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  • Writer's pictureLuke Stoffel

Travel Shanghai: Architectural Elegance

Shanghai, China

Photography by Lucas Stoffel can be licensed on Shutterstock and Getty Images

Pudong Shanghai Skyline Photo by Lucas / Luke Stoffel

Shanghai Skyline by Lucas Stoffel Fine art prints available on Etsy.


Shanghai, the behemoth metropolis pulsating at China’s eastern fringe, is a city that never ceases to enchant its inhabitants and visitors alike. This is a city where the historical and the hyper-modern not only coexist but also engage in a fascinating dialogue, speaking through the myriad of structures that pierce its skyline and nestle in its bustling streets. From the venerable to the groundbreaking, Shanghai’s architecture is a visual feast that charts tales of dynasties, colonial footprints, and a future reimagined.


Travel Past Shanghai's Skyline: Soaring Ambitions Materialized

Gazing across the river from the Bund, the Pudong skyline pierces the heavens with an audacious display of contemporary architectural prowess. The iconic Oriental Pearl Tower, with its distinct spheres and towering antenna, has come to symbolize Shanghai’s ascent into the global arena. Nearby, the Shanghai Tower spirals into the clouds, embodying the dynamic spirit and forward momentum of the city. Its twisted form and soaring height reflect the daring and innovative spirit pulsating through the veins of modern Shanghai.


Old Town by Lucas Stoffel


Yuyuan Garden: A Serene Encounter with Ming Dynasty Craftsmanship

Nestled in the heart of the old town, the Yuyuan Garden offers a tranquil retreat into the delicate artistry of traditional Chinese architecture. Each pavilion, koi pond, and winding path through lush bamboo groves tells tales from the Ming Dynasty, providing a serene juxtaposition to the bustling city that surrounds it. Here, every tile, every intricate carving, and every elegantly arranged rockery reflects a profound understanding of balance, harmony, and aesthetic finesse.

Modern Buddha in Shanghai Photo by Lucas / Luke Stoffel

Modern Buddha by Lucas Stoffel


Xintiandi: Where Shikumen Meets Modern Lifestyle

The charming enclave of Xintiandi offers a journey through the city’s more recent history, with its shikumen (stone gate) architecture transporting you to the Shanghai of the early 20th century. The area, though steeped in history with its traditional low-rise buildings and narrow alleys, has been masterfully revitalized. The shikumen homes, seamlessly integrated with modern cafes, boutiques, and galleries, exemplify a thoughtfully preserved past delicately intertwined with the pulsating present.


Travel Shanghai’s architectural panorama tells a story that is multifaceted, rich, and ever-evolving. It is a dialogue between epochs, styles, and aspirations, all coalescing into a cityscape that is at once dazzling and grounded, historical and futuristic. As you wander through its streets, exploring its skyward aspirations and hidden historical gems, the city unveils its architectural heart, each structure a chapter in its magnificent, unfolding story. From the traditional to the groundbreaking, Shanghai stands as a boundless architectural wonder, ever ready to enchant and inspire.



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