Shanghai Xintiandi, the first development in the Taipingqiao Redevelopment Project, is an urban tourist attraction imbued with the city's historical and cultural legacies. Located at the City Centre of Shanghai, and only one block south of the prestigious Huai Hai Zhong Road and its Metro station, the project has a site area of 30,000 square meters and a gross floor area of 60,000 square metres. Shanghai Xintiandi features a multitude of specialist F&B, retail, entertainment, cultural, recreational, commercial and residential facilities in restored "Shikumen" houses - a special old form of building architecture only found in Shanghai - as well as state-of-the-art new buildings, catering for both residents and visitors. With this unique architectural design, Xintiandi has won the national "Innovation China 2001 - Architecture Award", "AIA Hong Kong Citation 2002" and 2003 Award for Excellence from US-based Urban Land Institute.

Xintiandi is divided into the North and South Blocks. In the North Block, antique buildings with their modern interior design, decorations and equipment play host to a dazzling array of restaurants specialising in French, American, German, British, Brazilian, Italian, Japanese, Taiwanese and Hong Kong cuisine, putting on display the full international dimension of Shanghai Xintiandi. The dividing line between the two blocks, Xingye Road, is the site of the First Congress Hall of the Chinese Communist Party. In the South Block, modern architecture is the motif while Shikumen is an accompaniment. A shopping, entertainment and leisure complex of 25,000 square metres in the South Block opened in mid 2002. Aside from a series of international restaurants representing the flavors of the world, there are classy boutiques, accessory shops, a food court, a movie cinema, a great one-stop fitness centre as well as 88 Xintiandi Executive Residence, which offers luxurious serviced apartments. There is also an underground carpark with 220 parking spaces.

Shikumen houses are a relic of Shanghai's fascinating history, but over the years had sadly deteriorated because of the lack of maintenance. In order to restore the original appearance of the Shikumen "long tangs"(alleys), Shui On reconstructed selected buildings based on old design drawings. The original bricks and tiles were preserved before construction commenced.

A lot of time and effort were spent on the design and construction stages to preserve the old architecture. Yet the beautifully restored old buildings also boast the latest modern facilities, such as modern M&E systems, escalators and concealed fibre-optics.

Today, Xintiandi has developed into a commercial and entertainment hub in Shanghai that fully accomplishes Shui On's goal: "Yesterday meets tomorrow in Shanghai today". 

Shanghai Xintiandi is designed by Wood and Zapata Inc., a Boston-based architectural firm specialised in adaptive re-use of old buildings, and the Singapore office of Nikken Sekkei International Ltd. The Shanghai Tongji University Urban Planning, Design and Research Institute serves as the architectural consultant.


Click here to access the website of Shanghai Xintiandi.

  
Shikumen

"Shikumen", meaning "stone gate" , is a special old form of residence in Shanghai. In many ways, it is indeed a gateway to the fascinating history of this largest coastal city of China. In the middle of the 19th century, the uprising of the "Taiping Heavenly Kingdom" forced a large number of residents from Shanghai and its neighbouring Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces to take refuge in the city's foreign concessions. To meet the needs of the rapidly increasing population, "Shikumen" houses were built in the foreign concessions on an unprecedented scale. A typical "Shikumen" house is built along narrow alleys (or "long-tangs") and features a stone gate framing a black wooden front door that leads into a small enclosed courtyard. This unique architectural setting provided residents with a feeling of security in a turbulent era, and as most of them were developed by foreign companies, "Shikumen" houses had gradually become a symbol of East meeting West in Shanghai.