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of solids and voids, are Willow Court (1934), 34 West Fuxing Rd.; Gascogne (1935), 1202 Middle Hauihai Rd.; Dauphine (1935), 394 West Jianguo Rd.; and Amyron (1941), 14 Gao An Rd.

Some roads are virtual rosters of significant Art Deco buildings, including Hengshan Road and Fuxing Road. But these are also streets of more modest apartments, with balconies displaying azaleas and potted lemon trees, portholes cranked open to catch the humid breezes, decorative iron door grilles and façades accented by bands of brick and plasterwork.

The lanes off the Concession’s main thoroughfares reveal another fascinating aspect of Shanghai Art Deco, where traditional regional architecture melds with modernism. Lilongs, or lane houses, are a distinctive Shanghai high-density housing type. Many tracts were built in the 1920s and 1930s in response to an influx of residents seeking sanctuary from civil unrest. These lilongs, which may be in the configuration of low-rise apartments or semi-detached houses, are often infused with references to Art Deco in their form or decoration.

The Shikumen, or “stone frame door” — a cross between terraced housing and traditional courtyard architecture — provided enormous play for Art Deco ornament around the entrance to each unit. Often, the ornament draws on Chinese symbols such as fish, coins, waves or clouds.

Even in the warren of lanes in the historic Old City, the vocabulary of Art Deco abounds. However, this area has proved particularly vulnerable to redevelopment, and much of this housing is currently being razed because of its deteriorated state and lack of basic amenities.

Orientalism was a sub-genre of European Art Deco; in Shanghai, these references signify a returning to roots. Fa Zang Jiang Si (1923), 271 Ji’an Rd., a Buddhist temple built at the edge of the French


(SIDEBAR)
Shopping

Old China Hand
Reading Room
27 Shaoxing Rd. by
South Shanxi Rd.
+86 21 6473 2526
Café/bookstore run by Old China Hand Press, which specializes in books on Concession-era architecture.

Art Deco
Building 7, 1st Floor,
No. 50 Moganshan Rd.
+86 21 6277 8927
Shanghai Art Deco furniture and decorative arts.

Shanghai Art Deco Co. Ltd.
No. 111 Baise Rd.
+86 21 5436 0728
Vintage and reproduction Art Deco furniture.

Dongtai Lu
Antiques Market
Dongtai Rd. and Liuhekou Rd.
It’s “buyer beware” here, but there are still finds, like 1920s floor tiles being pried up a few blocks away.

Foreign Languages Bookstore
390 Fuzhou Rd. by
Middle Fujian Rd.
+86 21 6322 3200
English-language books about Shanghai, including architecture.


Restaurants and Hotels

Jade on 36
33 Fucheng Rd., Pudong
+86 21 6882 8888
A restaurant and bar with a stunning view over the river of the Bund’s Art Deco buildings.

Face Bar
Building 4, Ruijin Guest House, 118 Second Ruijin Rd.; +86 21 6466 4328
A nostalgia-soaked bar on the lush grounds of the former Morriss Estate. Visit Building 3, an Art Deco villa.

The Nine
9 West Jianguo Rd.
by Taiyuan Rd
+86 21 6471 9950
Small, secluded Art Deco bed and breakfast in the former French Concession.


Historic Hotels
Many historic Shanghai hotels are still in operation and enjoy choice locations, although the original interiors have been altered. Visitors should research the amenities and service.

Metropole Hotel
www.metropolehotel-sh.com

Broadway Mansions
www.broadwaymansions.com

Park Hotel
www.parkhotel.com.cn

Ruijin Guest House
www.china.showhotel.com/shanghai/ruijing

Architectural Walking Tours
Shanghai Modern:
anwarr@iprimus.com.au

Spencer Dodington:
www.spencerdodington.com

Tess Johnston:
tessjohnston@ssbg.com.cn

This article’s author:
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