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THE FASHION & THE CITY PART 3 Shanghai architecture style in the years 1930’s The 1930’s Shanghai were also characterized by a specified Chinese architecture based on narrow streets with stone gates and buildings with all canopy

Shi Ku Men (Stone Gate)

Typical Shanghainese street

This was typical of the Shanghai 1930’s. As you can see above, SHI (Stone) KU (garage) Men (gate) were having some cravings which is part of the story of Shanghai. Shikumen is a type of tenement housing unique to Shanghai. Not quite Chinese and not quite Western, it was built in the late 19th Century and early 20th Century to house Chinese people in the Western quarters.

At their peak, the Shikumen-style neighborhoods numbered more than 9000 in Shanghai and took up 60 per cent of the total housing space of the city. The Shikumen style, which has survived for more than a century, is however no longer suitable for modern urban living. Since the 1990s, Shanghai began a new wave of renovation and development, demolishing many Shikumen-style buildings.

Shikumen housing in Shanghai

Another place which reflects the Shanghai 1930’s is the PARAMOUNT. It used to be a social private club where the bourgeoisie especially Shanghainese women went there to socialize.



It was created by a Chinese merchant called Gu Lian Cheng who invested about 2 billion Yuan. Under the influence of Western culture he decided to rent the place to French to run it. At the beginning, many people organized weddings and it was very popular. Many girls were old to the Paramount to be escort girls. Their salary was 10 times the average salary. And there were also singers for only Paramount who came to entertain people. The building had 3 floors: at the first ground there was the kitchen and the hall, at the second floor there were a dancing club and a dining hall and at the third floor the hotel. The area measures 2550 m₃, and about 1000 people and in the dancing club, many dancing halls inside where you could have your private dancing room.

In the 1930’s, the Paramount was awarded first class and welcome international celebrities like Charlie Chaplin with his wife but also Chinese government officers. It was very luxury for the 1930’s Shanghai and until 1939, it was recognized by the Shanghai government as an heritage of Shanghai because they wanted to renew with the Paramount. And today the place belongs to the government who tries to set it to be a high class club, but in real it’s does not seem to be. The Paramount was closed in the years 1950’s and reopened on 2002.

The Fashion & The City Part 3  
The Fashion & The City Part 3  

Story of Shanghai Architecture