Shanghai Bund panoramic view
The Bund (simplified Chinese: 外滩; traditional Chinese: 外灘; Shanghainese: nga3thae1; Mandarin pinyin: Wàitān) is a waterfront area in central Shanghai. The area centres on a section of Zhongshan Road (East-1 Zhongshan Road) within the former Shanghai International Settlement, which runs along the western bank of the Huangpu River, facing Pudong, in the eastern part of Huangpu District. The Bund usually refers to the buildings and wharves on this section of the road, as well as some adjacent areas. It is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Shanghai. Building heights are restricted in this area.
The Bund houses 52 buildings of various architectural styles, generally Eclecticist, but with some buildings displaying predominantly Romanesque Revival, Gothic Revival, Renaissance Revival, Baroque Revival, Neo-Classical or Beaux-Arts styles, and a number in Art Deco style (Shanghai has one of the richest collections of Art Deco architectures in the world). From the south, the main buildings are:
Asia Building (No. 1, The Bund), originally the McBain Building, housed the Shanghai offices of Royal Dutch Shell and Asiatic Petroleum Company.
Shanghai Club (No. 2, The Bund), which was the principal social club for British nationals in Shanghai. Since 2010 the Waldorf-Astoria Shanghai Hotel.
Union Building (3 On The Bund), a premiere showcase for contemporary Chinese lifestyle
The Mercantile Bank of India, London, and China building (No. 4, The Bund), housed the Mercantile Bank of India, London and China, built between 1916-1918.
Nissin Building (No. 5, The Bund), housed a Japanese shipping company.
Russel & Co. Building (No. 6, The Bund), housed the China Shipping Merchant Company, and currently houses the Shanghai flagship store for Dolce & Gabbana.
The Great Northern Telegraph Corporation Building (No. 7, The Bund), housed Great Northern Telegraph Company. Site of the first telephone switch in Shanghai in 1882.
China Merchants Bank Building (No. 9, The Bund), housed the first Chinese-owned bank in China, and is now Shiatzy Chen’s Shanghai flagship store,which opened in October 2005.
The HSBC Building (No. 12, The Bund), now used by the Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, was once the Shanghai headquarters of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, which failed to reach a deal with the Shanghai government to buy the building again in the 1990s, when the Shanghai government moved out of the building that they had used since the 1950s. The present building was completed in 1923. At the time, it was called “the most luxurious building between the Suez Canal and the Bering Strait”. Its famous ceiling mosaics have been fully restored, and can be viewed inside the entrance hall.
The Customs House (No. 13, The Bund), was built in 1927 on the site of an earlier, traditional Chinese-style customs house. The clock and bell was built in England and in imitation of Big Ben.
China Bank of Communications Building (No. 14, The Bund), was the last building to be built on the Bund. It now houses the Shanghai Council of Trade Unions.
Russo-Chinese Bank Building (No. 15, The Bund) is now the Shanghai Gold Exchange.
Bank of Taiwan Building (No. 16, The Bund) is now the China Merchants Bank.
North China Daily News Building (No. 17, The Bund) housed the most influential English-language newspaper in Shanghai at the time. Today it houses AIA Insurance.
Chartered Bank Building (No. 18, The Bund) housed the Shanghai headquarters of what became Standard Chartered Bank the building now houses designer shops and a creative exhibition space.
Palace Hotel (No. 19, The Bund), today forms part of the Peace Hotel.
Sassoon House (No. 20, The Bund), with the attached Cathay Hotel, was built by Sir Victor Sassoon. It was, and still is today, famous for its jazz band in its cafe. The top floor originally housed Sassoon’s private apartment. Today, it forms the other part of the Peace Hotel.
Bank of China Building (No. 23, The Bund) housed the headquarters of the Bank of China. The stunted appearance of the building is attributed to Sassoon’s insistence that no other building on the Bund could rise higher than his.
Yokohama Specie Bank Building (No. 24, The Bund) housed the Japanese Yokohama Specie Bank.
Yangtze Insurance Building (No. 26, The Bund) Today houses the a Shanghai branch of the Agricultural Bank of China.
Jardine Matheson Building (No. 27, The Bund) housed the then-powerful Jardine Matheson company. Today it is now known as the House of Roosevelt, which houses the Rolex Flagship Store, the largest wine cellar in China, three restaurants and a private club.
Glen Line Building (No. 2 Beijing Road) today houses the Shanghai Broadcasting Board.
Banque de l’Indochine Building (No. 29, The Bund) housed the French bank, Banque de l’Indochine.
Consulate-General of the United Kingdom (No. 33, The Bund) housed the Consulate-General of the United Kingdom. The building has been renovated and in 2010 re-opened as No 1 Waitanyuan, a private dining facility for government. Part of the site has also been used to build the Peninsula Hotel, Shanghai which opened in 2010.