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The Roof

Shanghai’s first impression is of a futuristic megalopolis that moves at a dizzying pace. But a step off the city’s bustling avenues and into its lilong – traditional backstreets – reveals a smaller, quieter world that is just as quintessentially Shanghai as any cluster of glowing skyscrapers. These historic laneways were the inspiration for The Roof, a major biophilic commercial and office complex that offers a new perspective on Shanghai’s contemporary urban experience.  
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  • CLIENT CIFI Group Co., Ltd.
  • TEAM ASPECT Studios, Ateliers Jean Nouvel, Tianhua Group, Shanghai JS.phase Landscape design Co., Ltd, Triones Landscape, RFR, G-ART, P&T Shanghai
  • LOCATION Shanghai, China
  • YEAR 2021
The project is defined by its living facades — a variety of planted pots arranged in horizontal arrangements and clusters. Each cluster comprises a collection of species suitable to the local climate, creating a healthy and ever-changing seasonal display. The facades plunge visitors and office workers into a rich green environment, while doubling as an ecological safe harbour for pollinators and other wildlife.  
In the summer months, the planting is in full leaf and at maximum height, supplying layers of shade to the interior spaces that reduces both solar exposure and interior temperatures, and naturally purifies the air. In the colder seasons, the species shed their leaves, maximising natural light while the soil itself acts as an additional layer of thermal insulation against the cold air. 
Above, a series of sky decks project visitors into the canopy of the street trees, creating an experience that acknowledges The Roof’s dense urban position while at the same time guarding them with verdant flora. 
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  • AWARDS 2021 IFLA Asia Pacific Landscape Architecture Awards - Outstanding Award-Skyrise Greenery
    2021 5th ELA International Landscape Award - Gold Award, Commercial Landscape of the Year
    2021 REARD Global Real Estate Design Awards - Gold Award, Business and Office Design Landscape
    2021 China Shopping Mall Summit Forum - China City Cover TOP30
  • PHOTOGRAPHY Dong Liang, 10 Studio