As a re-creation born out of the sprawls of Shikumen housing, which is the architectural symbol of Shanghai in the 20th century, Shanghai Xintiandi, “The City’s Living-Room” is a place to unwind and relax after a long day.
As a window to the past and the future, to China and the world, Shanghai Xintiandi's Shikumen attraction was created by converting residential blocks into a multifunctional dining, retail and entertainment center flowing with restaurants, boutiques, cafes and bars of an international standard.
The Shikumen buildings within Shanghai Xintiandi retain the antique walls, tiles and exterior of the Shikumen housing of old Shanghai, while the internal spaces have been designed and decorated to suit the up tempo lifestyle of the 21st century urbanites, with infinite details that exude the casual elegance of modern city living.
Shanghai Xintiandi is where “yesterday meets tomorrow in Shanghai today.”
Before the development of Shanghai Xintiandi, the area it encompasses had been a spread of aged lanes crowded with mid-19th century Shikumen buildings which had witnessed the vicissitudes of time. The Shikumen style was a combination of influences from home and abroad, showcasing Shanghai's culture of that era.
With the city's drive toward progress and modernity, Shikumen, as a form of residential design, began to fall out of favor, prompting some experts to predict that by the 21st century Shikumen style housing would altogether disappear.