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Banku z Chin budynku, Shanghai

2012-09-20 09:38 ChineseTime

Bank of China Building, Shanghai

zhōng guó yín háng dà lóu
中    国  银  行   大 楼

 

      The Bank of China Tower occupies a gross floor area of 50,000 m², consisting of two buildings. The east building is the main one. It is 15 floors facing the Bund. The ground floor has a higher ceiling, plus two floors underground, making a total of 17 floors. The west building is the annex in four floors. The overall outlook carries a traditional Chinese style, clad in smooth Jinshan stones. Its top is a pyramid with a square base. Parts of the brackets are decorated with stone door arches. A cut-out of the Chinese character for "longevity" can be spotted on both sides of each floor, imparting a calm and peaceful air to the grand construction. Traditional decorations are also adopted for the flower patterns and panes on the railing.

Bank of China Building, Shanghai

(right)


      In Shanghai's international concessions, the erection of the Bank of China Tower among numerous foreign buildings, a building funded by the bank and constructed by Chinese workers and combining the Chinese and Western architectural styles, has broken the foreign dominance of Shanghai's grand buildings. In other words, it has again demonstrated Bank of China's determination to compete with western banks in China.

On October 10, the 25th year of the Republic of China (1936), Shanghai Times made a detailed report on the foundation-laying ceremony of the Bank of China Tower at No. 23 on the Bund. The original text reads:

      "Bank of China to construct a building at Renji Road of the Bund. Our newspaper will keep you updated about its status. We are informed that the bank will hold a foundation-laying ceremony on 10:00 am today (Double Ten Festival). The presence of local financial professionals is appreciated.

Bank of China Building, Shanghai


       Mr. Song Ziwen, chairman of Bank of China, will lay the foundation stone in person. Mrs. Song (Madam Zhong Leyi) will put the commemorative box under the foundation stone. According to sources, drawings of the new building, photos of scenes on the Bund, various local newspapers, various fractional currencies, exchange certificates from Bank of China, list of employees, recent yearbooks of the bank, and among others, are hid inside the box. The bank occupies an area of 55,000 square chi, with its east facing the Bund, its south neighboring Renji Road and the west bordering Yuanmingyuan Road. The underground is 13 chi into the soil. Considering the loose soil of Shanghai, its adjacency to high building on three sides, its closeness to the Bund and the din produced by cars on the street, the difficulties of digging are evident. Although the foundation has not been completed for now, we can tell how grand the construction plan is by simply judging from the completed part. It is told that the outlook of the building will convey a sense of magnificence through a simple style. The surrounding wall in the lower part will use granites from Suzhou. The 18-floor building tops 227 feet, featuring both the modern architectural styles and the typical Chinese forms. The floor area of the underground is quite huge, equaling the total footprint. A parking lot was built at the entrance on Yuanmingyuan Road. Its equipment including the reserve and safe are quite refined and solid. The total number of safes amounts to over 10,000.

Bank of China Building, Shanghai

      The new building serves many functions: one for the head office, one of the Shanghai Branch, and another for leasing. Rumors have it that various institutions under the central government will lease the foyer on the ground floor for their offices. The ground floor also hosts two key functions of the bank: circulation and cashing. On the first floor, there stays the Trust Department, the Savings Department, the Marketing Subsection and the office for the vice manager of the Shanghai Branch. The Marketing Subsection occupies an area above 15,000 square chi, with a half-circle ceiling in height of around 35 feet. The 2nd floor and the third floor are home to various departments of the Head Office and offices for senior employees. A living room, lounge, gym and clinic can be found on the 4th floor. In addition, there is a cafeteria which can accommodate 400 people and a lecture room capable of accommodating 375 people. The architect estimates that the overall weight of the new building will reach 70,000 tons. 2000 trunks, each in 100-foot length, are needed to support this weight. Dozens of nouveau and super-speed elevators are installed inside the building, being completely automatic and with a maximum speed at 500 feet per minute. All offices will be equipped with air conditioning, heating pipes, water pipes and fire equipment.

       The total length of metal pipes utilized is 20 miles. Cables used for lights, telephone, bells and various alarms total above 70 miles. The bank will dig two wells, each in depth of 700 chi, contributing a pumping capacity of 600 gallons of water a minute. Upon the completion of its internal installation, the building will become a giant structure in Shanghai.  

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