Shanghai Suhewan MIXC World is the newest landmark in Jing'an
The much-awaited Shanghai Suhewan MIXC World, which opened this month, is a new commercial and cultural landmark in Jing'an Distrcit.
It includes 60,000 square meters of open commercial space, 42,000 square meters of greenland and two heritage-listed sites – Tianhou Palace and Shenyuli.
Tianhou Palace's history can be traced back to the late 19th century when it was the city's largest temple to Mazu (the goddess of the sea). However, over the years, it was used as a hospital, a school and a residence before being abandoned.
Fortunately, it survived the demolition and the original building components and materials were saved for the renovation.
The temple has been restored after six years of work, with over 2,600 original wooden and brick components, reviving its original aesthetic and classic architecture. The spiral caisson ceiling of its ancient opera stage was renovated with the help of 3D modeling. It is not yet open to the public, but it may be used later for fashion shows and cultural events.
Built in the 1930s, Shenyuli is one of the city's best-preserved shikumen (stone-gate) neighborhoods. It has been restored to its original look using traditional craftsmanship. It is now home to several boutiques, cafes and showrooms.
Besides a subtle blend of historic charm and modern amenities, Shanghai Suhewan MIXC World also incorporates art installations to revitalize the environment.
Inges Idee, a Germany-based artist collective, is presenting two suites of giant sculptures, "Family Orchestra" and "Up We Go!," which have been hailed as the group's first large-scale permanent outdoor installations in Shanghai.
Shanghai Suhewan MIXC World has joined a row of landmarks lining the Suzhou Creek waterfront. Let's check out the other sights.
Bridges over the river
There are 12 bridges over the Suzhou Creek in the Jing'an section, including the Fujian Road Bridge, the Puji Road Bridge and the Wuzhen Road Bridge. But Changping Road Bridge is the most appealing.
Known as the "Eye of Suzhou Creek" for its design, the bridge is bathed in soft light as dusk shades into the light. It is part of the district's waterfront illumination project. In particular, there are spectacular light displays on show in Butterfly Bay Park along the river.
At the park gate, the water light show depicts a lotus bursting into a carnival of purple and whales swimming in mid-air. It feels like stars twinkling on the ground.
Inside the park, the lights create a fairy tale of flying butterflies, jumping squirrels and falling leaves wreathed in smoke.
Site of former Chamber of Commerce
The historical building that once housed China's first modern chamber of commerce is now the Bvlgari Hotel Shanghai.
The chamber was founded in February 1912 and was instrumental in drafting China's first business law. It opened the country's first arbitration office, first commodity exhibition center, first business library and first shopping mall with a wide range of goods made in the country.
The office building for the chamber was finished in 1916. It was built in the style of Western classicism and has a symmetrical front with pediments above the gate and windows.
Several years later, a giant gateway was erected on the southern side of the building. The design of the gateway was based on the Arch of Titus in Rome. It had four pillars in the ancient Greek Corinthian style.
Sihang Warehouse Battle Memorial
The warehouse was built in the early 1930s as a storage facility for four banks on the northern bank of Suzhou Creek, when the city's homegrown industries and entrepreneurs thrived.
It was the last outpost of the Chinese forces against Japanese invaders during the Battle of Shanghai in 1937, and one of the bloodiest episodes in Shanghai's wartime history. It is now a memorial, with bomb and bullet holes still visible on the west wall.
There is also The People, a "red"-themed coffee shop. The People is decorated in a nostalgic style to reflect its history, with eye-catching "red star" ornaments and a retro motorcycle, teapot and other objects. Old black-and-white televisions broadcast classic "red" films.