Rockbund Project

Following the establishment of international trading relations in the nineteenth century, Shanghai became a commercial and cultural centre of East Asia and home to a large number of European business offices and consulates. Along the Bund, the popular waterfront area on the west bank of the Huangpu River, there are examples of Shanghai’s Art Deco style – European building styles combined with Asian elements, characteristic of the city’s early twentieth-century architecture.

Rockbund Project

Following the establishment of international trading relations in the nineteenth century, Shanghai became a commercial and cultural centre of East Asia and home to a large number of European business offices and consulates. Along the Bund, the popular waterfront area on the west bank of the Huangpu River, there are examples of Shanghai’s Art Deco style – European building styles combined with Asian elements, characteristic of the city’s early twentieth-century architecture.

A group of historic buildings reflects the diversity of the colonial architecture and forms the northern part of the Bund. This ensemble, described as the Rockbund Project, is currently being revitalised by a team of international architects and will accommodate office complexes, hotels, retail premises and apartments. The practice was commissioned with the restoration and conversion of eleven (1) of these buildings. During the course of their history the buildings have undergone various changes and mutations. These were removed and the buildings returned to their former state where feasible. The façades were carefully cleaned and repaired, maintaining as much of the original fabric as possible.

The extensions to the National Industrial Bank (N.I.B.) and the building for the Royal Asiatic Society (R.A.S.) are visible from Museum Square, an inner courtyard located in the south-west of the block. The new façades have been rendered using ‘Shanghai Plaster’ of the same quality as that used on the adjoining buildings. The former R.A.S. Building, once China’s first public museum, now houses the Rockbund Art Museum, dedicated to contemporary art. Inside the Art Deco-style building, newly created areas enable a range of different presentation concepts, and the upper floors have been linked through a new atrium. The restoration work on the façades of the historic buildings was completed in spring 2011. The Rockbund Art Museum was opened in 2010, in time for the World Expo.

The Andrews & George Building is to become known as Rockbund 6. The three-storey listed façade that marks the southern edge of the planning area will be renovated, and eleven storeys are to be added in the form of a stacked construction. This new red brick tower will form a strong marker at the edge of the city and a lively counterpoint to the Bund, blending the historic urban fabric with the new high-rise city behind.

(1)  Royal Asiatic Society (R.A.S.) Building (1932), National Industrial Bank (N.I.B.) (1928), Andrews & George Building (1897), Ampire & Co. Building (1907), Yuan Ming Yuan Apartment (1904), YWCA Building (1927-1933), Somekh Apartment (1927), Associate Mission Building (1923), Lyceum Building (1927), China Baptist Publication (1932) and Christian Literature Society Building (1932)

Date:
2006-
Gross floor area:
96,000 m² total development (47,600 m² development by DCA - 35,500 m² historic buildings, 2,300 m² Rockbund Art Museum, 9,800 m² Rockbund 6)
Client:
Shanghai Bund de Rockefeller Group Master Development Co., Ltd.
Architect:
David Chipperfield Architects, Berlin, Shanghai
Partner:
Mark Randel
Project architects:
Lutz Schütter, Thomas Spranger, Chuxiao Li, Gunda Schulz
Contact architect:
Shanghai Zhang Ming Architectural Design Firm (historic buildings), China Construction Design International, Shenzen (new buildings)
Landscape architect:
Levin Monsigny Landschaftsarchitekten
Photography:
Christian Richters, Simon Menges