B-Link ignites an urban renewal in Shanghai’s historic industrial district

Shanghai, China

Balancing relics of the past with forward-looking spaces and materials, a former steel factory in a Shanghai industrial district has been transformed into a bustling, innovative and interconnected campus. Located in the inner ring of the Yangpu District, the building was originally the production and operation plant of Baosteel Group, the largest steel producer in China. Now renamed B-Link, the building holds over 1.1 million square feet of repositioned office, retail, and a popular e-sports gaming arena. 

Originally starting as a master plan, the project featured a design for three separate campuses, united by a central gathering and social space capable of hosting community events. 
The project required extensive modern façade upgrades and reconfiguration to transform a decommissioned steel factory into an open, flexible hub for creative startups.

A dialogue between old and new, past and future 

Part of a wider urban renewal effort of the area after Baosteel ceased the factory’s production in 2010, B-Link retains much of the historical architectural framework of the original structure. The existing steel fabrication facility provides a rich environment that informs the underlying design for the new spaces. The building heavily utilizes existing structures, spatial forms, façade materials, and remaining manufacturing relics scattered throughout the property, which were restored and selectively integrated back into the project. 

A series of lightwells and green corridors that run vertically throughout the building open up the space and bring the outdoors in. 

Interconnected workspaces designed for collaboration and ideation 

B-Link enhances a future-forward workplace with strategic and innovative repositioning to meet new demands for programming, embedded technology and support spaces. A series of vertical atria and horizontal green pathways provide natural light and gathering spaces for socialization and collaboration, acting as an extension of the workplace. The design supports entrepreneurial tech startups, creative product research and development and features flexible collaboration areas.

Before renovation work started in 2015.
After renovation work in 2018.
An indoor-outdoor architectural language defines the entrance of the popular e-sports arena. 

More About the Project

Project Team

Principal Collaborators

  • AOR, Structural, MEP: Urban Design Institute

Project Information

  • Location: Shanghai, China
  • Client: Baoland
  • Size: 1,171,500 sq. ft. / 108,835 sq. m.
  • Completion: 2018
  • Firm Role: Design Architect