Shikumen is a symbol of Shanghai representing the spirit of the city.
It was born in Shanghai more than a century ago. It was once home to millions of Shanghainese and people from all over China. It has witnessed the vicissitude of the city.
In 1843, Shanghai was opened as a treaty port to the foreigners, the concessions was established, the successive wars outside concessions e.g. Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, the warlords, seem no end, which led to the sudden influx of a large number of people. The housing problem needed to be solved urgently. Therefore, a large number of Sino-Western Shikumen buildings had sprung up. It is a combination of Eastern and Western. The house is designed after the shape of the dwellings of the Jiangnan region in China. The corridors, patios, load-bearing walls, in addition to considering the climatic factors (Shanghai is humid subtropical climate. The summer is humid and hot.), Feng Shui is also a factor to consider in the design.
The entire Lane is planed of Western-style townhouse. Since there is no hill around Shanghai for stones, they were firstly built of brick and wood. Each house basically only accommodates one household. However, due to the surge in the number of houses and the population, the fire was caught from time to time. The stones from nearby provinces were used in place of wood. The European-originated developers also used these stones to decorate the entrance of the houses carving in western style. They are part of the special history of modern Shanghai.
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