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Xuhui Runway Park Featured in Design Press

Many major publications—including Dezeen and Metropolis—are exploring Sasaki’s creative approach to designing Xuhui Runway Park, a SITES Gold park in Shanghai. Master planned as a public street and linear park on the site of a former airport, Xuhui Runway Park now serves as a runway for modern life, providing recreation and respite within the area’s high-density redevelopment.⁠⠀

DezeenDaily Mail UK, Travel and LeisureLonely PlanetMicrosoft NewsPakistan Daily Times, The Daily Podiumand Knowledia are abuzz about the expansive linear park.

Xuhui Runway Park was shortlisted for landscape project of the year at the Dezeen Awards 2020. Dezeen recently spoke with Dou Zhang, ASLA, PLA, LEED AP BD+C, SITES AP, senior associate and director of Sasaki’s Shanghai Office about the design process. “The unusual linear and monolithic shape of the existing runway offered us unlimited inspiration,” Zhang tells Dezeen. Read the article on Dezeen.

Metropolis spoke Zhang and Mark Dawson, FASLA, PLA, principal about what makes this project so unique. Read an excerpt from the article below.

“At Xuhui Runway Park on the banks of Shanghai’s Huangpu River, in the middle of one of the largest cities in the world, it’s impossible to miss the history of what came before.

Designed by Sasaki, Xuhui offers a palimpsest of a reused airport, preserving its materials and forms. The 36-acre space is an intensely ‘linear composition,’ says Dou Zhang, senior associate director of Sasaki’s Shanghai office. A concise incision of green space that stops just short of the river, it adopts the long rectangle as its fundamental geometric unit—an adaptation of the former runway—repeated at scales large and small.

Inground lights outline the reused 11-foot concrete airstrip panels, providing a visual connection to the site’s past life and making the former 2,001-yard-long, 87-yard-wide tarmac unmistakable. Original direction-marker supergraphics are preserved, and damaged sections of the landing strip became cobblestone patterns along pedestrian paths. ‘Because it was an airport runway, we felt [that] the sense of movement was very critical to that space,’ says Mark Dawson, a principal in Sasaki’s Boston office. He calls the runway ‘an amazing datum that collides through the landscape.'”

Read the article on Metropolis.

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