About the Venue
In the early 20th century, the areal of the Shanghai Exhibition Center was in possession of the magnate Silas Aaras Hardoon. It was famous by the name “Hardoon Garden”, which was the biggest garden in Shanghai . After his dead, the park was in control of the Japanese during the Pacific War. When the communistic party of China took over in 1949, the area was con-fiscated. As a tribute to the Soviet Union, the leaders decided to host an exhibition in honour of the soviet achievements. That’s what started the sino-soviet friendship program, which was finished on time for the exhibition in 1955. From 1956 until 2001 the building complex was also used for political meetings. After the sino-soviet split in 1968 the center was named into Shanghai Exhibition Hall, then later Shanghai Industrial Exhibition, and since 1984 Shanghai Exhibition Center. The last bigger renovation was in 2011.
The central tower reminds you of the admiralty building in Saint Petersburg. Underneath is a domed entrance hall. In the east and west of this hall are the former known “Agriculture Hall” and “Culture Hall”. Both parts have impressive staircases. The open space between Agriculture and Culture wing offers a rectangle pool and a water fountain. The biggest part of the areal is located in the north of the entrance hall. It is a rectangle hall with 46x84m and a thin-shelled vaulted roof. In the past it was the Exhibition hall, and it is still called the “Central Hall”. This conference area houses the theatre/cinema and a dining hall underneath. There is also a big square located in front of the entrance hall.
After numerous renovations the interior decorations still show the connection between the soviet style and Chinese elements. Also from the outside it is recognizable, for example with the red star at top of the tower, which reminds you of the kremlin star. There were also two statues of a Chinese and soviet worker with hammers at the bottom of the tower, before the Chinese-soviet split. Nowadays they have replaced them with a bronze statue of a Chinese worker who is holding up a tangle of flowing ribbons.
The Shanghai Exhibition Center has a total floor space of 80.000m², of which 22.000m² can be used for exhibition purposes. It consists of conference rooms, restaurants, coffee shops and a lot of parking facilities. The Northern party has the Introductory Hall, Central Hall, No. 1 East Hall, No. 1 West Hall and No. 2 West Hall. In the south you have the exhibition area.