ultramarinus – beyond the sea

Posts tagged “Skyline

LUJIAZUI (陸家嘴) OF PUDONG (浦東), Shanghai, China

East of Huangpu River across from the historic city centre of the Bund, Pudong (literally means the east bank of Huangpu) has been Shanghai’s new ground for contemporary developments in recent two decades, including the city’s international airport Pudong International Airport (opened in 1999) and Shanghai’s financial district Lujiazui.  Many of Shanghai’s iconic skyscrapers from the past two decades, which include Oriental Pearl Tower, Jin Mao Building, Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai IFC, and the tallest of them all – Shanghai Tower, stand proudly at Lujiazui, directly across Huangpu River from the Bund, its historic predecessor.  One tower after another tested the vertical limit of modern architecture.  The development of Lujiazui reflects the ambition and pace of the contemporary development of the Chinese society.

Before heading to the airport, we dropped by Lujiazui of Pudong District one last time.  At Lujiazui, we intended to visit the Aurora Art Museum, a gallery designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando.  Unfortunately not until we reached the door, we realized that the museum was closed on Monday.  We ended up spending time wandering around the financial area to check out the latest skyscrapers.  The main focus in the area was undoubtedly Shanghai Tower (上海中心大厦).  Construction was completed but Shanghai Tower had not opened its doors to the public yet.  We could only walk around the 632m tower, the tallest in China, from outside.  While admiring the twisting gesture and double skin facade system of Shanghai Tower, we could not ignore the two other super highrise towers of Lujiazui: Jin Mao Tower (金茂大廈) and Shanghai World Financial Center (上海環球金融中心).  Before leaving Lujiazui for the airport, we had a quick tea break at a chain restaurant for a last taste of Shanghaiese food.  We then took the metro to Longyang Road station and switched to the maglev airport express.  Reaching a speed of about 430km/h, the magnetic levitation train ride to the airport took less than ten minutes.  Our 4-day experience was coming to an end as we sped through the suburbs of Shanghai before our evening flight back to Hong Kong.

DSC_1712The three super-tall skyscrapers of Shanghai: (left) Jin Mao Tower, Shanghai World Financial Centre (centre), and Shanghai Tower (right).

DSC_1678_01The central atrium of Grand Hyatt Hotel at the 54th floor of Jin Mao Tower.

DSC_1690View of Putong and the Bund from the 54th floor of Jin Mao Tower.

DSC_1697Shanghai Tower as viewed from Jin Mao Tower.

DSC_1699Shanghai Tower as viewed from Jin Mao Tower.

DSC_2572Shanghai Tower, Jin Mao Tower and Shanghai World Financial Tower viewed from a footbridge near Lujiazui metro station.

DSC_2586The three super tall skyscrapers of Shanghai are all designed by American architects: Shanghai World Financial Tower by KPF, Jin Mao Tower by SOM, and Shanghai Tower by Gensler.

DSC_2605Oriental Pearl Tower (東方明珠塔) viewed from a footbridge near Lujiazui metro station.

DSC_2616The twin towers of Shanghai IFC with the Shanghai Tower in the middle.

DSC_2622Shanghai Tower, Jin Mao Tower and Shanghai World Financial Tower viewed from a footbridge near Lujiazui metro station.

DSC_2632The rest of the commercial buildings at Lujiazui were dwarfed by the three tallest towers.

DSC_2650Extensive footbridges connect a number of commercial developments in Lujiazui.

DSC_2633One last look at the three towers before we headed for the airport.


Read other posts on Shanghai 2016:
0.0 SHANGHAI, 2016
1.0 SUZHOU MUSEUM, Suzhou, China
3.0 LION GROVE GARDEN, Suzhou, China
5.0 ROCKBUND, Shanghai, China
6.0 M50, Shanghai, China
7.0 1933 SHANGHAI (老場坊) , Shanghai, China
8.0 POLY GRAND THEATRE (上海保利大劇院), Shanghai, China
10.0 POWER STATION OF ART, Shanghai, China
11.0 LONG MUSEUM (龍美術館), West Bund, Shanghai, China
12.0 THE BUND (外灘) AT NIGHT, Shanghai, China
13.0 TIANZIFANG (田子坊), Shanghai, China
15.0 LUJIAZUI (陸家嘴) OF PUDONG (浦東), Shanghai, China

27 LUGARD ROAD – Controversy at the Victoria Peak, Hong Kong

Walking along the paved ring path of Lugard Road and Harlech Road at the Victoria Peak is probably the most popular short trail for viewing the magnificent skyline and natural setting of the Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsula.  It is accessible from the city either by a short ride on bus, microbus, taxi, car or tram, or on foot with a one-hour uphill hike.  Well signed and shaded, the hour-long stroll on the ring path is pleasantly suitable for all.

Since September last year, Lugard Road came under spotlight for a controversial development project that could see the century-old Edwardian mansion of 27 Lugard Road converted into a luxurious hotel.  The new acquirer of the property had already gained approval from the government despite public outcry in objection to the proposal.  Apart from the major renovation and additions to the historical building, the proposal also introduces some form of shuttle service for future guests staying in one of the 17 hotel rooms.  There is pubic concern for the now pedestrian-friendly road to be taken over by cars. Some parts of the road are already too narrow for small cars. How to manage regular traffic on the narrow Lugard Road without compromising pedestrian safety is one of the biggest concerns from the public.

In the past few months, Alliance for a Beautiful Hong Kong has been gathering support for a petition to revoke the project.  This organization raised concern about waste management and pollution generated from both the construction and operation of the business.  Surrounded mostly by Pok Fu Lam Country Park, the immediate area of Lugard Road belongs to a crucial green network at the centre of the Hong Kong Island which acts like a backyard of the downtown core.  The recent approval to the hotel project seems to signal and welcome future development near the greenbelt. Grounded on these worries, any negative environmental impact resulted from the project may represent a hefty loss for the public.

ImageCompleted in 1919, Lugard Road was originally built as a scenic promenade.  With the narrow width, the road can hardly serve as a proper road for vehicles.
ImageSubtropical vegetation, including this famous Indian Banyan tree, provide shading for most of the ring path.ImageThe lookouts along Lugard Road offer some of the most iconic views of Hong Kong.
ImageThe path that leads up to No. 27 of Lugard Road.
ImageAlliance for a Beautiful Hong Kong is gathering support for a petition to revoke the project.

HONG KONG – a New Chapter

Angela and I started “Blue Lapis Road” in 2013 to publish a photo journal of our backpacking trip to South America as we wandered through the vast continent in 90 days.  It has been over 3 months since we left Valparaiso of Chile, the last destination of our S.A. trip.  Since early March, I have relocated to another continent and started a new life chapter in Hong Kong, a city that I was once very familiar with as I spent my childhood here two decades ago.

With vibrate city life, complex social structure, recent colonial memories, multifaceted regionalism, intertwining global cultures, hyper dense neighborhoods, vast countryside, and subtropical beaches, Hong Kong has much more to offer than just fine dining, crazy shopping, and extravagant night life.

In the next chapter of “Blue Lapis Road”, we are going to share with you our explorations in this magnificent metropolis, Hong Kong.

BlueLapisRoad_HK Introduction