Yuyuan Garden is an intricate interlocking of architecture and landscape, an excellent Ming-era garden best experienced as a multi-layered sequence in space.

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Hierarchy of Space

More than glittering Lujiazui or the facades of The Bund, Shanghai’s shikumen lanes remain the best representation of the myriad influences in this multi-cultural metropolis.

No series on Shanghai’s architecture and urbanism would be complete without some mention of “Shikumen” housing. Even casual tourists will have no doubt seen Xintiandi mentioned in guidebooks and on websites, and while the overpriced tourist haven does give a glimpse of Shanghai’s most unique urban typology, it would be a mistake to consider the successful “lifestyle center” an authentic representation of the form. Luckily, an intact, well-maintained, residential shikumen block is not far away: a stroll from Cité Bourgogne to Tianzifang to Xintiandi makes for a pleasant afternoon walk, loosely structured by the past, present, and future of Shanghai’s “lilong” housing stock.

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