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May 18, 2012

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Home » Metro » Entertainment and Culture

Bund Origin area remake hits mark

THE Yifeng Galleria, a 101-year-old baroque-style building in the Bund Origin area, opened to the public yesterday after a vigorous makeover.

It meant that construction work on phase 1 of the project is almost complete. The Bund Origin is regarded as the origin of the Bund and the city and contains many historical buildings.

The renovation work on the Bund Origin, on the south side of Suzhou Creek where it converges with the Huangpu River, started a decade ago to revive the beauty of the classic architecture. The city government is relocating residents and enterprises inside the historical buildings to make way for the overall Bund Financial Zone development.

"The renovation work moved slowly and carefully to strike a balance between the protection of the historical buildings and the modern development," said Zhou Haiying, chairman of the Shanghai Bund Investment (Group) Co Ltd, the government-backed developer of the Bund Financial Zone.

Builders have cleaned the weathering external wall and fixed the damaged interior structure of the century-old Yifeng Galleria, which was the office of foreign firms in pre-liberation China.

They strived to restore its original appearance and flavor according to historical documents of the Shanghai Archives. The Yifeng Galleria, which covers 23,850-square meters, is the largest commercial building along the whole landmark Bund. It features upper class brands and tailor-made products to cater to customers in the high-end Bund Financial Zone, according to Zhou.

The phase 1 project covers 138,000 square meters and contains a total of four construction or revamp projects, including the former British Consulate, Community 174 and the Peninsular Shanghai.

The old British Consulate, built in 1849, was the first Western-style building on the Bund and it reopened during the 2010 World Expo in Shanghais. The Peninsular Shanghai opened the same year.

The Community 174, or the Rockbund Shanghai, still has three supportive buildings to construct, while reconstruction on the major structure has finished and more than 50 areas have been leased out.

The next-door phase 2 project, which covers 41,000 square meters, will start after residents are relocated and land is prepared for the reconstruction, insiders said.

The phase 2 project will contains office buildings, hotels, commercial and recreational facilities, reports have said.


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