The regeneration of Shanghai’s Bund
As part of the 2010 Expo redevelopment project, the area to the south of the Bund was also rejuvenated. Centred around Shiliupu Dock, the district was transformed from derelict warehouses to a vibrant new entertainment hub. At the centre is Cool Docks – a complex of cafés, bars and restaurants built around a central pond with a contemporary fountain.
One of the first boutique hotels to open in Shanghai was Waterhouse on the South Bund, containing 19 guestrooms plus a rooftop bar and Table No1, a restaurant helmed by Gordon Ramsay’s protégé Jason Atherton. Built from the remains of a Japanese military barracks dating from the 1930s, the Waterhouse was designed by famous Shanghai-based architecture firm Neri and Hu. According to founding partner Lyndon Neri, the South Bund provides a much-needed alternative to the grandiose environs of the old Bund. “The Waterhouse drew attention to the South Bund, and made people aware of this part of Shanghai,” Neri said. “It’s a truly historical district, and has its own character that’s distinct from the old Bund.”
Unlike the Bund of the late 19th and early 20th Century, which had a reputation for exclusivity, modern developments have made the historic waterfront more universally accessible, opening the area to a wider demographic and providing a natural centre to a modern city.