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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.

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