urban bloom

urban bloom

Car brand MINI has begun expanding into urban development with its MINI Living building in Shanghai, and URBAN MATTERS, a program that repurposes spaces in cities to offer a higher quality of life.

Urban Bloom is an experiment in human interest taking precedent over a design intention or infrastructure’s needs. The garden pop-up, in collaboration with URBAN MATTERS, renews, and invigorates, urbanism – in fact, the original location was a parking lot. Transformed into an ideal urban oasis, and constructed entirely from artificial means, it is a project for a city that emphasizes people.

MINI and its parent company BMW board member Peter Schwarzenbauer remarked MINI has always been focused on intelligent use of space, and brings this ‘know-how from the vehicles we drive to the cities we live in.” Urban Bloom, a pop-up garden whose sole design intent is to bring joy, reflects Balloon-like shapes hold colorful foliage, and floated above the courtyard like the leaves of trees, flooding the space with shadows and shapes. Rich varieties of flowers and vegetation were placed among the modules, and as they blossomed, the platform was transformed into an open, welcoming garden.

Anfu Road was a perfect street to introduce this concept, as it’s a popular street that mixes residential compound with offices, restaurants, shops, and schools. Thirty something slab towers sit neatly next to 3 story lane houses. This mix of scale is unique to Shanghai. Anfu Road is proof that you do not need to flatten the old city to create new life, or to generate prosperity to an ever evolving city, and was geographically a perfect reflection for the values of URBAN MATTERS by MINI.

Road is proof that you do not need to flatten the old city to create new life, or to generate prosperity to an ever evolving city, and was geographically a perfect reflection for the values of URBAN MATTERS by MINI.

Visitors are encouraged to explore the space and interpret its purpose with their own lens. In the same way that certain city blocks flow with rivers of people, or flowers grow toward the light, the behavior pattern of each visitor, and the energy of the environment, will intangibly define the space and its character.

The space was low-impact, and interacted with natural elements in an artificial way – in short, proving it is possible to make something new from nothing new at all. So much about urbanism is not sustainable – the pace of life, waste, cost.

Project Name: Urban Bloom
Location: Shanghai, China
Size: 330 sqm
Design Team: Wendy Saunders, Vincent de Graaf, Javier Paz Taibo, Shirley Woo and URBAN MATTERS by MINI
Event Organizer: Design Shanghai, URBAN MATTERS by MINI
Site provider: YL Entertainment & Sports, URBAN MATTERS by MINI
Construction: Tan Wenyuan
Photography:URBAN MATTERS by MINI, CreatAR Images