100architects, Over The Rainbow


Rex Zou,

Changsha. Cina,


International architectural practice 100architects created Over the Rainbow, a brightly coloured playground on the formerly unused rooftop terrace of a shopping centre in Changsha, China.

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100architects, Over The Rainbow

A brightly coloured new project by Shanghai studio 100architects, Over The Rainbow brings character to a “non-place” in Changsha, the capital of Hunan province in central-southern China. The 16 young architects and creative designers of the studio founded in 2013 in Shanghai have come up with a project located at the intersection between place-making, street art, landscape architecture and urban design, underlining their primary vocation.
Over The Rainbow is a cheerful new playground resulting from the renovation of the roof on Changsha Beichen Delta Joy City shopping centre, in 1500 square metres of previously unused space. 
The client wanted to use this large previously inaccessible space to create an outdoor community attraction, a meeting-place and leisure area with privileged views over the Xiang River. They reclaimed the roof of the big building to create an open-air extension for children and families visiting the shopping centre in the Kaifu district.
Taking advantage of the building’s arched shape and therefore its roof, the project uses programmatic parallel stripes of colour following the shape of the arch to create a rainbow made up of a number of outdoor areas. Each stripe of colour is a platform containing specific functions with particular features encouraging social interaction among children and adults alike. These programmatic stripes start out as 2D graphics regulating circulation and in places become 3D shapes, turning into street furnishings and facilities for play.
At some points the stripes rise above ground level to create a social amphitheatre with even better views over the Xiang River, or vertical walls instantly attracting visitors’ attention with their interesting shapes and styles and providing colourful selfie points for sharing pictures on social media. The social amphitheatre is topped by an attractive logo that stands out on the roof and conveys the message of the place. 
To make Over The Rainbow park an even more entertaining place to spend time, the architects included a spiral-shaped slide 12 metres high descending from the rooftop of the 6th floor to the 5th floor terrace: an attraction that will be sure to draw parents to take their children to play outside the shopping centre.
In this project, 100architects once again confirm their vocation for “urban acupuncture”: projects encouraging change in their setting. What Marc Augé would call a non-place rediscovers its marvellous location and panoramic views, revealing all the potential of such unused spaces.

Christiane Bürklein

Project: 100 Architects (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.
DESIGN TEAM: Marcial Jesús, Javier González, Mónica Páez, Lara Broglio, Ponyo Zhao, Keith Gong, Cosima Jiang, Hayley Huang, Michelle Aldora, Jango Zhang & Yuntong Liu.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT TEAM: Jenny Fan, Nicholas Lv & Eva Jiang.
SIZE: 1,500 m2
LOCATION: Changsha, Hunan Province (China)