Zhujiajiao is one of few enclaves on the outskirts of Shanghai which have escaped the merciless hustle of China’s economic capital. Situated between two rivers, the town preserves a good part of its historic quarter, which is now protected by strict heritage laws, and its narrow streets seem asleep in an atmosphere of calm and silence.
In this context rises a center for elderly people that in form, materials, and atmosphere respects the spirit of the place. This respect involves drawing inspiration from Chinese building traditions, in particular those of areas south of the Yangtze River, which in turn come from the book Yin Zao Fa Yuan (Principles and Origins of Construction), a classic written by an architect of the Qing dynasty, Yao Chengzu. The principles of this treatise have been followed in different ways: first, through the search for an atmosphere that is recognizable to the elderly; second, through the elimination of decor and the use of local techniques of building with wood; finally, through the recourse to exterior galleries, and above all to the inner court, the central element around which the different rooms are arranged.
The result is a building in contact with the ground, with one foot inside and the other out, and composed of pleasant spaces; a building silently integrated with the surroundings.
Centro de mayores Victory Street Neighborhood Committee and Oldies Daily-Care Center in Zhujiajiao, Shanghai (China).
Zhujiajiao Town Government.
Scenic Architecture Office.