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September 21, 2022

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Normandie Apartments

Architect: Laszlo Hudec
Address: 1850 Huaihai Road M.

Hungarian-Slovak architect Laszlo Hudec shaped Shanghai’s golden age with his designs of more than 100 buildings during his stay from 1918 to 1947. Their styles are very mixed — Eclectic neo-classicism, Art Deco and Modern — just to name a few. The Normandie Apartments is an excellent example.

Built in 1924, it is an eight-story French Renaissance-style apartment building coated with artificial stones and red bricks, adorned by details such as classical pediments above window lintels and vase-style railings on the balconies.

But what really makes it a standout is its triangle shape — a tribute to Hudec’s ready wit to fit the triangle lot. Specifically, it is located at the intersection of five streets and forms an acute angle of 30 degrees.

Today, it looks like a huge warship docking on Wukang Road and is often compared to the famous Flatiron Building in New York. Perhaps it is thanks to its peculiar shape that the building is listed as one of the 99 Shanghai Symbols.

Small facts: The building is said to be named by its French developer after Normandie (Normandy in English), a region of northern France, rather than the Battle of Normandy during World War II.


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