Shanghai factories get new lease on life
By Shen Li, Li Qiong
01:05

Many of Shanghai's old factory districts are falling into disrepair due to a lack of maintenance. However, some have got new owners, who are taking the plunge and restoring the old structures with a creative touch.

The buildings of Shanghai Institute of Biological Products have suffered from neglect for nearly 70 years. But that all changed when a renovation project transformed it into a cultural space for the community.

Renovated old factories in Yangpu district, Shanghai. /VCG Photo

Renovated old factories in Yangpu district, Shanghai. /VCG Photo

Columbia Circle is one of many buildings on former factory grounds that have undergone radical conversion. As for the 800 Show entertainment and retail complex in Jingan district, that was once the old Shanghai Electric Motor Factory.

The humming of machines has been replaced by the beat of music accompanying runway shows. 

Renovated old factories in Hongkou district, Shanghai. /VCG Photo

Renovated old factories in Hongkou district, Shanghai. /VCG Photo

"We want, while preserving the old memories of the factory grounds, to breathe new life into them, by converting them into creative spaces where residents can enjoy themselves and socialize," said Wang Mingying from Shanghai Yangpu District Urban Planning Office. 

The renovations are set to continue, with the grounds of a gas factory and soap factory in the Yangpu district being redesigned as a cultural space for local residents.