Square me­ters

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI -

the size of the shiku­men com­pound Jian Ye Li

streets, like the Hauss­man­nian build­ings in Paris or the white-painted Cy­cladic houses by the Aegean Sea, shiku­mens — which lit­er­ally means “stone-framed gate­houses” — are be­lieved to have orig­i­nated in Shang­hai in the late 19th cen­tury.

A treaty port back dur­ing those times, Shang­hai wit­nessed a big in­flux of im­mi­grants who were flee­ing wars and po­lit­i­cal tur­moil in neigh­bor­ing prov­inces. To ac­com­mo­date the surge in pop­u­la­tion, the shiku­mens, a new breed of res­i­dences, was cre­ated by com­bin­ing West­ern­style ter­race houses with Chi­nese el­e­ments.

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