Last Sunday [while it was snowing!] I went with my girl to hit up the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center (Official site / Frommer’s site), which is home to the largest to-scale city model in the world: Shanghai 2020!
I have always been a architecture fiend, and this was a hidden delight. Well, maybe not so hidden, as the Exhibition Center is located inside a massive modern building in the middle of People’s Square. 5 floors of exhibits chronicle the history and modernization of Shanghai, from the feudal dynasties (SH was a fishing village), to when the first Europeans arrived to trade (SH was a fishing village), through to today (when SH was a massive city), and on into the future (when SH turns into the worlds’ economic metropolis of the world (you heard it hear first!)).
Old photographs were what I found the most interesting, as the trasformation of this city is truly beyond words. Just look at the image of the Pudong skyline in my last post, when I was in Shanghai for the first time some 10 years ago, only 3-4 buildings were built (including the Pearl Tower), so I can only imagine what Shanghai will look like in another decade in 2020… oh wait nevermind, on the 5th floor they have the worlds largest to-scale city-model in the world: Shanghai 2020!
The center obviously showcases much about the upcoming Shanghai Expo, and I can’t wait to see some of the structures they are planning to build, truly remarkable stuff. Still can’t decide which one I will like more… Thomas Heatherwick’s UK Pavilion (consisting of 60,000 transparent rods) or the Switzerland Pavilion by Buchner Bründler Architects (which has a ski lift through, over, and around it -no I am not joking).