Spiral Station , Eco-infrastructure upon the sea of Shanghai

Twisting Tower and Spiral Station are two structures of Shanghai Lingang Ecological Restoration Project, located 10 kilometers apart along the coastline. They demonstrate the possibility of infrastructure as landmark, that not only serve for ecological purpose, but also attract public attention to environmental issue through visual expression of technical elements. From an architectural perspective, they also attempt to explore economic and intriguing solution by taking minimal formal manipulation.

Spiral Station
is an offshore ecological monitoring station located 200 meters away from the shore, providing basic monitoring functions for hydrology, meteorology, water quality, etc. Floating alone on the sea, the Spiral Station can only be reached via a 20-span bridge. According to the brief, the typical dimension of the main station should be within 11 meters by 11 meters.  Other affiliated facilities include a bridge, collision protection piles, tidal observation wells, and water sampling holes. The default massing of an offshore monitoring station is a concrete box with stairs connecting all levels and a climate tower stands on top of the roof. Considering its distant location and wind load, the proposal shifts the cubic volume into a cylinder with a spiral gesture, while avoiding any decorative components. An eight-meter diameter circular plan is adopted with vertical circulation wrapping on its periphery. A two-meters wide slope spirals up from ground level all along until reaching the roof level, resembling a winding ribbon. One end connects to land, and the other leads to the climate tower standing on an anti-collision-pile.  The station enjoys an open plan with no interruption and easy access onto the rooftop working platform.

Twisting Tower and Spiral Station try to go beyond the basic paradigm of infrastructure by rethinking program and taking minimal gesture, creating dual sculptures on the beach and the sea.

Architect: HCCH Studio
Design team: Hao Chen, Chenchen Hu, Yuling Wang, Qi Zheng, Yida Hou
LDI: Shanghai Youwei Engineering Design Co.,Ltd.
Period: 2022-2023
Location: Lingang Coast, Shanghai.
Photography: Qingyan Zhu

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