Sky cleared for historical Normandie Apartments
The overhead cables around the Normandie Apartments, or the Wukang Building, have been removed by Friday to restore the glorious look of the signature masterpiece of Laszlo Hudec.
The last two cables around the historical building in Xuhui District, deemed as an architectural treasure in Shanghai, were taken down around 5am to mark the completion of part of the citywide campaign to improve the city’s image and cut down on potential risks.
Xuhui District government began removing the cables on and around the building in March 2018, which were complained to spoil its historical flavor and architectural style. Over 70 cables around the building have been removed since then.
The mission was said to be the most complicated amid the ongoing citywide campaign. It is described as a "heart surgery" because of the large amount of underground pipelines and wires as well as the limited space around the building which stands in the junction of six busy roads in downtown.
The area under the jurisdiction of Tianping subdistrict also features over 70 buildings designed by leading French architect Alexandre Leonard in the 1930s, which were surrounded by a cobweb of cables.
The wires along the Huaihai Road M., an east-west downtown thoroughfare, were among the first being taken down. Workers then head to Wukang, Yueyang and Hengshan roads, where a large swathe of historic villas and buildings are located.
A new type of street lamp is being introduced in which the cables run through the poles. The multifunctional street lamp poles exceed 8 meters. At the top of the pole will be the lamp, with the traffic signals just below it, followed by the pedestrian walking lights.
Overhead cables supply electricity and facilitate telecommunication. Some of them also connect the pantograph of the electric buses to provide power.
The radial wires were once a common sight and a proud sign of urbanization, but now pose potential fire risks after decades of weathering.