Katya Knyazeva (avezink) wrote,
Katya Knyazeva

Architectural drawings from Shanghai archives

Among thousands of images on Minguo Tupian, there are some architectural drawings of Shanghai buildings. Some are recognizable, while others represent unrealized plans or ended up looking very different:

The Racecourse Apartments was made into a less sprawling and angular building than the proposed project.

(Flickr image by John Meckley)

Was this Police building with a spire on Rue du Consulat (Jinling Road) even realized?

Yangtze Apartments on the corner of Park Road (now Huanghe Road) and Burkill Road (Fengyang Road).

Rhyming vertical elements were not realized, so the building looks wrapped around the corner, not pulling it up. (Image from machdebagua)

Cavendish Court on Rue Petain (Hengshan Road).

The air-con baskets look ridiculous when you know what they are for, but this is the interior courtyard, after all. (Image by F Thomas, from flickr)

Apartments on Route Bourgeat (Changle Road). They were probably built, since there are several similar compounds there.

A project of a residence in the western suburb of Shanghai.

A sketch of the Auditorium, on Avenue du Roi Albert (South Shaanxi Road).

The Bank of Asia was supposed to occupy a corner on Avenue Joffre, but I believe it did not.

The apartment house on Route Ferguson (Wukang Road) is, obviously, Koffman Apartments. The architect that signed the drawing is Gabriel Rabinovich, the author of what is now the Donghu Hotel building. Interestingly, the Capetown Apartments (left) is not even in the plans, while the Uptown Apartments (right) appears to be under construction.

(Photo from flickr, by John Meckley)

Two plans for a modern building of the Russian Orthodox Confraternity's Hospital on Route Pichon (Fenyang Road), by the architects Wm. A. Kirk and G. Th. Ubink. (Naturally, I prefer the top one, because it is "more art-deco.") The project was not realized, as far as I am aware, and the hosptial continued to occupy the villas on Route Maresca (Wuyuan Road), that mostly survive to this day.

The most glaring case of dream vs. reality is the famous truncation of the Bank of China building (right) that was not allowed to dwarf the Cathay House of Victor Sassoon (left). This great futuristic project includes a twin tower behind the front building. At 34 floors, it would have been the tallest in the Far East.

The approved plan looks like the building we know, except the actual one wears a Chinese hat.

(Image from pinterest)

Tags: 1930s, architecture, archive, shanghai, then and now

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