Art and business on the waterfront

Yang Jian
The Xuhui District waterfront is destined to become a new Bund featuring high-end finance and company headquarters, according to the district's Party secretary.
Yang Jian
Art and business on the waterfront
Ti Gong

The Xuhui waterfront along the Huangpu River, known as the West Bund.

Xuhui District's waterfront will become a new Bund, featuring high-end finance and company headquarters, a district official said on Monday. 

The waterfront, also known as the West Bund, is also striving to become a landmark for art and museums. Many former industrial structures, such as a coal plant, aircraft assembly line and fuel tanks, have been converted into art galleries and museums.

Bao Bingzhang, Xuhui's Party secretary, said the industrial structure is being shifted in Xuhui to cover, for instance, clinical medicine and R&D, brain science and basic life sciences.

"The Xuhui riverside is being developed into a new Bund," Bao told an interview with Shanghaifabu, the city government’s public WeChat account.

The district government is also developing an artificial intelligence hub with twin AI Towers and an AI Town on the waterfront.

The Xujiahui Center project, including a 370-meter tower on Hongqiao Road, will also become a landmark for upscale business and headquarters economy, Bao said.

The Xujiahui project to include two office buildings, a luxury hotel and seven floors of shops, restaurants, art galleries and theaters, will open its commercial complex in a trial operation in mid December.

The 70-story iconic office building surpasses the 320-meter-high building in the Sinar Mas Plaza, also known as the White Magnolia Plaza complex, in Hongkou District to become the tallest structure in Puxi.

It becomes the fourth tallest in the city after the 632-meter Shanghai Tower, the 492-meter Shanghai World Financial Center and the 420.5-meter Jinmao Tower in Pudong’s Lujiazui area.

Xuhui also aims to preserve the past.

The district government will open more historical space within the Hengfu (Hengshan-Fuxing Road) Historical Conservation Zone, Shanghai's largest protective historical zone, to the public, Bao said.

The Hengfu historical zone covers 7.66 square kilometers and features 950 listed preserved structures along with 1,774 historical buildings under protective status and 2,259 other historical buildings.

Art and business on the waterfront
Ti Gong

An artist's rendition of the Xuhui waterfront of the future.

Art and business on the waterfront
Ti Gong

Roadside trees are a feature of the Hengfu (Hengshan-Fuxing Road) Historical Conservation Zone.

They include many former residences of luminaries such as writer Ba Jin (1904-2005), playwright Ke Ling (1909-2000), cartoonist Zhang Leping (1910-1992), journalist and publisher Zou Taofen (1895-1944) and playwright Xia Yan (1900-1995).

"Many of the buildings have been overburdened by far more inhabitants than their designed capacities," Bao said. "There is also a surplus of businesses and an imbalance between public facilities and the living population," he added.

The district government plans to reduce the building capacity, the number of residents and businesses, while increasing public space, greenery and cultural space, he said.

Neighborhood officials will communicate with each household to work out renovation plans or install elevators for some of the old buildings.

More former residences of celebrities will be open to public.

The former home of revolutionary leader Huang Xing (1874-1916)  on Wukang Road will become an exhibition hall about the history of Chinese film. The building is owned by the Shanghai Film Group troupe.

The exhibition hall will echo with the nearby former residence of famous Chinese actor Zhao Dan (1915-1980) on Hunan and Huaihai Road M.

Social funds are encouraged to join the renovation projects. A boutique hotel, for instance, has opened in an old building on 100 Wukang Road after a facelift. More such historical buildings and former residences of celebrities can be converted to other functions, while the government will focus on public services, Bao said.

Three historical structures have newly opened to the public free in Xuhui this year, becoming popular attractions for residents and tourists.

They include the former residence of playwright Xia Yan (1900-1995) and a restored study of translator Cao Ying (1923-2015), as well as the historical Cloisters Apartments.

Art and business on the waterfront
Ti Gong

The Hengfu (Hengshan-Fuxing Road) Historical Conservation Zone, Shanghai's largest protected historical area.

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