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Powerful Placemaking

Tianyi GuTianyi Gu, architect director, explains how our plans for the redevelopment of an early 20th century power plant are set to reinvigorate an important and historical industrial area on the edge of Shanghai.


Shanghai Yangshupu Power Station

Originally commissioned in 1911, Shanghai Yangshupu is a former coal-fired power plant that is widely considered to be the first of its kind in the Far East. Part of a wider riverfront site, the plant contains two historic power station buildings, associated waterside buildings and equipment. It is an important set of buildings which helped in the early development of the city’s economy and has dominated the skyline for generations.

One of the power stations dates as far back as the early 1920s – it is officially the third oldest power station building in the world, originally designed and built by British engineers with British boilers, British generators and British control equipment.

Today, the plant is set to benefit from a massive overhaul to preserve, adapt, and add to the heritage of the site. We are adding new accommodation and social, retail and business functions to both of the heritage power station buildings with the aim to transform Yangshupu into a mixed-use community for people across the district. A new Shanghai Power Station for modern, Chinese life.

It’s a city-scale urban plan forming a series of connected and green public spaces, event areas and mix of uses.


The industrial hall becomes a great new urban space

Connecting the station with its heritage was an important aim for the city. The heritage buildings will be interconnected by a new linear museum, curated with historical information about the river and the plant. The museum will utilise the original circulation route of the coal conveyor belt system, which transferred coal from the river barges to the power station boilers.

It’s a city-scale urban plan forming a series of connected and green public spaces, event areas and mix of uses. All parts of the site will become interconnected to create a busy and engaged community of local people, visitors and workers. A great, new riverside park provides natural, serene refuge from the hustle and bustle of Shanghai city lives.

Part of this riverside route has already been opened to welcome visitors back to the area for the first time since the plant was decommissioned in 2010. That has started the cultural re-establishment of the area for the people of Shanghai and has created a great deal of excitement about what is to come. Our designs will breathe a new type of energy into the reused industrial buildings and city neighbourhood.


Shanghai Yangshupu Power Station