Pictured: the ‘walking building’ on a mission to do away with stairs



Site in city’s Xuchang district opens new plans to visitors – but firm behind it says it is just the start

Many architects are becoming known for unique models of their buildings, but despite living alongside skyscrapers in Shanghai, Wang Hao – better known to Western audiences as the “walking building” – is not a star of the shows.

Many buildings around the world walk like this. The Shanghai project sees the structure not only walk, but walk itself. According to Hao, this is the start of a longer journey, and includes future adaptations which will allow the building to walk backwards.

Long in the making, the project was first mooted in the 1970s and four decades of testing and tweaking led to completion in 2014.

Citing weather issues, the building was finally readied for daylighting on 28 October 2014. Now an open-air museum with temporary exhibitions, the art deco building, originally designed by Ferdinand Boeddeker, is open to visitors and visitors can actually walk inside.

“We established a special team to solve the problem,” says Hao. “We had a budget for some 20 years and here it was time to finally complete the project.”

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