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Shikumen (石库门), Shanghai, China (1860)


Project Location: China

Figure 1: an aerial photograph of Huahai Fang (淮海坊) encased by Huahia Lu (淮海路) and Nanchang Lu (南昌路). ( Source )
Figure 2: lanes in Siwen Li (斯文里), one of the largest clusters of shikumen housing located in now-Jingan district. ( Source )
Figure 3: Shikumen were once ubiquitous. But with years of urbanization, they are now harder to come by. ( Source | Photographer: Xu Guangshou )
Figure 4: The typical arch in Shikumen lane ( Source )
Figure 5: “Shikumen” buildings along Nanjing Road in Shanghai, 1928. From Virtual Shanghai ( Source )
Figure 6: sketch of the structure of Shikumen ( Source | Photographer: Erik Olsen )
Figure 7: layout of a typical Shikumen ( Source | Photographer: Sheng Hua )
Figure 8: A cross-section view of an unmodified individual unit in No. 111 Alliance Lane in the 1940s. Courtesy of Jie Li. ( Source | Photographer: Jie Li )
Figure 9: repainted shikumen header in Wangyima Lane (王医马弄) ( Source )
Figure 10: the different types of door head ( Source )
Figure 11: The interior of the shikumen museum, and the items on display that are common to Shanghainese households of the day ( Source | Photographer: Cai Xianmin/GT )
Figure 12: The study room of Shikumen ( Source )
Figure 13: The master bedroom ( Source )
Figure 14: The elderly room ( Source )

Traditional, Art Deco

Primary Material(s):
Brick, Wood, Tile

Residential Structure

Related Website(s):

Significant Date(s):

Additional Information:
Shikumen(石库门) is a traditional Shanghainese architectural style combining Western and Chinese elements that first appeared in the 1860s. At the height of their popularity, there were 9,000 shikumen-style buildings in Shanghai, comprising 60% of the total housing stock of the city; however, the proportion is currently much lower, as most Shanghainese live in large apartment buildings. Shikumen is classified as one type of lilongresidences, sometimes translated as "lane houses" in English.

Shikumen houses were also introduced to other port cities in China. For example, many were built in the foreign concessions of Hankou (now part of Wuhan), and some can still be seen there today. Shikumen terraces can even be found as far afield as Beijing, where the two shikumen lanes Huakang Li and Tai’an Li, dating from the 1920s, are undergoing restoration.

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