Che Fei and CU OFFICE’s trans-community: Jin Street Model
Che Fei and CU Office’s trans-community: Jin Street Model
Following the public activity of “preparation for the Olympics,” Jin-Street, in Beijing’s CBD eastward expansion area, has been transformed from a declining workers’ residential area into an open and dynamic commercial community. The research has found that the success of the pattern lies in implanting public funds and the private capital of market business into an effective and open cooperation platform, thus balancing public and private interests in the local social structure and fixing limited goals and feasible realizations, and finally re-activating the commercial vigor of the urban streets and their open space to make it serve the renewal and recovery of the whole community. The function of the neighborhood committee—residents’ autonomy organization, has been transformed from management to service with the entry of commercial and outside capital, making the whole closed residential community open. The investment and consumption initiated by the opening of the space improve the economic condition of the community rapidly; the housing and renting market replaces the single economy policy of government input for community maintenance, making the community retrieve the function of self-generating and renovating.
The successful model of Jin-street mainly lies in low-rise residential buildings facing the streets, and the high-rise residential buildings behind the streets benefit indirectly from the event, like the increase of the occupancy rate; however, can they be changed more substantially like the streets? CBD Eastward Expansion Plan includes the whole area of Jintai Road; the development model found by the research institute is capable of changing the old model of community demolition and re-developing concentrated commercial buildings. The demolition of a vibrant open community not only clears the buildings and economic basis, but also eliminates the social structure for local stability and development. Therefore, the purpose of this program is the appropriate preservation of old healthy street organization and prudent implementation of the new developing factors. Thus, an old 18-storey residential building at the end of Jintai road is chosen for transformation, and Jin-street developing model (similar to the Olympics development model of Jin Street) is brought in as its transformation strategy; it will make high-rise buildings part of the sustainable development of an open community. The specific plans are as follows: the first step is to transform the closed private space of the high-rise building into an open and more public space. Public capital will be brought in to design and build a swimming pool and other facilities on the roof of the building, and separate escalators will be used to connect this to the streets for eliminating the altitude difference between the ground and roof-top, thus making the square and swimming pool on the roof componential parts of urban public space. The building’s management committee is transformed into the building’s industry asset development office to invest and manage the public asset of the building. The horizontal corridors are transformed into open streets and each house can be freely put into commercial, residential or renting purpose. The public facilities on the roof bring the vigor of the people and city inside the building, service industry, retail business, dining and accommodation industries will form in the building in proportion to those of Jin Street, and they will all blend into the entire commercial and neighborhood social structure of Jintai Road. A new model of high-rise compound building for commercial and residential use will realize self-management, upgrading and transformation. It breaks the CBD destructive developing logic of demolition—construction—re-demolition—re-construction.
Contrasting to the CBD development plan submitted by SOM and other companies, Che Fei’s and CU OFFICE’s “Jin-street model” proposes a completely opposite developing strategy that preserves the local culture and community, develops urban quarters sustainably through the cooperation of public capital, market business and local society. Through research into the successful ‘Social Street’ developing model and applying it in urban development as “transplanting strategy,” localized “trans-community” development will eventually be realized. Finally, we are also calling for the establishment of a national community development funding program, in order to implement similar city projects, facilitating sustainable developments of cities and communities in China.
CU OFFICE: www.cu-office.com