Shougang Park: An amalgam of history, industry and modernity

By Xu Xiaoxuan
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, November 22, 2022
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"From steel production to production suspension, I felt uncertain about my career and future. With the renovation of the plant, however, I have acquired diverse skills and improved myself. I'm proud of the present plant," said Li Hongji, a worker-turned-director at Shougang Park, an expansive exhibition and commercial area renovated from an old steel plant in Beijing's western Shijingshan district.

The No. 3 blast furnace at Shougang Park in Beijing, Nov. 16, 2022. [Photo by Yan Bin/]

Li became a steelworker at the No. 3 blast furnace at Shougang Park in 1998. At that time, he slogged through the steel with a big hammer and a shovel in high temperatures. 

Put into operation in 1959, the No. 3 blast furnace was suspended in 2010 and began to be repurposed in 2017. The original structure and external appearance were preserved to the maximum extent and the interior space was rearranged to form different functional areas such as exhibition sectors and viewing platforms.

Li is now the cultural and tourism quality director of Beijing Shougang Park Integrated Service Co., Ltd. He is also responsible for introducing tourists to the transformation process of the No. 3 blast furnace. 

The Big Air Shougang at Shougang Park in Beijing, Nov. 16, 2022. [Photo by Yan Bin/]

The Big Air Shougang, which was repurposed from a steel mill, witnessed Chinese snowboarder Su Yiming's gold in the men's snowboard big air final and Gu Ailing's historic gold in the women's big air freestyle skiing. It has simultaneously retained the capital city's industrial history and became an eye-catching feature at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics. 

As the world's first permanent big air venue for long-term usage, the Big Air Shougang will host professional ice and snow events, including those hosted by the International Ski Federation, provide extreme sports for the public, and facilitate various cultural activities such as concerts and ice and snow carnivals, explained Han Dong from Beijing Shougang Park Sports Center Operation Management Co., Ltd.

"Many citizens come here for a visit at weekends, especially in summer and during public holidays," said Han. "The accumulative number of visitors in a single day once registered 50,000 to 60,000 since the Big Air Shougang opened to the public."

The Shangri-La Hotel at Shougang Park in Beijing, Nov. 16, 2022. [Photo by Yan Bin/]

The Shangri-La Hotel at Shougang Park was converted from a power plant suspended in 2010 and put into service last year. Consisting of three buildings, the hotel can accommodate more than 500 guests. It also offers functional spaces like a banquet hall and conference center as well as leisure areas, including a children's playground, swimming pool, bar and large green space.

"At weekends and during public holidays, the hotel can serve as a resort hotel for tourists. On weekdays, we can host business conferences. Therefore, the overall occupancy rate is relatively impressive," said the hotel's general manager Cai Jiancheng.

The Shangri-La Hotel at Shougang Park won the "Hotel Conversion" and "Lobby and Public Spaces" categories of the AHEAD Asia Awards 2022 and the special "Hotel of the Year" award. AHEAD is a leading award for hospitality experience and design.

Gaoxian Park is a 2.9-kilometer-long elevated footpath transformed from industrial pipes. The trail connects the main scenic spots and cultural and leisure facilities at Shougang Park, constituting a perfect place for photography, exercise and landscape appreciation. It is also equipped with elevators for people with disabilities to get easy access. 

On Wednesday, more than 40 journalists from home and abroad paid a visit to Shougang Park under the auspices of the All-China Journalists Association and the Publicity Department of the Beijing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China. The international journalists came from the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Hungary, Japan, and Kazakhstan.

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