Shanghai - Architecture

Architecture

See also: Major National Historical and Cultural Sites (Shanghai)

Shanghai has a rich collection of buildings and structures of various architectural styles. The Bund, located by the bank of the Huangpu River, contains a rich collection of early 20th-century architecture, ranging in style from neoclassical HSBC Building to the art deco Sassoon House. A number of areas in the former foreign concessions are also well-preserved, the most notable ones being the French Concession. Shanghai has one of the worlds largest number of Art Deco buildings as a result of the construction boom during the 1920s and 1930s. One of the most famous architects working in Shanghai was László Hudec, an Hungarian-Slovak architect who lived in the city between 1918–1947. Some of his most notable Art Deco buildings include the Park Hotel and the Grand Theater. Other prominent architects who contributed to the Art Deco style are Parker & Palmer, who designed the Peace Hotel, Metropole Hotel, and the Broadway Mansions, and Austrian architect GH Gonda who designed the Capital Theatre. The Bunds first revitalization started in 1986 with a new promenade by the Dutch Architect Paulus Snoeren, the completion was in the mid-1990s.

Despite rampant redevelopment, the old city still retains some buildings of a traditional style, such as the Yuyuan Garden, an elaborate traditional garden in the Jiangnan style.

In recent years, a large number of architecturally distinctive and even eccentric buildings have sprung up throughout Shanghai. Notable examples of contemporary architecture include the Shanghai Museum, Shanghai Grand Theatre in the People's Square precinct and Shanghai Oriental Art Center.

One uniquely Shanghainese cultural element is the shikumen (石库门) residences, which are two- or three-story townhouses, with the front yard protected by a high brick wall. Each residence is connected and arranged in straight alleys, known as a lòngtang (弄堂), pronounced longdang in Shanghainese. The entrance to each alley is usually surmounted by a stylistic stone arch. The whole resembles terrace houses or townhouses commonly seen in Anglo-American countries, but distinguished by the tall, heavy brick wall in front of each house. The name "shikumen" means "stone storage door", referring to the strong gateway to each house.

The shikumen is a cultural blend of elements found in Western architecture with traditional Lower Yangtze (Jiangnan) Chinese architecture and social behavior. All traditional Chinese dwellings had a courtyard, and the shikumen was no exception. Yet, to compromise with its urban nature, it was much smaller and provided an "interior haven" to the commotions in the streets, allowing for raindrops to fall and vegetation to grow freely within a residence. The courtyard also allowed sunlight and adequate ventilation into the rooms.

The city also has some beautiful examples of Soviet neoclassical architecture. These buildings were mostly erected during the period from the founding of the People's Republic in 1949 until the Sino-Soviet Split in the late 1960s. During this decade, large numbers of Soviet experts, including architects, poured into China to aid the country in the construction of a communist state. Examples of Soviet neoclassical architecture in Shanghai include what is today the Shanghai International Exhibition Center. Beijing, the nation's capital, displays an even greater array of this particular type of architecture.

The Pudong district of Shanghai displays a wide range of skyscrapers, many of which rank among the tallest in the world. The most prominent examples include the Jin Mao Tower and the taller Shanghai World Financial Center, which at 492 metres tall is the tallest skyscraper in mainland China and ranks third in the world. The distinctive Oriental Pearl Tower, at 468 metres, is located nearby, and its lower sphere is now available for living quarters. Another highrise in the Pudong area is the newly finished Development Tower, standing at 269 meters.

Since 2008, Shanghai has boasted more free-standing buildings above 400m (3) than any other city. In the future, the Shanghai Tower, slated for completion in 2014, will be the tallest building in China. With a height of 632 metres (2074 feet), the building will have 127 floors and a total floor area of 380,000 sqm. The Shanghai Tower began construction in 2008.

Read more about this topic:  Shanghai

Other articles related to "architecture":

Modern Uses of The Harvard Architecture
... The principal advantage of the pure Harvard architecture—simultaneous access to more than one memory system—has been reduced by modified Harvard ... Relatively pure Harvard architecture machines are used mostly in applications where tradeoffs, such as the cost and power savings from omitting caches, outweigh the programming penalties from ... memory, with no cache, and take advantage of the Harvard architecture to speed processing by concurrent instruction and data access ...
Gottfried Semper
... – May 15, 1879) was a German architect, art critic, and professor of architecture, who designed and built the Semper Opera House in Dresden between 1838 and 1841 ... wrote extensively about the origins of architecture, especially in his book The Four Elements of Architecture from 1851, and he was one of the major figures in the ...
Information Science - Research Vectors and Applications - Information Architecture
... Information architecture (IA) is the art and science of organizing and labelling websites, intranets, online communities and software to support usability ... and community of practice focused on bringing together principles of design and architecture to the digital landscape ...
Gottfried Semper - Life - Early Life (to 1834)
... He subsequently studied architecture in 1825 at the University of Munich under Friedrich von Gärtner ... Italy and Greece in order to study the architecture and designs of antiquity ... ber bemalte Architectur und Plastik bei den Alten (Preliminary Remarks on Polychrome Architecture and Sculpture in Antiquity), in which he took a strong position in favor of ...
Cubism - Architecture
... link between early-twentieth-century art and architecture is widely accepted ... between avant-garde practices in painting, sculpture and architecture had early ramifications in France, Germany, the Netherlands and Czechoslovakia ... Though there are many points of intersection between Cubism and architecture, only a few direct links between them can be drawn ...

Famous quotes containing the word architecture:

    The principle of the Gothic architecture is infinity made imaginable.
    Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834)

    No architecture is so haughty as that which is simple.
    John Ruskin (1819–1900)

    And when his hours are numbered, and the world
    Is all his own, retiring, as he were not,
    Leaves, when the sun appears, astonished Art
    To mimic in slow structures, stone by stone,
    Built in an age, the mad wind’s night-work,
    The frolic architecture of the snow.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)