AIA Building (No.17)
Constructed in 1921, it was formerly known as the building of the ‘North China Daily News’. This was the biggest foreign news publishing company in Shanghai at that time. Its name was changed to the AIA Building when American International Assurance Co. Ltd. settled there. It is a modern construction in Renaissance style and the elevation is divided horizontally into three parts. The lower part is faced with huge stone blocks, the middle part cemented and the upper part has columns protecting inner verandas.
Bund No.18 (No.18)
Formerly know as the Chartered Bank Building, it was built in 1923. Lions’ heads on sandstone bronze with lamp brackets, emblematic of the British nationality of the bank, once adorned each side of the entrance gates. Floral motifs from the surviving English-made bronze gates, which despite their Greek detailing had an Oriental feel, were used in the banking hall. Originally, carved keystones incorporating rams’ heads, representing India, Australia and China, were set over the ground floor windows. The entrance vestibule featured four Brecchia marble columns, and the walls were lined with a rich, cream colored, Pavonazzo marble on a black plinth. The original floor was in Roman marble mosaic and the ceiling of fibrous plaster. With the exception of the woodwork, the whole of the wall, floor, coffered ceiling and sculpted Italian marble found on the ground floor was shipped from England. The entire ground floor and the basement were occupied by the bank. The steel framed building, designed by Tug Wilson in a classic neo-Greek style with little ornamentation, rested on two reinforced rafts, one for the main block, and one for the back block where the strong rooms were situated.
South Building of the Peace Hotel (No.19)
Separated from the North Building by busy Nanjing Road, it was originally known as the Palace Building in 1906. Previously known as Central Hotel, founded in the 1850s, the hotel was restructured in 1906 to form the Palace Hotel. It was rebuilt as a six storey building, the tallest on Nanjing Road at the time. It occupies 2,125 square meters, with a floor space of 11,607 square meters. It has a brick veneer structure, with the six storeys reaching 30 meters in height. The exterior is in a Renaissance style. The hotel had around 120 guest rooms. The architects placed a strong accent on color and finished the building in their locally interpreted Victorian Renaissance’ design.
Resources from TravelChinaGuide.com
Want to learn more about the Shanghai architecture? Come visit us.
21F, 319 Changde Road (corner of West Beijing Road)
Closest metro: Line 2/7 Jing’an Temple, Exit 3/10, A 5 min walk away www.miraclemandarin.com
Learn Chinese in Shanghai. Learn Chinese at Miracle Mandarin