AIA Shanghai Neighborhood Tour | The Bund with Peter Hibbard

Scroll through locations for a recap of our last tour through the Former French Concession

On July 7, city planner and historian Peter Hibbard led a tour of the historical former English settlement of the Bund in Shanghai. Peter drew from his experience having lived 13 years in Shanghai and having access to historical archives in Beijing. The tour began at Astor House Hotel, a well preserved hotel. Winding through the iconic Waibaidu Bridge, he told stories about the occupants of Broadway Mansions and its initial function. Having been an advisor to the design team with David Chipperfield for the renovation of Yuanmingyuan Road and the Shanghai Rockbund Museum, he described the careful restoration efforts. Peter told stories of the banks that built Deco buildings on Beijing Road and on Jiangxi Middle Road, with adjacent housing for its staff designed in the same style. During his talk he supported his stories with pictures of the original buildings. During the restoration of the Peace Hotel, for which he was consultant to the interior designers HBA, he met the family of the original architect, George 'Tug' Wilson of Palmer and Turner. He shared some historical film clips of the developer for the hotel, Victor Sassoon. The group explored alleys showing original houses enclosed by outside buildings. Along the way, Peter identified which buildings house treasures of mosaics, art nouveau and other period details, for further exploring by the participants when these are open to the public. The tour winded up at Shanghai's "Piccadilly Circus"- like corner of Fuzhou Road and Jiangxi Road, where the group heard additional stories about the history of the buildings in the corner and its occupants. The tour completed at the lobby of the recently renovated Metropole hotel.

Stop 1 - The Astor House Hotel

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Originally a restaurant for British traders when Shanghai was opened up to foreign traders in 1846, the Astor House Hotel was built in the Baroque style, grew to be one of the most famous hotels in the world.

Stop 2 - The Former Rowing Club

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Rowing was one of the main sports of British settlers in Shanghai after the opening of the city. The club was designed in the British Victorian style by Scott & Carter Architects. It was almost demolished entirely, but Tongji University Professor Chang Qing recognized it on an old postcard of the Bund, and petitioned for it to be protected.

Stop 3 - Huqiu Apartment Lane

The Huqiu apartments were completed in 1926 and were home to mostly Chinese middle class. They were redone in 2010. The siding looks brick, but is actually concrete.

Stop 4 - The Bank of Canton / Old Financial District

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One of the oldest banks in Shanghai, located at the center of what used to be Shanghai's financial district. Reinforced concrete, by Poyd Gum Lee, and completed in 1934.

Stop 5 - The Bank of China

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Completed in 1945, this building turned out to be only half of its original planned size. Its foundation was made entirely from pine wood imported from Oregon, in the United States.

Stop 6 - Fairmont Peace Hotel

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This art deco structure is divided between the Peace Hotel (designed by George Wilson) and the Sassoon House (designed by Palmer & Turner Architects), which is now the Swatch Art Hotel. The Hotel served as a playground for the elite of its time.

AIA Shanghai would like to sincerely thank Peter Hibbard for sharing his knowledge of Shanghai's architectural history with tour participants.

For information on upcoming neighborhood & building tours, events, and all things AIA Shanghai, visit our website

Map visualization by Erik Thorbeck