The design thesis is sited along the Shanghai Bund in China. It pursues an alternative modernity that is quintessentially Chinese by developing a design approach specific to the local imperatives and the contextual condition. This is achieved by first examining the development of Shanghai’s modernity, traditional construction principles, and narratives inherent to the site. Secondly, program components are reorganized for a tactical design application. The thesis concludes with a time-based and event-driven collective space that is sensitive to local culture while aiming to seed participation towards a local modernity.