Union Building, Shanghai

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Union Building
No. 3 and No. 4, The Bund-crop.jpg
No. 3 The Bund, at night
General information
Architectural style Neo-Renaissance
Location Shanghai, China
Address3, The Bund
Coordinates 31°14′10″N121°29′11″E / 31.2361°N 121.4865°E / 31.2361; 121.4865
Completed1916 (1916)
Technical details
Floor count6
Design and construction
Architecture firmP&T Architects and Surveyors

The Union Building is a building on the Bund in Shanghai, China. It is located at No. 3, the Bund (formerly no. 4).

Shanghai Municipality in Peoples Republic of China

Shanghai is one of the four municipalities under the direct administration of the central government of the People's Republic of China, the largest city in China by population, and the second most populous city proper in the world, with a population of 24.18 million as of 2017. It is a global financial centre and transport hub, with the world's busiest container port. Located in the Yangtze River Delta, it sits on the south edge of the estuary of the Yangtze in the middle portion of the East China coast. The municipality borders the provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang to the north, south and west, and is bounded to the east by the East China Sea.

China Country in East Asia

China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering approximately 9,600,000 square kilometers (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.

Completed in 1916, the building was used by a number of insurance companies. The six-storey building was the first work in Shanghai of P&T Architects and Surveyors (Palmer & Turner), and was the first building in Shanghai to use a steel structure. The building occupied 2241 square metres, with a floor area of 13760 square metres. Because it had a narrow frontage onto the Bund, the main door was located on the adjacent Guangdong Road.

The building is in Neo-Renaissance style with a symmetrical facade, but with some Baroque style details. The roof features a domed corner pavilion.

In 1937, the Japanese Imperial Army threatened Shanghai. Being unable to indemnify war damages, the insurance companies had their assets frozen. The Union Bank then purchased the building. In 1949 the Union Bank evacuated from Shanghai in the wake of the Communist takeover. From 1953 the building was used by the Shanghai Civil Architecture and Design Institute. In 1997 a private equity fund from Singapore purchased the building, and in 2004 converted it to a shopping centre, called "Three on the Bund". The restoration was led by American architect Michael Graves who meticulously restored the Beaux-Arts facade, reinforced the structure, and installed new building systems. He hailed his efforts as a model of adaptive reuse and won the 2006 design in Asia award. [1]

Singapore Republic in Southeast Asia

Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is an island city-state in Southeast Asia. It lies one degree north of the equator, at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, with Indonesia's Riau Islands to the south and Peninsular Malaysia to the north. Singapore's territory consists of one main island along with 62 other islets. Since independence, extensive land reclamation has increased its total size by 23%. The country is known for its transition from a developing to a developed one in a single generation under the leadership of its founder Lee Kuan Yew.

Michael Graves American architect (1934-2015)

Michael Graves was an American architect and noted designer of consumer products and homewares. As well as principal of Michael Graves and Associates and Michael Graves Design Group, he was also professor of architecture at Princeton University for nearly forty years. As an architect, Graves was one of The New York Five, a member of the Memphis Group, and became widely known for his modern and postmodern building designs.

Adaptive reuse refers to the process of reusing an existing building for a purpose other than which it was originally built or designed for. Adaptive reuse is an effective strategy for optimizing the operational and commercial performance of built assets. Adaptive reuse of buildings can be an attractive alternative to new construction in terms of sustainability and a circular economy. Not every old building can qualify for adaptive reuse. Architects, developers, builders and entrepreneurs who wish to become involved in rejuvenating and reconstructing a building must first make sure that the finished product will serve the need of the market, that it will be completely useful for its new purpose, and that it will be competitively priced.

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  1. "HOUSE OF THREE, LTD. THREE ON THE BUND SHANGHAI, CHINA". Michael Graves. Retrieved 16 March 2015.