Shanghai’s historic West Bund is an established arts hotbed, having lured dozens of private museums and galleries to open doors in the waterfront district in recent decades.
Neighboring East Bund is now increasingly being transformed into a cultural and arts center in it’s own right as a result of multiple state-owned projects slated to be completed in the next few years.
The Pudong Art Museum not only will be a high-profile addition to the cultural landscape, but also the physical one, as it will become part of the city’s iconic skyline of gleaming, futuristic structures viewed from across the Huangpu River.
The property, at the base of the Oriental Pearl Tower, has been left undeveloped for many years until a project appropriate to the space emerged.
Ground broke on the Jean Nouvel-designed space in September. The white granite structure will feature a large glass wall offering an interior view from the Bund. It will house a largely domestic collection of contemporary and traditional artworks.
Other projects on track for for completion by 2020 are the massive Shanghai Museum East, which will provide more than 1 million square feet of exhibition space, and the Shanghai Library East, designed by the Danish architectural firm Schmidt Hammer Lassen Associates.
The main library — situated beside the 140-hectare Century Park — will be perched above a children’s library and 1,200-seat performance venue, plus exhibition and event spaces.
Shanghai’s fast evolution as an arts city is illustrated by a government study conducted at the end of 2017 that reports the city has seen a rapid increase in galleries, from 34 to 78, since 2013.