Travel to China: Shanghai: Citta di Pujiang
An Italian city in Shanghai? But of course: this is another of Shanghai's new towns, like Thames Town, but in this case Venice. Well, that's what you'll read in the press, but this new town doesn't ape Europe: it has lots of water, in other words, but an intensely modern architectural style.
And apparently not just a Venetian orientation.
You get the sense now: houses on water, but nothing like the facades on the Grand Canal.
Like Thames Town, Citta di Pujiang has been designed by a competition winner, in this case Gregotti Associates International.
The plan is for a city of 80,000, although mighty few will live canal-side. Perhaps the most Italian elements of the plan are its orthogonal layout and cardinal orientation, although both those things are as Chinese as they are Italian.
A more traditionally Italian element: public parks.
Only the most expensive homes are actually on water.
Yes, President Ciampi came, but only for a few minutes that morning.
So are we ready for a tour?
Permission, permission, permission.
A commercial square, nearing completion (Feb 07).
Behind it, ponds.
Water moving slowly between houses.
Tiny channels, too.
Display home from the outside.
Just inside that wall, a sunken patio with pond.
Bedroom fronting sunken patio.
Kitchen: nice but, like everything else, tight.
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