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BDP masterplan will reinvigorate Shanghai Power Station

Originally commissioned in 1911, Shanghai Yangshupu is a former coal-fired power plant that is widely considered to be the first of its kind built in the Far East. Sitting within in an 83,000 square metre site in Yangpu on the edge of the Huangpu River, the plant contains two historic power station buildings, associated waterside buildings and equipment. It is an important set of buildings which helped in the early development of the city’s economy and has dominated the local skyline for generations.

One of the power stations dates as far back as the early 1880’s. Originally designed and built by British engineers with British boilers, British generators and British control equipment, it officially made Shanghai the third city in the world to produce electricity.

Today, the plant is set to benefit from a massive overhaul to preserve, adapt, and add to the heritage of the site by an interdisciplinary team of Chinese and British architects and engineers from BDP.


We are adding new accommodation and social, retail and business functions to both of the heritage power station buildings with the aim to transform Yangshupu into a vibrant mixed-use destination for people across the district. A new Shanghai Power Station for modern, Chinese life.

The project will incorporate offices, retail units, hotels, leisure facilities, food and beverage spaces and even cultural places dedicated to the history of the power station. 

Architect Director, Tianyi Gu explains: "It’s a powerful mix of places and spaces where heritage buildings will be interconnected by a new linear museum, curated with historical information about the river and the plant. Interestingly, the museum’s design will actually utilise the original circulation route of the coal conveyor belt system, which transferred coal from the river barges to the power station boilers.

"It’s a grand scale of masterplanning that creates a series of new, interlinked and landscaped public spaces and event areas, where experiential retail and hospitality can thrive. There is a feeling that all parts of the site will become interconnected to create a busy and engaged community of local people, visitors and workers."


The design will lead people to the serenity of a new riverside parkland area that provides refuge from the hustle and bustle of these expansive commercial developments and enables a welcome balance for those living hectic, Shanghai city lives. 

Construction begins in July 2021 and our designs will breathe new energy into the heritage buildings, the riverside economy and the whole city. 

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