1933 Old Millfun
Balfours   May 07.2016


It's a fantastic creative industry park. However, that unfashionable past has been turned on its head, and given a marketing spin to draw attention to its former incarnation as a slaughterhouse. Think along the lines of Les Halles (Old Central Market) in Paris or the Meatpacking District in New York, and you will have an idea of the inspiration behind 1933 and its future direction. 1933 Old Millfun embodies three core elements: design creativity, lifestyle and the pursuit of knowledge. Adding to the creative artistic atmosphere are high-end restaurants, creative retailing stores, offices of designers, a guild of artists and educational institutions.China's two-pronged approach to sweeping architectural renaissance and urban landscaping has seen futuristic and avant-garde buildings such as the iconic Beijing National Stadium (more commonly referred to as the Bird's Nest), the bubble-wrapped National Aquatics Center (The Cube), the gravity-defying CCTV headquarters, and the beehive-like Sinosteel International Plaza spring up in cities like Shanghai, Beijing and Tianjin. The other approach involves resurrecting historic industrial buildings back to their former glory, and giving them a new lease of life, such as the Blur Hotel, and The Village at Sanlitun. 1933 belongs to the latter.

Reason to Be Selected

It was formerly a slaughterhouse. It inherits the original structural system and spatial relationship. Based on its historical features, it is transformed into a unique creative park. Many specialty shops, restaurants and studios. Into it, there are often some drama performances, fashion shows, corporate exhibitions, etc., which have become an art gathering place. In addition, it is also the location of the popular movie "Little Times." The old venue is strategically located close to Sichuan Road Commercial Street. The whole building blends the characteristics of the East and West. The layout of the building is peculiar. The four square buildings surrounded by four buildings in the southeast and northwest are connected by a staircase in the middle of a 24-shaped main building. The outer structure of the outer circle, the criss-crossed bridge, together with the spiral ladder and the umbrella-shaped style, create a labyrinth effect, which is surprisingly continuous. The most worthwhile visit in the 1933 old workshop is the aerial stage on the fourth floor of the central area of ​​the main building. The 600-meter-meter center of the 8-meter-high aerial stage is suspended and made of tempered glass. It is transparent and dazzling. The glass floor can be seen from the fourth floor to the first floor. With its unique design and amazing space, it also undertakes large-scale commercial activities such as the Ferrari F1 party and the 50th Anniversary of Radar. Because it is still in the investment period, there are some merchants on the first and second floors of the main building, and the third and fourth floors are relatively empty. It is much quieter than the fashion places like Xintiandi and Tianzifang. The weekend may be more popular. I suggest you choose a sunshine. Visit on a bright rest day, walk through the covered bridge.


Umbrella columnThe whole building is derived from the structural design of the beamless floor. More than 300 large umbrella columns are evenly distributed in the outer volume of the building square, supporting the majestic buildings independently. The octagonal and quadrilateral umbrella caps are one of the most important features of the building. The octagonal umbrella caps are mainly distributed on the west side of the building's periphery, and the square umbrella caps are mainly distributed in other parts of the building's periphery.Covered bridgeThe bridge space is one of the most characteristic features of the building. Its unique charm comes from the mysterious and varied space formed by the architectural light and shadow. It is the creative base for photographers in Shanghai. The outer bridge space consists of a four-story gallery and 26 interconnected diagonal bridges. The animals entered the slaughter area through these bridges. The width of each bridge is different. Different sizes of cows will enter through different widths of the bridge to achieve the function of diversion.Center Park 1-3The center circle is 1-3, which is the workshop where the slaughtering process was carried out. The X-shaped logistics staircase and the French-style spiral staircase with a large arc are connected between the three floors of the center garden. These three floors are creative project activity areas, which are dedicated to bringing the most creative activities in China and even the world to Shanghai. Various art events and public welfare events will be held here to provide the public with a touch of art and enjoy fashion. The destination of life.Grate windowThe hollow cement lattice window is mainly located at the west end of the building and the western end of the north and south facades. The cement of the windows was all imported from the UK in the 1930s and was solid and abnormal. Taking into account the strong smell of the slaughtering process, the windows are all hollowed out for easy air circulation. At the same time, the window faces west, in line with Shanghai's perennial wind direction, which can better achieve the effect of ventilation. At the same time, the window facing the west faces the western world of bliss, which means better reincarnation and transcendence after the animal dies.Cow roadNiu Dao is one of the architectural features of the 1933 old workshop. At that time, the production process and technology were in line with the international standards, and the system of separation of humans and animals was implemented. The cattle path for animal walking has a special anti-slip design, the road surface is rough and uneven, and the bridge with shunting function makes the whole production process orderly. Today's 1933 old workshop still retains this original architectural feature, and visitors can still feel the style of more than 70 years ago.Aerial stageThe "Aerial Stage" with an area of ​​more than 1,500 square meters is located on the 4th floor of the 1933 old workshop. The center of the 8m high-altitude air stage is suspended from 600 square meters. It is made of tempered glass and is transparent and dazzling. The weight per square glass can be 400. kilogram. The structure of the round dome adds visual impact and a more spatial feel.So far, this stage has successfully hosted Ferrari F1 party, Radar 50th Anniversary, Paris Art Design Exhibition, "Blueberry Night" Asian premiere party, Mercedes-Benz new car release, Porsche 60th anniversary, Citroen new car release, World Industrial Design Day "NIKE Sky Fighting Basketball Game", and many other top brands' boutique activities.French ladderThe French-style spiral staircase between the 2nd and 3rd floors of the center circle is about one person wide, and the graceful curved shape rotates at a large angle. Such a large angle is actually designed for workers to escape. The center circle is the place where animals were slaughtered. Animals are generally panicked here. In order to avoid being shocked and injured, special arc-shaped spiral ladders are provided for workers to escape.
According to historical records, the construction of this sacrificial light building and equipment cost more than 3.3 million yuan in silver. All of them are made of concrete structures imported from the UK. The wall is about 50 cm thick. The two walls are hollow. In the 30's lack of advanced technology, the physical principles are used to achieve temperature control, even in the hot summer. The temperature can be seen in the forward-looking and advanced design of the building at that time. Style: The architecture of the 1933 old workshop blends the characteristics of the East and the West. The whole building can be seen in the ancient Brazilian Basili style, and the basic structure of the outer circle also coincides with the "Tianyuan place" in the Chinese Feng Shui feng shui theory. Traditional concept. Many characteristic style buildings such as “No Beam Floor Cover”, “Umbrella Column”, “Roof Bridge”, “Rotary Ladder” and “Niu Dao” are integrated, and the infinite changes of light and shadow and space present a unique architectural wonder. Different seasons, different times, different angles, you can always appreciate the different styles of the 1933 old venue.The whole building is simple and unpretentious, and the atmosphere is not ostentatious. Only by careful observation can you feel the ingenuity of the original designer from the delicate decorative details that seem to be inadvertent. Such a smooth production process, sophisticated building structure, and excellent architectural design have appeared in Shanghai nearly a hundred years ago. Even at that time, there were only three large-scale plots in the world, and the 1933 old workshop was the only existing building, and no one else could be found.

Restored to its former Art Deco glory at a cost of 100 million RMB, 1933 has already managed to attract the likes of leading multinational brands such as Apple, Omnicom, American Apparel, and the Ferrari Owners Club to base their operations there.

Clubs, artists' guilds, galleries, educational institutions, and stage high-profile events such as art exhibitions, theater performances, perhaps even a biennale. And that can only bode well for this historic industrial town, as it seeks to transform itself into a cultural and intellectual epicenter.

The visual and inspirational experience in 1933 is like no other in Shanghai's heritage architecture. Hongkou District government's plan includes the 1,600 square meter plaza at 1933, a park, cobblestone walkways, restored charming canals, beautiful landscaping and  preserved traditional neighborhoods. 

However, people who are bringing in anything bigger than a compact digital camera will need to register at the main lobby, signifying that any images taken are not for commercial purposes.


Lat: 31.2566
Lng: 121.488
Region: Asia
Scale: Building
Field: Innovation
City: Shanghai