Suzhou’s outstanding gardens, unique architecture, and distinctly Chinese urban organization stand in stark contrast to the Western-influenced chaos of Shanghai. Increasingly, Shanghai proper is only one node of an enormous urban agglomeration that extends from Nanjing to Hangzhou, encompassing several vibrant urban centers connected by efficient high-speed rail. While the grey fields and endless rows […]
Posts by Evan Chakroff
The plane descends through smog the color of cigarette smoke, coasting over low-slung industrial sheds in a brownfield landscape sliced by highways and dirty canals. Distant cranes hover above endless rows of towers, fading in the haze as the tarmac heaves up to meet the landing gear. The gleaming terminal fades into your subconscious […]
Hangzhou is nearly 200km from Shanghai, but the speed and efficiency of the Chinese rail system makes a day trip or weekend getaway incredible easy, and offers a tranquil respite from the chaos of the city on the Huangpu. West Lake is the biggest draw here, and an efficient trip to Hangzhou would […]
Though China is becoming well known as the home of startling, ambitious new architecture, the sweeping forms and epic scale of China’s new icons of modernity often appear only after extensive periods of relocation and demolition, and in many ways tastefully-preserved blocks are more impressive than new constructions, given the careful study and rehabilitation required […]
Yuyuan Garden is an intricate interlocking of architecture and landscape, an excellent Ming-era garden best experienced as a multi-layered sequence in space.
More than glittering Lujiazui or the facades of The Bund, Shanghai’s shikumen lanes remain the best representation of the myriad influences in this multi-cultural metropolis.
An English village in the Shanghai suburbs, Thames Town is an anachronistic novelty and an amusing example of the absurd experimental urbanism of modern China.
Combining a modern interpretation of a Chinese pagoda with Art Deco flourishes, the Jin Mao tower fits perfectly with the eclectic mix of styles that characterize the urban aesthetics of Shanghai.
Though threatened with eviction, the residents of Shanghai’s most authentic arts community continue their work, and the dimly-lit corridors and decaying walls of this former electronics factory are imbued with a palpable sense of creativity and artistic freedom.
1933, the slaughterhouse-turned mixed-use complex, is an Art-Deco/Expressionist masterpiece of function-over-form, and one of Shanghai’s best off-the-beaten-track architectural highlights.