HEKKTA’s Property Portal – Shanghai

With Chinese property experiencing a bit of a boom as of late, we take a closer look at what activity is occurring in the property world in one of China’s biggest cities, Shanghai. We also have searched around the property and architecture world to bring you up to date with all the biggest news headlines.

Chinese studio Neri&Hu have revived a 1930s theatre in Shanghai with exquisite stone and bronze features. “The primary design challenge was to recall the clarity and unity of the historic building in all its grandeur…while creating an architecture that would not only be relevant today, but have the potential to become a lasting and significant landmark.”

Neri&Hu Shanghai theatre

Neri&Hu Shanghai theatre

Neri&Hu Shanghai theatre

Neri&Hu Shanghai theatre

Plans for a Shanghai health and cultural complex have been revealed by Steven Holl Architects. The pair of white concrete blocks will be placed within a park on the city’s Punan canal and the firm hopes it will act as a “social condenser”, attracting residents of nearby housing to use the facilities. The buildings will feature some distinctive openings in the sides and the roof allowing light in and there will be a variety of sports and social facilities including a library, gym and exhibition area inside the complex.

Shanghai Health & Cultural Centre - Steven Holl Architecture

Shanghai Health & Cultural Centre – Steven Holl Architecture

Shanghai Health & Cultural Centre - Steven Holl Architecture

Shanghai Health & Cultural Centre – Steven Holl Architecture

Shanghai property sales rebounded last week indicating the city is set for a more positive 2017.

The number of homemovers has dropped for the first time in 5 years as the costs of moving are too high for most and continue to rise.

One of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan, which was architect Kengo Kuma’s first public commission in America, underwent a major expansion and the work is nearly complete. The nine-acre park in Portland, Oregon opened a half-century ago and now draws in more than 350,000 visitors a year. The £27m scheme will preserve existing gardens aswell as adding new structures organised around a central courtyard referred to as the Cultural Village.

Portland Japanese Garden - Kengo Kuma

Portland Japanese Garden – Kengo Kuma

Architect Kengo Kuma, the man behind the 2020 Tokyo Olympic stadium, said, “To be honest, sometimes I feel a bit embarrassed by some of my buildings”.

American firm FXFOWLE have completed a glass covered, shard-like tower in the Chelsea neighbourhood of Manhattan. Named 35XV, the build stands at 106 metres and is half apartments, half high school extension.

After the recent approval of the Trellis in the City of London, the future skyscraper is set to gain a neighbour as approval for 36-storey 1 Leadenhall is granted. The building was designed by the former Foster + Partners architect Ken Shuttleworth and it another in a trend of new-builds popping up in the Square Mile. Although not the tallest, it will still stand at 182.7 metres, so will become part of the London skyline. However not all are pleased as some say it will leave, “Leadenhall Market looking like a lost relic.”

1 Leadenhall - City of London

1 Leadenhall – City of London

22 Bishopsgate is set to get the fastest lifts in Europe installed by Otis.

A new build-to-rent scheme is emerging in which you can rent a rather small flat for cheap but the building itself has social spaces such as games rooms, bars and dining clubs so that you can mix and socialise with other living in your block for those searching for more of a community spirit. It is essentially a swanky version on university halls with better facilities, and they are beginning to gain the support of the government. Housing minister Gavin Barwell promises the imminent release of his much-delayed White Paper, which he hopes will encourage investment into build-to-rent schemes and London Mayor Sadiq Khan also recently pledged his support for the sector. It is sites which will benefit from Crossrail, such as North Acton, which are seeing more build-to-rent investment. One of the UK’s largest build-to-rent groups is M&G Real Estate and they have committed £600 million since 2013 and have 2,200 rental homes under way or planned. Could this be the future of housing for young people in cities?

From £250 a week: an apartment at Berkshire House in Maidenhead, which will be in Crossrail commuter territory

From £250 a week: an apartment at Berkshire House in Maidenhead, which will be in Crossrail commuter territory

Creekside Wharf - Greenwich

Creekside Wharf – Greenwich

The Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh is set to gain two 133 storey, 1,837ft tall twin skyscrapers as approval for construction is given. If completed, they will be the world’s tallest twin towers. Named the Thai Boon Roong Twin Trade Center, it shall also contain a luxury hotel, an exhibition theatre and a restaurant. The project is predicted to cost £2.7 billion.

Thai Boon Roong Twin Trade Centre - Cambodia - Phnom Penh

Thai Boon Roong Twin Trade Centre – Cambodia – Phnom Penh

After the Brexit vote, multi-billion pound property funds had the issue of having to lock in investors and cut the value of their portfolios in order to prevent outflows. Now, quite the opposite. The fund is having to take action to prevent too many inflows as they have such high demand.

OMA‘s new headquarters building for the Qatar Foundation in Doha is revealed for the first time in these exclusive photographs.

How will Article 50 affect UK property?

Tunnelling for the Northern Line tube extension between Kennington and Battersea is set to start in March.

Enabling works for the enormous £6bn Meridian Water scheme began yesterday. This will prepare the way for 725 new homes in North London. The site covers a huge 210 acres between Edmonton, Tottenham and Walthamstow.

Architecture firm Snøhetta have unveiled plans for what they call a, “potentially world-changing office building”. The office, which will be built in Norway, will produce more energy than it consumes. Named the Powerhouse Telemark, it is expected to become a pioneer in sustainable energy use. The building has a diamond shaped structure to maximise the building’s ability to collect solar energy. The real-estate developer behind the building, Emil Eriksrød, says he hopes to be copied for more sustainable buildings around the world. It is set to be completed in 2019 and the 11-storey building will contain 6,500 square metres of floor space. It is expected to cost Eriksrød’s company, R8Property, £14 million to build. Watch a video on why this office is so special here.

Overseas demand drives further recovery in UK commercial property.

Designers + architects respond to Trump’s inauguration.

Stamp duty is making the UK’s housing crisis worse by distorting the market and harming long-term development, the head of one of the world’s biggest property groups has warned.

We’ve all been told to be wary of what we put on social media when looking for jobs or getting interviews, but did you know that now letting agents are checking social media profiles such as Facebook to determine whether you will be good tenants. So watch what you put on your profile!


Harvard University are to offer a free online architecture course to allow students to “learn fundamental principles of architecture — as an academic subject or a professional career — from a study of history’s important buildings”.

Take a look at the USA’s most expensive home in Bel Air, Los Angeles, valued at $250 million.