Lujiazui Pudong Shanghai Peoples Republic of China a global business precinct 1990

The Lujiazui (also sometimes spelt Lu Jia Zui) Finance and Trade Zone in Pudong, Shanghai is not only a good example of an all-of-a-piece urban design with highly laissez-faire overtones, but also a good example of the urban design and architectural values being displayed in China and many other Asian countries today. (In China similar efforts can be seen the Fu-tian new district in Shenzhen and the River North area of

Chongqing.) Lujiazui is the largest single-construction site in the world. Nearly 160 foreign banking institutions are already located there. By 2005, 12 million square metres of office space will have been built. As yet, however, no significant international organization has set up its headquarters in the precinct.

Pudong was partially a green-field site of agricultural land but it also contained shipbuilding works, petrochemical plants and other industries along the river. The land is publicly owned. In April 1990, the government of the People's Republic of China announced its plan to develop the Pudong New Area as part of its economic reform effort to attract foreign investment. The goal of the development is to turn Shanghai into a global commercial centre by creating a precinct of prestigious modern buildings and manicured open spaces with a coordinated infrastructure and communications network. One hundred and eighty-two other Chinese cities are reputedly hoping to attain the same end but only the major ones are serious contenders. Shanghai is much better placed than its competitors to achieve its goals.

The overall plan of Pudong contains four special development zones: the Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone, the Jinqiao Export-Processing Zone, the Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone and the Zhangjiang High-Tech Park. The first of these is the focus of attention here. Suffice to say that Jinqiao is to be an industrial area of 9.6 square kilometres (5.8 square miles) located in the centre of Pudong, the Waigaoqiao Zone, China's first free-trade precinct, is to be located on the estuary of the Yangtze River, and the Zhangjiang High-Tech Park is to emphasize science and education. The last mentioned is to be 17 square kilometres in size and located in the eastern part of the Pudong New Area. It is planned to be the location of computer software companies and precision medical apparatus manufacturing industries.

The Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone is planned to be the new commercial heart of the whole city, and an extension of the Bund - the financial core ofShanghai that lies across the Huangpu River from Lujiazui. Lujiazui covers an area of 6.8 square kilometres (4 square miles). The zone is planned to house financial, information and real estate consultancy organizations. It is also part of the plan to link Pudong with Puxi, the city precinct west of the river that is undergoing considerable urban renewal. The basic infrastructure of Lujiazui has already been built and the new buildings are being plugged into it with great rapidity. Publicly owned, the land is leased for 99 years at 50% of the predicted value it would have when developed.

The full-scaled planning effort for Lujiazui began in 1992 when the Shanghai government under the leadership of Mayor Zhu Rongji, set up the Senior Consultants Committee (SCC) to initiate development. The committee was comprised of local officials and professionals, and also four foreign design teams. The international teams were from France (Dominique Perrault, designer of the glazed towers of the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, 1992-6), the United Kingdom (Sir Richard Rogers, known for his high-tech architecture), Italy (Massimiliano Fuksas, whose schemes for high-rise buildings were attracting attention) and Japan (Toyo Ito, whose ITM building in Matsuyama (1993) exploits the characteristics of many varieties of glass). The selection of these architects illustrates the type of architectural imagery sought for the district. The hope was that through the act of design creative future possibilities would emerge. The Shanghai Urban Planning and Design Institute submitted a fifth scheme (see Figure 8.22c).

Lujiazui Masterplan 1992

Figure 8.22 Three of the five proposals for Lujiazui. (a) Richard Rogers' scheme, (b) Dominique Perrault's scheme and (c) the Shanghai Urban Planning and Design Institute's scheme.

Figure 8.22 Three of the five proposals for Lujiazui. (a) Richard Rogers' scheme, (b) Dominique Perrault's scheme and (c) the Shanghai Urban Planning and Design Institute's scheme.

Shanghai Tower Masterplan
Figure 8.23 The master plan for Lujiazui prepared by the Shanghai Urban Planning and Design Institute.

The five schemes were presented to the

SCC as a set of potential ideas for the site.

After deliberating on the schemes the SCC


1 a major development of the transportation infrastructure with new tunnels across the river and an underground rail system;

2 the development of parkland along the river;

3 that super-high landmark buildings should be located in the core area with lower buildings near the river;

4 that the development of infrastructure should be phased so that any proposed developments could go ahead without stretching financial resources or causing a delay.

In 1994, the municipal government of

Shanghai and a new corporation, the Lujiazui

Finance and Trade Zone Development Company, invited the Shanghai Urban Planning and Design Institute to do the urban design plan for the area by adapting the five schemes presented to the SCC. The result was a variation of the Institute's own model. The plan divided the area into three sub-areas, proposed an underground pedestrian network, a park along the river and a set of foreground buildings. The desire was also to create a mix of uses so that Lujiazui would not be simply a 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. office zone (Figure 8.23).

One of these sub-areas was proposed to be a district of high-rise buildings - the higher the better - with a central park. Another was proposed to be a commercial district, located on the west side of a central avenue, and the third was proposed to be a waterfront precinct to contain cultural and entertainment facilities, gift shops and the pre-existing

Plan Star Wars Enterprise

Oriental (or Eastern) Pearl Television Tower. An underground pedestrian network would unite these three parts of Lujiazui. A central avenue would link the waterfront and the central park. The major transportation interchange would also be located on the central avenue.

Today the road network consists of two major components: the central avenue and a ring road. The central avenue is the powerful coordinating element of Lujiazui. It is a two-way arterial boulevard, consisting of eight lanes and includes a road divider planted with grass and trees, and with a continuous water feature along it. Not only is the avenue to be the major road transportation route but also a visual corridor linking the three sub-districts of Lujiazui. It has grade-separated interchanges connecting it to the roads that serve the interiors of the sub-districts. The ring road has six lanes and bounds the central area of Lujiazui (Figure 8.24).

The most visible landmark of Lujiazui is the Oriental Pearl Tower, an over 400-metre (1260-foot) high spire. Symbolizing the resurrection of Shanghai as a leading player in world trade, the tower is comprised of11 red spheres - two large ones and nine smaller ones of up to 50 metres in diameter supported on 9-metre diameter columns. The Shanghai World Financial Center (Shi Mao) was planned by Kohn Pederson Fox to be 488 metres in height topping the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur. Construction on the building was started in 1997 but Asia's economic crisis halted work on it. Concerns about terrorist activity not withstanding, the Mori Building Company ofTokyo has (at the time of writing) changed the planned height to make it even taller in order to top the 508-metre Taipei Financial Centre being built in Taiwan. The design at present shows it to be a metallic, wedge-shaped tower with a hole at the top. It will overshadow its neighbour, the 88-storey, 420-metre tall Jin Mao Tower (1993-9) that sits on a six-storey podium. Designed by the Chicago office of SOM in a fusion of Art Deco and a touch of traditional Chinese types, the Jin Mao Tower is the third tallest building in the world. It was unknown at the time of writing whether the World Financial Center design will change again as the result of the announcement by Emaar Properties that its Burj Dubai on a 20-acre (9-hectare) site was designed to an unspecified but taller height.

The design guidelines for the buildings of Lujiazui consist ofheight controls and a series of more detailed site-by-site requirements. In the core area, the landmark tri-towers were stipulated to be a minimum of 360, 380 and 400 metres in height. The area around them is to be a linear high-rise zone with buildings stepping down from 220 metres in height to 160 metres on the waterfront. In this linear zone the design guidelines stipulate building setbacks, building envelopes, the height of podiums, materials and the height of colonnades (Figures 8.25 and 8.26). The profile sought is shown in Figure 8.27.

The expenditure on the first step of the Pudong development was estimated to be about $US10 billion obtained from the central government in Beijing, the Shanghai Municipal government, the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank. The total cost for the whole development spread over 30 years will probably be in the region of $US80 billion. Half of this sum is expected to

Pudong 1990
Figure 8.25 Central area design guidelines.
Lujiazui 1990
Figure 8.26 An artist's impression of Century Avenue, Lujiazui.
Figure 8.27 The proposed skyline, Lujiazui.
Lujiazui 1990s
Figure 8.28 Lujiazui as seen from The Bund in 2004 (for another view see page 358).

come from foreign investment. To attain 3 tax relief for construction and infrastruc-

this goal a number of incentives are being ture projects;

offered to investors: 4 land leases for 50 or 70 years.

1 a reduced (15%) income tax rate; The whole process of development has

2 exemption from duties on export- been organized into a number of phases.

oriented imports;

The first phase was the development of the

Lujiazui 1990s
Figure 8.29 The architecture of Lujiazui from Century Avenue, 2004.

road links, telecommunications facilities and energy systems. This investment allowed building construction to begin. The second phase involved the development of the regional infrastructure to support the development of Shanghai as well as, more specifically, the Pudong area: airports, telecommunications centres, the subway system extension, the external ring road, the international conference centre, etc. These two stages provided the essential infrastructure for further development (Figures 8.28 and 8.29).

The sites have been leased to or are being leased to different property developers by the development company. What is emerging is a spacious, 'glitzy' area of high-rise buildings designed by internationally renowned architects. It presents a panoramic skyline outrivaling Manhattan for architecture grandeur and variety of forms (see Figure 8.28). The open spaces give an image of luxurious-ness but they are also large and unfriendly to pedestrians. The width of the central avenue (now called Century Avenue) at 100 metres provides a strong visual link between the river and the core ofLujiazui, but it is also a substantial divider between the area's components. Five kilometres long, it serves local vehicular traffic and pedestrians below the ground and it has a new subway line that provides public transport. Whatever the quality is perceived to be, Lujiazui sets a precedent for China, both in process and product, as a symbol of modernity. In 1999, 70% of the office space in Pudong was estimated to be vacant because of the gross over-supply but by 2004 this figure had reputedly dropped to 15%.

The project is not simply market-driven but rather driven by the aspirations of a people as represented by their government officials. Its architecture has been called 'non-judgemental kitsch' in which diversity is exciting, everything is possible and everything is acceptable. It is a hybrid architecture reflecting concepts of individualism, modernity and tradition. Lujiazui is evolving into a piece-by-piece design of separate buildings each striving to be a foreground building barely within the constraints imposed by the design guidelines.

Major references

Balfour, Alan and Zheng Shiling (2002). World Cities:

Shanghai. Chichester: Wiley-Academic. Lim, William S. W. (2004). Have You Been Shanghaied? Culture and Urbanism in Glocalized Shanghai. Singapore: Asian Urban Lab. Marshall, Richard (2003). Emerging Urbanity: Global Projects in the Asia Pacific Rim. London: Spon Press. Olds, Kris (1997). Globalizing Shanghai: the 'Global Intelligence Corps' and the building of Pudong. Cities 14 (2): 109-123. Wang, An-de, ed. (2000). Shanghai Lujiazui Central Area Urban Design. Shanghai: Architecture and Engineering Press.

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