Miracle Mandarin: Buildings On the Bund 14, 15, 16
Shanghai Municipal Trade Union Council (No.14)
Built in 1948, it is the former Bank of Communications Building. It now houses the Shanghai Council of Trade Unions. It occupies an area of 1,908 square meters and a floor area of 10,088 square meters. The building’s architect, C. H. Gonda, programmed it into Neo-Renaissance style which emphasized the vertical lines and simple and clear façade of architectural design. The bottom wall looks magnificent and gorgeous with black marble veneer. There are man-made circular artificial marble escalators decorated with purple cooper balusters on both sides of the entrance door. On the second floor, you will see red everywhere and it looks splendid, with the lower half of the 30 round pillars and walls around the hall decorated with red ceramic tiles. The floor is also paved with red tiles. The imposing exterior and warm inside makes the building possess a unique style.
Shanghai Foreign Exchange Trade Centre (No.15)
Built in 1901, it is formerly the Russo-Chinese Bank Building. It was designed by Heinrich Bake in the new neo-classicism style of Renaissance period. It is graceful and magnificent, covering an area of 1,460 square meters, with a construction area of 5,018 square meters and three storeys high. The structure is built on stability with refined decoration. It regards the main entrance as the axis and there are four rolls of window on both sides of the gate. The grounds include imported colored ceramic tile used as foreshadowing. The outside wall is paved with white glazed ceramic tiles and granite. The central hall of the ground floor is three storeys high and covered with a colored drawing and patterned glass ceiling. The interior decoration is very luxurious.
China Merchants Bank (No.16)
Built in 1924, it was formerly the Bank of Taiwan Building. It was a Japanese private joint banking venture, which first opened a branch in Shanghai in 1911. It is now the China Merchants Bank with an area of 904 square meters. The building belongs to a western architectural style as seen in modern Japan. The walls and main entrances of the banking hall were originally in Italian marble and the floors had a rubber tile finish. Today, apart from the intricate marble balus trades on the mezzanine floor, the marble in the banking hall has been replaced. Presumably the marble balustrades survived only on account of the expense or the difficulty of recreating them. The two floors above the main banking hall were originally rented out, whilst the top floor provided living quarters and recreational rooms for bank staff.
Resources from TravelChinaGuide.com
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