Through the Shenyang city runs a 7 km long street along which the main important business and governmental institutions are located. It is called the Golden Axis, symbolically representing wealth and prosperity of the city. The Citizens Square is situated in the centre of Shenyang along the Golden Axis. This important location adds prestige and importance to the square. As reflected in the name – the square is designed for the citizens of Shenyang. The name and the design underlines the democratic character of this public space. Conceptually the design of the Citizens Square answers to the two main issues: the human scale of the public space of the square and the functional requirements of a transportation hub. The first aspect is simply reflected in the layout of the square. In the centre the space of the square forms a representative platform for gatherings. Its floor is decorated with the rose pattern in the nature stone pavement referring to the rose, one of the symbols of Shenyang. The inner square is framed by a sequence of human scale places like gardens, meeting places for mahjong games, tai chi or picnicplaces. Some of them are elevated or sunken, this provides many opportunities to stay, seat and chat. Three tea houses supplement the program also during the winter. The frame of gardens is connected by the network of narrow linear waterways following the orthogonal design language of the square. The water runs slowly and is interrupted by small waterfalls before reaching big ponds located in the north of the square. The Citizens Square is surrounded by a busy road and metro network. Additionally shops, parking and air-raid shelter are situated under the square. Easy accessibility and smooth flow of people is provided by many vertical connections between all levels. Every entrance to the underground is enclosed in a form of greenhouse type buildings. Filled with plants they create green oases during the winter. Different character of each greenhouse facilitates finding the correct entrance. For example the three main entrances have three different themes: tropical garden, music and watergarden. The tropical greenhouse contains colourful tropical plants. In the music greenhouse plants hang in the void down to the lower floors. On the walls of the water glasshouse, water runs down towards the underground floors.
location: Shenyang, China
in collaboration with: Niek Roozen BV, Urhanurban design, Frank Roodbeen
client: Niek Roozen BV, City of Shenyang