Posts Tagged ‘Top 10 Buildings in Shanghai’

Shanghai’s Top 10 Iconic Landmarks

Thursday, December 27th, 2018
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Each city has its own iconic landmarks which have been lingering in people’s minds either due to their greatness or intriguing stories behind them. Shanghai is a fish-village-turned-metropolitan city dating back to China’s Spring and Autumn period (771 to 476 BC ).

Shanghai architectural landmarks mainly epitomize the colonial buildings set up in the early 1900s and the modern and futuristic architectures constructed in late 1900s and early 2000s, the two main periods for the massive city construction in Shanghai. My Top 10 List largely reflects the best architectural landmarks in these two periods. Hopefully it could serve as a simple guide to your Shanghai tour.

1. The Bund ( Mid-1800s – 1930s )
The word “Bund” comes from an old Hindi word which means “embankment” and was used by a British company which opened an office there in 1846.

The original buildings along the Bund were the warehouses first built by the opium traders who flocked to China in Mid-nineteenth century to make their money.

The original buildings along the Bund

From Mid-1800s to 1933s, about 50 various buildings of different architectural styles were successively constructed including Gothic, Baroque, Romanesque, Classicism and the Renaissance between the Bund and the present East Zhong Shan Road.

The clock tower of the old waterfront Customs House, built in 1925, is modeled on Big Ben in London, striking the hour with Chairman Mao’s favorite tune.

2. Shanghai The Paramount 1933
Shanghai The Paramount was a three-story building designed by the architect architect S. J. Young ( 1899-1978) was completed in 1933. The building was once home to the most popular ballrooms for the wealthy elite in Shanghai.

The structure’s façade adopted America’s modern Avant-garde architectural style, and was regarded as the most trendy architectural design in China and around the world as well, and the “No.01 Oriental Musical Palace” in 1930s.

Shanghai The Paramount

Shanghai The Paramount

Today Shanghai The Paramount is besieged by contemporary high-rise buildings, but it still stands out a nostalgic reminder of Shanghai’ glamorous past. Its address: 218 Yuyuan Road in Jing’an, Shanghai (静安区愚园路218号).

3. Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower ( 1991 – 1994 )
Oriental Pear Tower is a TV Tower and an iconic landmark in Shanghai, and located by the side of the west bank of Huangpu River, opposite to the Bund.

It is one of the most photographed building on the Pudong Skyline, viewed from the Bund. The construction began in 1991, and the tower was completed in 1994.

Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower

With a height of 468 m, the tower has fifteen observatory levels. The lower level at 263 m is the Sightseeing Floor. There is a revolving restaurant at the 267 m level. The tower also houses exhibition facilities, restaurants and a shopping mall.

4. Shanghai World Financial Center (2008)
The Shanghai World Financial Center is the second highest building in mainland China with a total height of 492 m (1,614 ft). The skyscraper is located in the Pudong district, an essential structure on the spectacular Pudong Skyline.

It was designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox. The tower’s foundation stone was laid on 27 August 1997 and it was declared complete on 17 July 2008.

Shanghai World Financial Center

The supertall building comprises offices, hotels, conference rooms, observation decks, and ground-floor shopping malls. The tower features three separate observation decks -lowest at the 94th floor at 423 m ; the second, on the 97th floor at a height of 439 m ; and the highest, on the 100th floor at 474 m (1,555 ft) high.

5. Jin Mao Tower (1999)
The Jin Mao Tower is located next to Oriental Pearl Tower and Shanghai World Financial Center and Shanghai Tower ( the highest ) in the Lujiazui area of the Pudong district in Shanghai.

It is composed of offices and the Shanghai Grand Hyatt Hotel. It is one of the centerpieces of the Pudong skyline at the height of 420.5m. It was designed by the Chicago firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM). The tower was fully operational in 1999.

Jin Mao Tower

Jin Mao Building has four entrances, two for the offices, one for the lobby, the last one for the entrance to the 88-floor observation – the skywalk, a 1,520 m2 indoor observation deck with a capacity of over 1,000 people. It offers the panoramic views of Shanghai as well as a topside view below of the atrium of Shanghai Grand Hyatt Hotel inside Jin Mao Tower( occupying the floors from 53 to 87).

The 88-storey observation deck is open from 8:30am to 10:00pm. It’s better to have the tower tour on a bright clear day or one a fine evening. You will enjoy different views visiting Jin Mao Tower in the daytime or in the evening.

6. Shanghai Tower (2008 – 2015)
The Shanghai Tower is a megatall skyscraper in Lujiazui, Pudong, Shanghai. It is designed by Gensler and owned by a consortium of Chinese state-owned companies.

It is the tallest building in China accompanied by the other three supertall buildings in Pudong – the Jin Mao Tower, the Shanghai World Financial Center and Oriental Pearl TV Tower. The megatall structure is 632 metres high with128 stories.

The 632-meter high Shanghai Tower

Shanghai Tower is currently the tallest building in China and the second-tallest in the world, surpassed only by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. However, Shenzhen’s 660-metre Ping An Finance Centre will beat the Shanghai Tower as China’s tallest building when it is completed in 2016.

7. China Pavilion at Expo 2010 ( 2010)
The magnificent building of the China Pavilion is the legacy of Expo 2010, officially the Expo 2010 Shanghai China, which was held on both banks of the Huangpu River in Shanghai, from 1 May to 31 October 2010.

Known as Oriental Crown, it was the largest national pavilion in the Shanghai Expo and largest on the history of the World Expo. Add: at Pudong New District ( take subway line 8 and get off at the station of China Art Museum (中华艺术宫) and exit from Exit 1 or 3.

China Pavilion

China Pavilion

After the end of the Expo 2010, the building was converted to a museum. Now it houses the China Art Museum, the largest art museum in Asia. The building features the dougong as well as the Chinese ding vessel.

The dougong is a traditional wooden bracket used to support large overhanging eaves dating as back as nearly 2,000 years. The ding is a vessel used by Chinese emperors to make offerings to the gods. It symbolizes the union between heaven and earth.

8. Shanghai Museum (1996)
The Shanghai Museum is located on the People’s Square in the Huangpu District of Shanghai. The current building of Shanghai Museum was rebuilt in 1996 though Shanghai Museum’s history can be traced back to 1952 when it was established.

It known as one of China’s first world-class modern museums with a wide collection of over 120,000 pieces, including bronze, ceramics, calligraphy, furniture, jades, ancient coins, paintings, seals, sculptures, minority art and foreign art.

Shanghai Museum

Shanghai Museum

The main building is designed by the local architect Xing Tonghe. It features the shape of an ancient bronze cooking vessel known as a ding. Ding is a vessel used by emperors, reflecting the idea of “round sky, square earth” as you can find the building has a round top and a square base, a union of Heaven and Earth.

9. Nanpu Bridge (1991)
The Nanpu Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge, a sister bridge to the Yangpu Bridge, which also spans over Huangpu River connecting Puxi and Pudong in Shanghai.

It was designed by Chinese architects. It has a main span of 846 meters with an extended bridge over 7500 meters.

Shanghai Grand Theatre

Shanghai Grand Theatre

The bridge has two towers with one on each side and each of them has 22 couple of iron cables to link the main bridge in the shape of a fan. A ship of 50000 tons can pass under the bridge. The bridge accommodates 7 drive lanes – 4 lanes from Puxi to Pudong and 3 lanes from Puxi to Pudong.

10. Shanghai Grand Theatre (1998)
Completed in 1998, the Shanghai Grand Theatre is listed as one of the largest and best-equipped automatic stages in the world.

The theatre stages the performances of operas, symphonies, chamber music concerts, musicals, ballets, spoken dramas and various Chinese operas. It is located in the northern part of the People’s Square in Huangpu District, Shanghai.

Shanghai Grand Theatre

Shanghai Grand Theatre

Grand Theatre building is one of Shanghai’s iconic landmark with an area of 2.1 hectares and a total construction area of 70,000 sq. meters.

The building was designed by ARTE Charpentier, a famous architecture design company founded by French architect Jean-Marie Charpentier. When the night falls, the lights around the building transforms its exterior into a crystal palace.

Add-on:
Top 10 Photo Spots in Shanghai
Top 10 Attractions in Shanghai

Tip:  Hassle-free Shanghai Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself bus route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Shanghai:

Shanghai Highlight Day Tour from US$ 65
Afternoon Ambling & Evening Brilliant Cruise Day Tour from US$ 55
Historic Shanghai and Ancient Water Town Day Tour from US$ 59
Shanghai 2 Day Tour Package from US$ 145
Shanghai 3 Day Tour Pacakge from US$ 199

Further Readings


Top 10 Attraction in Shanghai
Top 10 Markets in Shanghai
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Shanghai
Top 10 Things to Do at night in Shanghai
Best Places for Autumn Leaves in Shanghai
Top 10 Things to Do in Winter in Shanghai
Top 10 Souvenirs in Shanghai

Any questions, just drop a line.