American urban design and architecture firm Chan Krieger Sieniewicz was chosen by the town to revamp its former international concession port area. The Huangpu River and the heart of the city will be “reconciled.”
Head of project Liang Zhao explains that today, the Bund buildings are separated from the water by Zhongshan Road – impossible to catch a glimpse of the river from Nanjing Road, for example, for the promenade is too high. And from the promenade, people are quite far from the buildings. The idea is to have fewer obstacles to get to the river. There will be pedestrian overpasses from the street to the strolling area.
Trees will be planted, glass-walled pavillions for shop stalls – Zhongshan Road will look like a boulevard for a hundred yards where Nanjing Road connects. The roofs of the pavillions will be covered with grass, as will the slopes connecting the promenade to the road. North of the Bund, Huangpu Park will be harmonised: fewer partitioned areas, but still in the mixed styles of British, French and Chinese influences. A square, an observation tower and a 200-yard floating bank will be added for leisure activities.
The American firm has already worked on similar projects in Guangzhou and Shenyang. But they remain cautious for, even if they know their project was selected, another, local company might take over – there would then be no guarantee of following the American firm’s project to the letter. The deadline is set for 2010, but a similar project in Boston took them 14 years to complete!
Meanwhile, work is under way. The Waibaidu bridge is under repair. The elevated highway is now closed, and being rebuilt to connect the future tunnel that will run along the Bund to the north end. Zhongshan Road will lose half of its lanes (from 8 to 4), which should give pedestrians easier access to the river.
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