张园: 典型的老上海里弄风情 Old Shanghai, China: Historical Zhang Yuan (a.k.a Zhang's Garden) with vanishing architecture
你可以没有听说过 “张园”，但也无法改变这是个有历史，有故事的地方。张园虽然就位在上海最热闹的南京西路站旁，但却很少有人关注，相当可惜。这里浓缩了百余年的兴衰变迁。如今的张园，有 108 幢房屋，是上海种类最丰富、保存最完整的石库门建筑群。由于至今还有大量居民居住，充分的 “人气” 也让它的生命力至今流传。
Shikumen (which refers to an endangered form of architecture and city planning. Brick buildings within alley complexes fronted by a stone-framed kumen or gateway), is a style of housing unique to Shanghai, as it blends the Chinese and Western architectural styles. Shikumen, which are two or three-storey townhouses, have a front yard that is enclosed by a high brick wall. At one time, Shikumen-style neighborhoods accounted for more than 60 percent of the housing in the city.
Since the 1990s, many shikumen-style neighborhoods have been demolished to build new residential or commercial buildings. It wasn't until many of the houses were replaced by skyscrapers that residents began to realize such monuments of Shanghai's past deserved to be preserved. If you want to see what a typical shikumen is like, you'd better hurry.
Lets us now step inside a traditional shikumen-style house to discover the authentic Shanghainese way of life. I had the rare opportunity to actually walk through one of these Shikumen houses - Zhang Yuan (also known as Zhang's Garden), which was quite an interesting experience. This is an iconic place in Shanghai.
Tokyo is Japan's biggest and most modern city, but even here remain buildings where you can feel history. As Japanese architecture has traditionally envisioned buildings as temporary and expendable, in part due to the constant threat of fires and earthquakes, Tokyo has been left with fewer examples of historic architecture than places like Europe and the UK. Nevertheless, the neighbouring districts of Marunouchi and Ginza still contain a number of buildings that have, through a combination of luck and love, managed to stay standing, providing an ideal opportunity to enjoy a walk around town and see a blend of old and new architecture.
JR Tokyo Station's Marunouchi Station Building is a historical building that was constructed in 1910s. The distinct style of using red brick and white marble became an architectural style that combined British architecture will still reflecting the atmosphere of Japan in that era. The 3rd floor's domed roof was crushed during the fire bombings in World War II, but it has been reconstructed to look exactly as it did in 1914. This should definitely be a stop on your trip so you can experience the retro atmosphere of this beautiful building.
A freelance Singapore-based travel photographer / photojournalist. I seek the extraordinary, but finds beauty in the everyday. Life is interesting, capture it.
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