Corel Reef, Recycled-brick Pavilion by the sea, Shanghai

Lingang Coast Ecological Pavilions are three small structures of Shanghai Lingang Ecological Restoration Project, scattered along the 17-kilometer-long coastline. They serve as landmarks along the extensive shoreline, providing basic resting spots for citizens while also serving as eco-educational exhibits.

The design of pavilions considers three main aspects: how to create distinctive features and interest within the given site conditions and budget, how to occupy the space while avoid FAR, and how to integrate marine science themes into the form and material of the pavilions.

With a flat, open, uniform, prolonged landscape, Lingang coastline provides a surreal atmosphere different from Shanghai's daily scenery, with huge wind turbines, giant boulder-like wave breakers, and endless sea. This determined the basic strategy of the design: the pavilions would engage the site as follies, enhancing the site's surreal experience with alien volumes and materials. The pavilions would have no roof, expanding their spatial capacity through large enclosing walls, components as framework, and porous material distribution. Abstracting marine symbols and combining with environmentally friendly materials, the pavilions themselves aim to have educational significance from both visual and tectonic perspectives.

Considering the considerable distance and the lack of potential for them to be conceived as a cohesive group, three pavilions are designed as individual installations in terms of form and material to provide maximum recognizability. However, they all share the aforementioned properties: readable figures, porous, and as exhibition per se. Throughout the construction, the three pavilions have colloquially been referred to as: "Membrane Sea Snail," " 3D-print Plastic Wave Breaker Splash," and "Recycled Brick Coral Reef."

The Recycled Brick Coral Reef is located at the eastern end of the coastline, near the Lingang landmark, Compass Fish. It adopts an organic form similar to concrete artificial coral reefs, as a shelter by the sea. The final form consists of a 300mm thick porous wall with an empty interior to avoid FAR. The wall is cast from recycled red brick fragments (originally intended to include oyster shells as aggregate, which was not implemented), with a rough chiseled surface, and Corten steel plates for openings and doorways. The hexagonal motif runs through the wall openings, grass concrete paver, and concrete block furniture. The honeycomb-opening wall becomes a climbing wall for sea views, while visitors can play cards and barbecue within the coral reef.

The Lingang Ecological Three Pavilions attempt to create intriguing spots along the lengthy landscape. Different from typical architectural projects, they bridge between landscape features, public art, and infrastructure, coordinating multiple factors and natural conditions. Although the material experimentation in the project was not fully realized, the intervention of small characteristic structures in large-scale infrastructure projects is a positive attempt.

Pavilion C: Corel Reef, Recycled-brick Pavilion
Architect: HCCH Studio
Design team: Hao Chen, Chenchen Hu, Ziyan Ge, Yida Hou, Wenxi Li
LDI: Shanghai Youwei Engineering Design Co.,Ltd.
Recycled-brick supplier: Hongjie Xu
Period: 2022-2024
Location: Lingang Coast, Shanghai.
Photography: Qingyan Zhu