SIIC center an iconic symbol of cultural life

Yang Jian
Construction has been completed on a new landmark building on the North Bund in Hongkou District which will include a new state-of-the-art theater.
Yang Jian
SIIC center an iconic symbol of cultural life
Ti Gong

An artist’s rendition of the SIIC Center, a new landmark on the North Bund in Hongkou District

Construction has been completed on a new landmark building on the North Bund in Hongkou District which will include a new state-of-the-art theater.

The SIIC Center, developed by the state-owned Shanghai Industrial Investment Co, covers 22,500 square meters on the waterfront of Huangpu River. It is composed of a 180-meter-tall tower building, a grand theater boasting 1,700 seats and a commercial facility covering about 46,000 square meters.

“The North Bund serves as the birthplace of the Haipai Cultures and the SIIC group,” said Zhou Jun, president of the group. “The project takes reference of the world’s vertical city development experiences to contribute to the future development of the North Bund.”

Hu Guangjie, director of Hongkou District, said the ongoing North Bund development provides an unprecedented opportunity to the region and it will be the largest regional development plan in Shanghai since 1990s.

“The future North Bund will focus on business and office, public culture and commercial services to cooperate and differentiate from the Bund and Lujiazui on the opposite of the river,” Hu said.

“The North Bund will be developed into a top urban core region, central activity zone and a world-class parlor of Shanghai.”

The SIIC Center, scheduled to be completed by the end of 2021, will include a listed historical structure, the former residence of Nie Er (1912-1935), the composer of China’s national anthem.

The tower building, covering about 10,000 square meters, will be developed into a top-level office “green construction” with LED environmentally friendly certification.

The grand theater covering 14,000 square meters has been dubbed the “Crown of art on the North Bund.” It will stage operas, musicals, stage dramas and Broadway-style performances.

Dongdaming Road, where the theater has been planned, was formerly named Broadway Road because the street hosted Shanghai’s “oriental Broadway shows” in the early 20th century.

The theater will be connected with the former residence of Nie. The 210-square-meter house aims to preserve the cultural history of the place.

Nie, born in Kunming, in southwest China’s Yunnan Province, is best known for composing China’s national anthem, “March of the Volunteers.”

In 1935, Nie wrote the music in Xiao Hong Lou (Little Red House) on Hengshan Road in Shanghai’s Xuhui District. Two years later, poet and playwright Tian Han (1898-1968) wrote the song’s lyrics. Unfortunately, Nie drowned while swimming in Fujisawa, Kanagawa, in Japan, at the age of 23, on July 17, 1935. He wrote 37 musical pieces in total and most of them were about working-class life.

Construction is earmarked on Shanghai’s third tallest skyscraper on the North Bund early next year. The 480-meter landmark structure will echo the Lujiazui skyscrapers across Huangpu River.

The new building will become the tallest structure in Puxi, surpassing the 320-meter-high Sinar Mas Plaza tower, the current tallest on the North Bund and the third-tallest in the city, after the 632-meter Shanghai Tower and the 492-meter Shanghai World Financial Center in Lujiazui.

Several prominent companies from home and abroad are negotiating to set up headquarters in the new building with the North Bund Development Office.

Other key projects near completion on the North Bund include the city’s third Raffles City mall.

The mall, which will open to the public next year, will cover 120,000 square meters of shopping area. It consists of three stories above ground level and two underground. It will feature the world’s trendy brands, entertainment and recreation sites, an art space and boutique supermarkets.

The new-look North Bund, listed as a “new engine” of growth for Shanghai, will include a central business district with high-density office buildings and commercial facilities. The riverside region, covering about 4 square kilometers, will meet the same high standard already set at Lingang Special Area and the Pudong New Area in the east of Shanghai.

About 8.4 million square meters of new construction space has been planned on the waterfront, equivalent to the total amount of urban space in Lujiazui and on both sides of Century Avenue in Pudong.

These include dozens of top-level office buildings to house the headquarters of multinational firms, international organizations and functional institutes.

SIIC center an iconic symbol of cultural life
Ti Gong

Construction has been completed on the SIIC Center.

The new round of development on the North Bund has managed to reverse the economic slowdown since March amid the COVID-19 pandemic and achieved rapid growth in the financial and shipping sectors among others.

The GDP growth rates and tax revenue of Hongkou in the first half of the year rank among the best of the downtown districts. The financial sector has increased by nearly 40 percent on year, while the North Bund area’s shipping industry has reversed a loss since June and made an 8.9 percent increase on year in August.

Since the North Bund’s blueprint was publicized on February 20, the waterfront has attracted increasing global attention and 171 projects have been signed as a consequence with a total investment of 100 billion yuan.

The district has organized an expert panel and a chief architect’s office to guide the development and construction of the site. A number of the world’s top architects and urban planners have been appointed, while seven leading global architecture design institutes have been invited to take part in the development process.

Detailed planning has been completed for the skywalks, central park, underground space, industrial functions and management for the central business district.

Over 20 skyscrapers, including the 480-meter landmark, have begun soliciting design plans from across the world. Every building on the North Bund will be green and intelligent and connected with each other.

Several blocks away from the North Bund, the Hall of the Sun, one of Shanghai’s biggest commercial complexes, will open next year and feature a giant dome, terraces, an aquatic park and an IMAX cinema.

The project will connect with the Hall of the Moon, which has already opened in Ruihong Tiandi, to become a new “urban life icon” covering 250,000 square meters in the city’s north downtown.

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