The story appears on

Page A4

September 21, 2022

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » In Focus

Okura Garden Hotel Shanghai

Architect: Alexandre Leonard
Address: 85 Maoming Road S.

The Okura Garden Hotel Shanghai, or to be more specific its older section, is the city’s quiet nod to its former French Concession area. The white building, facing a large lawn, was built around 1925 in the French Renaissance style with Art Deco influences. It was used as the Cercle Sportif Francais, literally French Sports Club.

It was equipped with a bowling alley, billiards room and tennis courts, among a variety of sports facilities. It also had an incomparable ballroom hailed as the best in the Far East. It featured sprung floors and the longest-spanning glass ceiling in the city.

The project brought the young Alexandre Leonard huge success. Compared with his contemporary and rival Hudec, Leonard is lesser-known today. But his work hasn’t gone unacknowledged.

The French architect came to Shanghai in 1920, two years after Hudec’s arrival, burning with a fierce ambition to leave an indelible mark on Shanghai’s skyline.

In 1924, he created his own company with Paul Veysseyre. The third partner, Arthur Kruze, joined them in 1934, which determined the company’s name as Leonard Veysseyre & Kruze.

The firm has left a swath of more than 100 stylish buildings in the city, such as the typical Art Deco Midget Apartments, Baroque-style Bearn Apartments, and the Modern-style Gascogne Apartments.

Small facts: Leonard disappeared from Shanghai in 1946. He never came back after he left his home at the Amyron Apartments on March 13. It wasn’t until May 25 that his death was made known to the public. The French Consulate General in Shanghai was said to have received his farewell letter which is kept in the basement of the Institut Pasteur of Shanghai under the Chinese Academy of Sciences. But the letter is only allowed to be revealed 100 years after his death, which will be in 2046.


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