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The Rockbund is a collection of historic buildings located in the former European concession, just to the north of the world-famous Bund in central Shanghai. The buildings form a continuous street front along the eastern side of Yuanmingyuan Road and reflect the diversity of the colonial architecture of this period, in which European building styles were combined with Asian elements. The Rockbund project has seen the revitalisation of this area by a team of international architects. It accommodates offices, multiple hotels, apartments and retail premises while opening the area up to the grand urban gesture of the river front and its public park. David Chipperfield Architects was commissioned to restore, upgrade and convert eleven historic buildings within this wider development.

The aim of the restoration concept was to present buildings that have aged with dignity and style. During the course of their history the buildings had undergone various changes and adaptations. These were removed, and the buildings returned to their former state where feasible The façades were carefully cleaned and repaired without destroying the original fabric. Existing structures within the roof area of some buildings were expanded in reaction to contemporary changes in usage.

The extensions to the National Industrial Bank (N.I.B.) and the Royal Asiatic Society (R.A.S.) Building are visible from Museum Square, the 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 – a museum of contemporary art. Inside the Art Deco style building, the newly created flexible areas enable a range of different presentation concepts and the volumes of the upper floors have been spatially linked through the creation of a new atrium.

The Andrews & George Building marks the southern edge of the planning area and has become known as Rockbund 6. The three-storey listed façade has been preserved and renovated, and eleven storeys have been added in the form of a stacked masonry construction. This new, red brick tower forms a strong marker at the edge of the development, blending the historic urban fabric with the new high-rise city beyond.

The whole Rockbund Project will be accomplished in autumn 2023. The restoration works on the façades of the historic buildings were completed in 2011. The Rockbund Art Museum was opened in 2010.