With sustainable building design and locavore food movements gaining momentum the world over, it was simply a matter of time before style-savvy Shanghai caught on to the burgeoning eco-friendly trend. And catch on it certainly did in 2010, when locally-based husband-and-wife team James Brearley and Fang Qun of Brearley Architects + Urbanists founded Jiashan Market, a charming multi-use space that aims to promote green living and community interaction via environmentally responsible means.
In a leafy corner of the historical French Concession district, eight lowrise, former textile factory buildings now house the ‘Market’, which comprises sustainably-renovated residential and commercial spaces, as well as three rooftop gardens growing leeks, spring onions, lettuce, figs and many more fresh, healthy goodies. Centered around a flower-filled courtyard, the space hosts weekend farmers’ markets, film screenings, fairs and events through summer, plus permanent restaurants, cafes and shops that all subscribe to the organisation’s green philosophy. There’s art-filled, solar-heated Melange Oasis café, built entirely from compressed bamboo and serving organic cuisine and fare trade coffee, local produce-driven and MSG-free Korean restaurant Annion Kitchen, and Venus Spring Japanese Spa, Shanghai’s only spa to pump purified air and mineral water, and use imported organic Japanese products. This concrete jungle just got greener!