Guiding in China since 2002 we focus on Shanghai with deep insight into history, urban planning and contemporary architecture to understand both the cityscape and social structures.
If you are here as a tourist, for an official visiting programme or attend a trade fair: the timeframe for exploring and understanding the city might be very short, but our tour improves the overall stay, understanding and navigation of the city.

Urban Development

The Bund To Lujiazui

Skyscraper - History In Building Tall

Welcome to a journey through 88 years of Shanghai's highrise heritage: Starting from the day flamboyant Sir Ellice Victor Sassoon broke ground on its swanky Cathay Hotel back in 1926, picking up when the city came to life again in the 1980s and all the way to current record breaking architectural achievements.

Broadway Mansions (Palmer&Turner, 1934) · China Merchants Plaza (Ho & Partners, 1996) · Customs House (Palmer&Turner, 1927) · Hilton Hotel (Lee King Fun, 1988) · Jin Mao Tower (SOM, 1997) · Jingan Kerry Centre (KPF, 2013) · Jinjiang Hotel (Wong Tung, 1988) · Karl Gutzlaff Signal Tower (1907) · King Tower (ECADI, 1995) · Oriental Pearl TV Tower (ECADI, 1995) · Park Hotel (Hudec, 1934) · Peace Hotel, (Palmer&Turner, 1929) · Plaza 66 (KPF, 2000) · Shanghai Centre (Portman, 1989) · Shanghai Exhibition Centre (SUDI, 1955) · Shanghai IFC (Pelli, 2010) · Shanghai Tower (Gensler, 2014) · Shanghai Wheelock Square (KPF, 2012) · Shanghai World Financial Center (KPF, 2007) · · Shimao International Plaza (Ingenhoven, 2005) · Urban Planning Exhibition Center (ECADI, 2000)

Urban Development

Shanghai 1554-2016

Water Town To Megapolis

Originating from humble beginnings as a trading post to evolve into one of the world's biggest cities, Shanghai's development through the last centuries has been multifaceted. We start where merchants congregated in the 15th century, explore edifices in which foreign venturers traded goods in the 1920s, all the way to modern days' cathedrals of commerce on both sides of the Huangpu.

Astor House Hotel (Davies&Thomas, 1911) · Bund Waterfront Promenade (NBBJ, 2009) · Customs House (Palmer&Turner, 1927) · Embankment Building (Palmer & Turner, 1932) · Former HSBC Building (Palmer&Turner, 1923) · General Post Office (Stewardson & Spence, 1924) · Huxinting Teahouse (unknown, 1784) · Jin Mao Tower (SOM, 1998) · Jing An Kerry Centre (KPF, 2013) · Karl Gutzlaff Signal Tower (1907) · Oriental Pearl TV Tower (ECADI, 1995) · Park Hotel (Hudec, 1934) · Peace Hotel (Palmer&Turner, 1929) · Shanghai Exhibition Centre (SUDI, 1955) · Shanghai World Financial Center (KPF, 2007) · Shanghai Centre (Portman, 1990) · Shanghai Tower (Gensler, 2016) · Waibaidu Bridge (Howarth Erskine Ltd., 1908) · Yu Garden (Zhen Nanyang, 1559-1577)

Urban Development

Land Above The Sea

Shanghai Waterways

Waterways have always dominated Shanghai: Suzhou creek, Huangpu & Yangtze rivers brought commerce and progress to the rapidly expanding city. From refugees to adventurers, the Huangpu river has seen them all.
Countless canals still traverse the Eastern China marchlands, rivers brought produce and ideas.
A rather comfortable tour where we commute on ferries and pleasure boats and embark on a maritime journey bypassing all walks of life while enjoying on-board catering.

Urban Development

Beyond The Bund

Shanghai Hinterland

Located at the mouth of the Yangtze river, Shanghai is the center of one of the biggest urban agglomerations in the world surrounded by nine satellite towns and several megacities. We are examining the impact of extreme urbanization on the environment and it's social implications.
Sights range from lectures and selected excursions to specifically tailored multi day trips.

The Social Life

Forbidden Sights

Shanghai Uncovered

Historically, a notorious haven for crime and grime, Shanghai is not short of places with a vivid past. From 1920s mob bosses to modern day villains, Shanghai has historically been a playground for the bad boys and naughty girls.
Sights include 'Big-Eared Du's' former headquarters, bomb shelters turned into nightclubs, China's cybercrime command center and defunct relicts of the city's fast paced and ever changing nightlife scene.

The Social Life

The Sunny & Seedy Side Of The City

Entertainment & Amusement

Immortalized in countless Hollywood movies, Shanghais nightlife and entertainment scene enjoys a legendary reputation. From innocent family oriented leisure parks to the downright outrageous, Shanghai offers and has been offering a myriad of pleasure and pastime.
With the recent opening of Shanghai Disneyland, the focus has been shifted to Shanghais rich history of all forms of entertainment. We take a look behind the scenes of former and current entertainment hotspots.

The Social Life

The Raw & The Cooked

Shanghai Dining

In a city where restaurants used to close at 8 p.m. only three decades ago, the culinary scene has been grown by leaps and bounds. With a staggering number of restaurants serving fare from all over China and increasingly all corners of the world and increasing competition, Shanghai's dining scene can be confusing and mesmerizing at the same time.
We look behind the curtains of gourmet temples, witness the struggle of streetfood vendors and get a taste of Shanghai.

The Social Life

From Dusk Till Dawn

Shanghai Nights

After several decades of hibernation, Shanghais nightlife scene has quickly regained ground and friction and now ranks among one of the most exciting places in Asia, making the city a great one to have a big night out.
Sights include the city's most exciting and innovative entertainment hotspots and we discover the story behind the glamour, examine interior design, sound systems, layouts and bar culture in the Pearl of the Orient.

Consultancy services provided as a courtesy by CHIARC SIGHTS, a subdivision of ZJ Incorporated, CA. Program changes possible anytime. Additional services, fees and tax not included. We are operating nonprofit and accept no liability whatsoever for any injury, damage, loss, accident, delay, or any other incident which may be caused by negligence, defect, default of any company or person in performing our services. First international member of the Guiding Architects network of architects, historians and writers in China since 2010. All rights reserved 2002-2023.