Shanghai Lilong Tower Urbanism

“Towards an Urbanism of Parametric Preservation"

Shanghai is the largest city in China with a population of over 20 million inhabitants in its greater metropolitan area. In the last two decades the metropolis has undergone a rapid economic and urban expansion. The city contains now thousands of buildings labeled as tall, with many more to come within the next few years. This development has irreversible effects on the quality of urban space and the way people live. In large parts of the city the traditional urban fabric of low rise, low-density row houses has been already replaced by generic high-rise typologies that are transforming significantly the urban life and neighborhood relationships

The research project entitled “Shanghai Lilong Tower Urbanism - Towards an Urbanism of Parametric Preservation.” is a theoretical attempt that offers a counter proposal to the current models of urban developments in Shanghai. Taking the qualities of the Lilong settlement as a point of departure, the premise of the project is to establish an alternative building type with the capacity to maintain the original character and network of the city, while offering at the same time new types of urban public spaces.

Based on a computational adaptable system the project suggests solutions that have the ability to preserve the identity and urban quality typical to Shanghai, without neglecting the call for densification. In fact the project is aiming to find a compromise between the need for compaction, the desire to preserve the most possible quantity of historical city fragments, and the idea of an architectural organism that combines vertical built volumes together with ground-level public open spaces.

Project Title:“Shanghai Lilong Tower Urbanism”
Location: Shanghai
Design year: 2014-15
Type: Research Project
Client/Organisation: undisclosed

 Shanghai Lilong Tower Urbanism   Adaptable Urbanism 
 Typological Matrix    Typological Urbanism 
 Landscape Urbanism   Phasing diagram 
 adaptable urbanism   landscape urbanism 
 typological urbanism   adaptable architecture 
 courtyard urbanism   Rocker Lange Architects 
 adaptable architecture   Rocker Lange Architecture 


Rocker-Lange Architects


Ingeborg M. Rocker
Christian J. Lange

Cambridge, MA, London, England, Hong Kong


2015 100 Van Ness, Urban Adapter, sculpture bench
2015 Shanghai Lilong Tower Urbanism, Towards an Urbanism of Parametric Preservation
2014 The Ideal City of Refigured Civic Space, Hong Kong & Shenzhen Biennale, Hong Kong
2013 Blend-es-Scape, Beijing, China, A pavilion for the Fifth International Architectural Biennale Beijing 2013
2013 Taichung Cultural Centre, Taichung, Taiwan
2012 Wallhouse, Cambridge, USA,GSD Pavilion 2012 2012 Density & Openess Reviseted: Recoding Building Bulk in Hong Kong, Hong Kong & Shenzhen Biennale, Hong Kong
2011 Busan Opera House, Busan, South Korea
2010 Serial Architecture Systems of Multiplicities, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
2010 Tokyo Fashion Museum, Omotesando, Tokyo, Japan
2009 Urban Adapter, Hong Kong & Shenzhen Biennale, Hong Kong
2009 Catalytic Connector - Museum of Natural History, Copenhagen, Denmark
2009 Living Bridge London Bridge, London, UK
2008 Villa Inside|Out Outside|In, The Ordos 100, Mongolia, China
2007 Domicile Heldt, Eckernfoerde, Germany
2006 Villa Risse, Krefeld, Germany

Product Design

2010 Zhuhai Lounge
2009 SP-Table_01
2009 SP-Table_02
2009 Urban Adapter


2010 Parametric Structures, Spring Seminar, The University of Hong Kong, Department of Architecture
2009 On the Brink, Spring Seminar, Harvard University, GSD
Versioning: Architecture as Series
Cross scalar and functional scaling: adaptive facades
Algorithmically controlled surfaces


2008 Versioning: Architecture as Series?
2008 Berechneter Zufall: Max Benses Informationsaesthetik
2008 Architectures of the Digital Realm: Experimentation by Peter Eisenman / Frank O. Gehry
2006 Digital Revolution: Feedback between Architecture, Technology, and Culture
2006 Calculus-Based Form: An Interview with Greg Lynn
2006 When Code Matters, in Programming Cultures: Design, Science, and Software
2005 Re-Coded: Studio Rocker
2004 Das Denkmal fuer die Ermordeten Juden Europas in Berlin: Erinnern, Bewahren, Hinterfragen
2004 Virtuale: Il Senza Forma in Architettura: Di Ingeborg Rocker
2003 Fugitive Realities: Konrad Fiedler
2002 Versioning Informing Architectures, in: Versioning: Evolutionary Techniques in Architecture
1998 Memorizing, Maintaining, Questioning: Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Peter Eisenman
1998 The Virtual: The Unform in Architecture