First New Building on Shanghai’s Bund in 70 Years Tops Out

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate EditorShanghai, CHINA–The Peninsula Shanghai Hotel & Apartments, a 235-unit mixed-use hotel with 39 residential units, has recently topped out. The construction of the development’s exterior is about 70 percent completed. The project, designed by New York-based BBG-BBGM, is expected to be complete by fall 2009. It will be the ninth property in the Peninsula’s portfolio.The project, a joint venture between The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels Limited (HSH) and Shanghai-based SPG Land Limited, is located in the newly redeveloped Waitanyuan neighborhood of Shanghai’s historic Bund. It will be the first new building on the Bund in 70 years. “It is also the first building in the redevelopment of the neighborhood at the Bund,” says Louis Hedgecock, managing partner of BBG-BBGM. “It’s the first project within a development that the city government has been trying to get going.”The residential units are located in a 13-story building connected to the hotel through the development’s retail space. Each unit includes a balcony, many of which overlook the Pudong River, as well as large maids’ quarters, foyers and galleries. “The units were formally planned in the tradition of prewar New York apartments, with carefully proportioned rooms and careful arrangement of the way people move in the apartment,” says Hedgecock. The interiors of the building are Art Deco-inspired. “The entire project is designed in a contemporary and sleek version of a 1930s Art Deco building,” says Hedgecock. “It is a masonry building with punched windows and strong expressed vertical components, and it has a lot of decorative trim that derives from the embellishments on Shanghai, New York and Paris buildings.” Amenities include a ballroom with an outdoor terrace, meeting complex, full spa, rooftop restaurant and bar, and a Chinese restaurant with eight private rooms. The apartment building includes its own separate health club and swimming pool. The lobby, a trademark in the Peninsula hotels, is more of a social gathering area, Hedgecock explains. “The lobby is two stories and has glass on two sides, so as you go up to the entrance, you can see straight through to the garden beyond.”