Traditional buildings, Shanghai

Old buildings in traditional Chinese style in Shanghai, the Republic of China. Contemporary Shanghai is renowned for setting the most modern skyscrapers and old-style Chinese and colonial buildings side by side, and getting away with it. ‘Shikumen houses’ (literally “stone warehouse gate” in Chinese), as this architectural style is called, was very popular in the 19th Century, and there were once 9,000 such buildings in Shanghai. Since 2010 this architecture has been recognised by the Chinese government as cultural heritage, but not before many such residences were lost, being replaced by modern apartment blocks.