The View

A Church Reformation from A Film

South Suzhou Rd.  
Shanghai Municipality

June 2017

Team project
with Yao JIANG and Mengchan ZHU.

Majoring part
Concept, Analysis, Model.

After studying the history of the Union Church and the current situation of the Bund Origin, we decide to prepare a stage design of performance in this site.

We choose The New and Old Shanghai, an old film concerning the transition from the old to the new in Shanghai during the 19th century, as the theme of this performance. By re-interpreting the construction of old Shanghai lane building and setting the character’s flows, we rebuilt the interior space of the church.

Beginning with a performance held in the original area of Shanghai culture, we hope to stimulate vitality of the Union Church as an immersive theater and to summon people’s interest of Shanghai culture anew.

Site Analysis

We hope to broadcast Shanghai culture through the propaganda of the Union Church, which is located in the Bund Origin, the birthplace of Shanghai culture. We want to reveal the core of this culture through the view of the early 20th century but in a modern style. For this reason we choose the film The New and Old Shanghai published 1936 as the theme of the stage this time. The film tells stories about 6 different types of families’ lives in the same lane in Shanghai. It shows the transition from the old to the new in Shanghai at that time which is Shanghai is going through now, too. The conflict and settlement of the new and the old form the Shanghai culture today.

Design Process

Prototype of Traditional Shanghai House

Analysis of Scenes

Flows of Actors


Section A-A

Section B-B

Section C-C

Section D-D

Cooperating Relationship

We hope that this performance can raise a curtain of the renaissance of the Union Church. By building relationships between different stakeholders, we await this place to become a culture-driven engine and a publicity platform of Shanghai culture. The Union Church could be a lecture hall, a daily ballroom, an exhibition hall and a studio theater. Through the cooperation with theaters around and the Tongji-Huangpu School of Design and Innovation, the Shanghai culture might spread from school to the public.