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April 29, 2010

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Bund Origin area reawakens

Rows of scaffolds have come down, the beauty of classic architecture is showing - and tomorrow it will be open for visitors.

It's the Bund Origin area, renewed after a vigorous makeover.

"We tried hard to restore the original view of the buildings," said Zhou Kexuan, president of Shanghai Bund Investment (Group) Co Ltd, the developer of the Bund Origin project.

"Their functions are also upgraded," he added.

The Bund Origin area, where the Huangpu River and Suzhou Creek converge, is regarded as the origin of the Bund and the city.

The 138,000-square-meter area contains many historic buildings, such as the recently saved Shanghai Rowing Club, the Union Church and the former British Consulate.

The historical zone had not been well preserved. Historic buildings were haphazardly renovated. Insignificant buildings were added.

With 18,000 square meters of insignificant buildings removed, the original green garden inside the former British Consulate has expanded three times to become a public green area at the north of the Bund's scenic walk.

Ruins of the fort built in Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and 27 old trees on the former consulate's lawn were preserved for sightseeing. Nearly 100 parking spaces have been built under the green area.

West of the green area, the Yuanmingyuan Road with eight historical buildings alongside it will be a pedestrian walk, barred to vehicles.

The old British Consulate, built in 1873, was the first western-style building along the whole landmark Bund. Now it will be used to treat VIP guests during the World Expo and host major events and art exhibitions after that.

Close to it, the former Union Church, built in 1886, is expected to house marriage ceremonies after restoration. The church was almost demolished after a big fire in the abandoned building in 2007 but was saved by public protest. Architecture experts have been invited to make restoration plans.


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