The Diligent Young Men Cleaning Up Shanghai

Here’s a form of gainful employment that never occurred to me before Friday afternoon: cleaner of the world’s largest urban scale model. I came across him – them – during a visit to the in-need-of-a-better-name Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center, and epic model of Shanghai in 2020. I’ve been taking out-of-town visitors to the model…

Build, Demolish, Rinse, Repeat: A Shanghai Scrap Carmelite Update

Way back in January 2009 the staff of Shanghai Scrap told you about the demolition of Shanghai’s (then) 135-year-old Carmelite Convent  on the edge of the expensive, rapidly re-developing Xujiahui neighborhood (part 1, complete with historical background, here, and part 2, here; background on Carmelites, here).  The building wasn’t anything special – except for the…

China Pavilion Architect Celebrates in his Underpants

He Jingtang, architect of the China pavilion at Expo 2010 (Shanghai World’s Fair), on how he celebrated the crowds that turned out to view his building on October 1: “I especially chose underwear with the China Pavilion logo today to express my happiness.” As quoted (quote of the Expo, if you ask me) in Shanghai…

Disappearing Shanghai: The Roots of an Urban Tragedy, Pt. I

In 2004, Amy L. Sommers, an American lawyer with the Shanghai office of Squier Sanders and Dempsey, decided to buy a pre-War residence in Shanghai. The search included both lane  houses and Art Deco apartments in the city’s former foreign concessions – the French Concession and the International Settlement. Soon after, she and her husband…

Life-cycle of a Shanghai French Concession neighborhood in one simple photo.

Sunday afternoon I visited a friend’s new apartment off Wulumqi Road in the heart of Shanghai’s rapidly disappearing French Concession. It’s been that way over the last few years: the old neighborhoods are being demolished, the old drafty tenements giving way to sealed up high-rises. You see it at street level all of the time,…

Tonight at the Latvian Expo 2010 (World’s Fair) pavilion: the flying Prime Minister

This evening I had the distinct honor of attending the opening of the Latvian Expo 2010 (World’s Fair) pavilion. It was a notable event for two reasons, in particular. First, the Latvian pavilion is the last of the stand-alone Expo 2010 pavilions to open (Expo opened on May 1); and second, and more important, the…

Deep inside of Oz’s awesome Expo 2010 (World’s Fair) pavilion – A Shanghai Scrap Exclusive!

The other morning I received an out-of-the-blue email from Pete Ford, Creative Director for the Australian Pavilion at Expo 2010 (World’s Fair). He was going to be in town, he told me, and he wondered if I’d be interested in a “front and back of house” tour of his creation. Absolutely! As I’ve noted elsewhere…