its activity on the campus, a void in the urban fabric remained.

The priority in landscape design was to enhance the unity of the whole district. Columbia Circle was approached neither in the traditional Chinese ways of demolish and reconstruct, nor by trying to merely preserve and treat the site as an antiquity. Instead, by balancing retaining and rebuilding, existing historic structures like the clubhouse were respected while simultaneously a wave of innovation and new architecture was ignited. In order to achieve a unified and enduring identity, the design of the connecting streets and public spaces of Columbia Circle was made distinctly cohesive, while the design of the individual buildings by OMA allowed for variation and diversity. Sun-Ke Garden Residence was entirely renovated including its garden.

Shanghai Vanke Co.,ltd. Vanke Group

OMA, East China Architectural Design & Research Institute Co., Ltd.,
LANDAU, Brandston Partnership Inc. 上海碧谱照明设计(lighting consultant)

© West 8 © ZiL ArchVisual, and © Xi Qi 席琦