The story appears on

Page A8-9

July 20, 2019

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Feature

Dignified Spanish design sets building apart from neighbors

TWO years before the Avenue Apartments project began, architect L. E. Hudec designed another upper-class apartment building, “the Estrella,” on today’s Huaihai Road.

Estrella means “star” in Spanish, which is an apt name for the seven-story building that serves both commercial and residential purposes.

The design is dignified and restful, in the Spanish style, with Renaissance and Baroque elements.

The lower two floors comprise the plinth, while the third to sixth floors are punctuated with shallow balconies decorated with protruding windows and cast-iron patterns.

The top of the building is composed of continuous balconies and cornices.

Strong Spanish architectural elements are featured all over the edifice, ranging from the patterns on the window lintels, the bamboo-like thin columns set as the glazed bars of the protruding windows, and geometric pattern mosaics on the floor and in the wainscot.

The contrast between creamy walls and the red-brick molding showcases a tone of traditional Eastern European architecture.

Italian architect Luca Poncellini attributes Hudec’s use of Spanish motifs largely to the cut-throat competition in Shanghai’s real estate sector, where “architectural exoticism was providing the building a sort of extra value, from a marketing point of view.”

“The impressive Estrella Apartments block rises out from the surrounding environment made of smaller constructions ... its style follows the Spanish tradition and it was built in the center of the French district carved out from Chinese soil,” writes the scholar who authored “Laszlo Hudec.”

“The most interesting thing is that Laszlo Hudec had the chance to apply everything he had learned from Spanish architecture from his long travels in Spain and southern Europe in the early 1920s.”

He added that there were many hand-drawn sketches of Spanish historical buildings in Hudec’s archives.

The property was developed by China Realty Company development agency, which was founded by merchant Alberto Cohen. He moved to Shanghai from Constantinople before 1910, made a fortune from the rickshaw business and later devoted his attention to real estate.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend