Shanghai Expo organizers will revamp more old factories and buildings into Expo pavilions, making the west bank of the Huangpu River a model for protecting historical architecture.
Fifty-one constructions, out of 53 Expo buildings on the Puxi side of the river, will be renovated from either old factories or preserved buildings, organizers said as construction started today.
The Puxi side of the site, covering 1.35 square kilometers, will be the venues for corporate pavilions, cultural performances and the Urban Best Practices Area, one of the highlights of the event.
The project includes revamping the old workshops at the century-old Nanshi Power Plant, which closed in September. It will host the Exploration of Future Cities exhibition.
Above the workshops, the organizers are planning to transform a 165-meter chimney into a state-of-the-art observation tower.
Also, the 142-year-old Jiangnan Shipyard, also at the Puxi site, will be turned into a performance center.
The first phase includes building three roads – Longhua Road E., Bansongyuan Road and Baotun Road – as well as a pumping station on Mengzi Road. The site is close to the Nanpu Bridge.
The construction will also include 22 major outdoor squares for cultural performances, an elevated pedestrian road and part of the Expo Boulevard.
Construction of the Puxi site is expected to be completed in 18 months.
After the Expo, some of the venues in Puxi will be turned into museums featuring both the history and the future of manufacturing.
Construction started last year on permanent pavilions at the Pudong site such as the China Pavilions, Theme Pavilion and Expo Center.
Planners will turn 95,500 square meters of workshops and warehouses, or about 14 percent of the total area of the Expo site, into exhibition halls or public activity centers, the biggest-ever renovation project for old factories in the Expo history.
(Shanghai Daily January 22, 2008)