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June 10, 2021

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Smart security helps cut down nuisance

Facial recognition and smart security facilities have stopped photographers from sneaking into an 84-year-old apartment building that was a cause of concern among residents.

Liangyou Apartments, built in 1937 on Fuxing Road W., became “hot property” after photographs recording its nostalgic ambiance and rare diamond-shape stairways and ring patio were posted online.

Soon, photographers and tourists were swarming their way into the building to get inside for photos.

One resident complained that she felt like she was living in a huge photo studio over the past three years, often encountering cameramen, models and directors in the public space.

Warning signs aimed at deterring strangers can be seen on doors.

“It has been a long time that people come and take photos here,” a resident who lives on the fourth floor of the building said. “Sometimes, strangers come from morning till night.

“They put on makeup with disheveled hair and sometimes sit at the end of the stairs which is terrifying at night,” she said. “These people also produced a lot of rubbish and did not take it away, making a mess in the corridor.”

Things got better after smart security facilities were installed, but some people still sneak into the building disguised as deliverymen or postal workers, the resident said.

“There are many elderly people in our building. One person who lives on the third floor is 99 years old.”

The Hunan Road Subdistrict have now installed a smart entrance system this month. Residents enter the building by scanning their faces, while surveillance cameras can detect outsiders immediately.

Online social platforms such as RED have warned against disturbing residents. 

The four-story art-deco style building was built in 1937 by entrepreneur Rong Hongyuan, the “flour and textile tycoon.” Architects designed the wedge-shape building and diamond stairway to adapt to the irregular land plots in the corner of Yongfu Road and Fuxing Road W.

An additional floor was built in 1991 to accommodate an increasing number of residents. The building was listed as a heritage structure in 2015.


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