The onion domes of the Orthodox Cathedral in central Shanghai serve as a tangible reminder of the once-numerous exile community, but there is more to the Russian heritage than the two surviving churches. The image of the Astrid Apartments, designed by a Russian architect, adorns nearly every book about Shanghai architecture. The Russians also created two out of three surviving synagogues, close to half the buildings on Yongfu Road and the city’s largest historic complex – the Sino-Soviet Friendship Hall, as well as dozens of public buildings, apartment houses, villas and lane compounds. This talk introduces the Russian architectural legacy in Shanghai and attaches names, faces and stylistic character to a variety of famous buildings and a few mysterious outliers.
About the Speaker
Katya Knyazeva, from Novosibirsk, Russia, is a historian and a journalist with a focus on urban form, heritage preservation and the Russian diaspora in Shanghai. She is the author of the two-volume history and photographic atlas Shanghai Old Town: Topography of a Phantom City (Suzhou Creek Press, 2015 and 2018). Her articles on history and architecture appear in international media and in her blog avezink.livejournal.com. Katya is presently a research fellow at the University of Eastern Piedmont, Italy.