Polifactory China | This is our sixth “Urban Experience” in Shanghai, with which we intend to show the changes the city has undergone over time, and we will make understanding the urban morphology. Look at each street from an architectural, urban and historical viewpoint.
Introduction | The experience starts from the beginning of the street at the intersection with Wulumuqi Road and ends at the junction of Xujiahui main road, Zhaojiabang Road. During the route also crosses several streets that make up this whole Urban Experience complete, as Wukang (Experience 03) and Fuxing (Experience 05). The street is fairly uniform in all sections, the first section is the most attractive from the urban level, it is a street lined with large trees that barely let you see the building rather than at specific points. Once past the junction of Jianguo Road, its urban physiognomy changes quite a lot to become an avenue much wider and with faster traffic. From the starting point we take pictures every 200 meters, or whenever there is a significant change of the urban landscape. Length: 3,300 km.
History | The street was formerly known as Siccawei Road, but later renamed it “Avenue Haig” the funny thing about this street is that it was one of the main streets of Shanghai not belongging to any concession, it was one of the External Streets. This Avenue Haig was chosen by the high class of the city to have their mansions, once Bubbling Well Road was built completely and packed by this type of construction. It also had buildings of great historical importance as convents, the most important Casinnos of the city, including “The Alhambra”, Farren Club or the either known Elias Court Apartments or the Brookside ones. In the West section was treated primarily a quiet residential street, with large mansions and gardens. In general was a street intended for wealthy class, largely residential but with relevant religious institutions and even some entertainment, the kind of things people with money had a good time to be around.
Nowadays | It is a very different street depending on the section we talk about. The first section is a medium-speed traffic, and because it connects some of the historic streets of the city as Fuxing Road, it is a little natural circunvalation ring of the modern city, it has enough local traffic. The big change in traffic is given by the intersection with Jianguo, then it becomes very fast. After that, it combines from pedestrians, slow traffic, and wide lanes for public transport. It is the street that suture the Jingan and Changning districts, to connect with Xuhui. In the first section is eminently historical architecture, with many private gardens but from the junction Jianguo till Huaihai becomes a wide avenue with some historical reminiscence, residential buildings of the early 30’s also mansions, and many city gaps. Instead the final stretch from Huaihai to Zhaojiabang is brand new, with many existing buildings with large spaces between them and little urban character, just a museum to give some interesting spot to the area, otherwise flank only by malls and residential buildings without much interest, and small urban parks. Further down borders Jiaotong University main entrance before arriving at Hongqiao Street intersection.
Urban Relevance | The importance of this axis in this area of the city is not crucial but it is still used rather for being a historical ring, perhaps the recently appeared major elevated peripheral highways has lost relevance in big urban scale but not in the middle one. It is widely used by local traffic even faster one and even more, all the bikes and public transport of the city. In addition, when it merges with one of the most important crossroads south of the city still has great presence. In its initial section is also very busy by being the famous Huashan Hospital, but its like two completely different streets. For the life of the city is a major street, but for traffic life its only in its final section, which gives it great character and the people living around loves it.