Historic buildings brought to Shanghai for new zone

08:49, December 30, 2010      

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Centuries-old houses from neighboring Anhui and Jiangxi provinces are being brought to Shanghai as the centerpiece of a new commercial zone, an engineer said Tuesday.

More than 80 Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) two-story wooden structures, between 100 and 200 years old, are being dismantled at their original sites and reassembled in Shanghai.

The houses, which are examples of Qing and Ming architectural styles, will form part of a new commercial zone in the Pudong New Area, said Wang Wei, a professor and head of the project.

"The central area of the zone where the old buildings are located will make people feel like they are arriving at some quiet riverside town of China's Jiangnan area," he said.

The Jiangnan area refers to the lands to the south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, including the southern part of the Yangtze Delta.

The houses will be turned into luxury apartment hotels, exhibition halls and stores in a 360,000-square-meter new commercial zone, called "Beauty Shanghai," along the Huangpu River.

High-rise hotels and conference halls will be built around the old buildings in the 1.8-kilometer-long zone along the river. Developers hope it will become a new city landmark, focusing on commerce, fashion, exhibitions and accommodation.

More than 60 houses have already been reassembled. The project is scheduled to be complete by June.

Architects and experts marked every component before dismantling work and photographed every detail. The houses were transported to Shanghai by trucks and trains.

Wang said the old buildings would be better protected in Shanghai. Most had been used as stores for firewood or just left empty.

He predicted the buildings could stand for another 100 years in the city as invisible concrete pillars were supporting the wooden structures.

Experts began looking for houses with the most typical historic architectural styles in the neighboring two provinces in 2009.

Source: Shanghai Daily
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