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Shanghai's Bund skyline to be altered forever
A controversial project is poised to transform the historic Bund and, surprise, not everyone is happy about it
If you enjoy the panorama of the Bund’s Art Deco skyline from Lujiazui, gaze upon it as much as possible in 2011. The iconic Shanghai silhouette is going to be dramatically reshaped in the next few years.
Bund SOHO (外滩SOHO), a new property planned to the south of the colonial buildings on the Bund, has caused controversy among Shanghai citizens, according to the Shanghai Oriental Morning Post.
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Situated west of Yong’an Lu, the 22,462-square-meter property will house high-end office and commercial spaces, and is being financed by SOHO China, the country’s major real estate company based in Beijing. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2014.
According to a visual SOHO China released on its official Sina Weibo on July 15, Bund SOHO (which will look a little like several enormous harmonicas standing on their sides) will present a vast contrast to the Bund's historic architecture. Most Bund buildings were built in the early 20th century.
(Click here to see how the Bund SOHO looks.)
Many Shanghainese are worries that the new building will destroy the Bund skyline.
“This building is extremely lofty on the Bund,” said Yang Lei (杨蕾), a well-known Shanghai TV hostess, on the Internet. “It chops the Bund’s skyline into two.”
“I personally welcome SOHO China to arrive in Shanghai,” said Shanghai netizen Qu Nian Ba Yue (去年8月). “But in the light of my love to my hometown, I hope SOHO can try making (Bund SOHO) fit in the whole environment, instead of trying to stand out.”
Making the project even more controversial is a statement made by SOHO China chairman Pan Shiyi’s (潘石屹) before Bund SOHO's design was revealed to the public.
“We will fully respect the culture and historic heritage of the Bund and the requirements from Shanghai authorities,” Pan stated to the press.
Xinhua Finance reported construction of Bund SOHO began a few months ago.
According to the Shanghai government’s plan, the Bund -- especially the south Bund -- will witness a striking skyline change in the next 10 years. A soaring twin tower, yet to be named, has been planned as the new landmark of the Shanghai south Bund.
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The new Shanghai Tower, a 124-story “'thermos flask” to be located in China’s "skyscraper headquarters" of Lujiazui, is set to be completed in 2014 -- the same year as Bund SOHO.
For those who prefer the Pudong skyline to the Bund’s, click through the above gallery to see photos of the current Lujiazui horizon, taken by iReporter Joanne Huang.
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