2005 saw the end of Shanghai Xiangsheng shipyard which was originally built in 1862. It was replaced by a booming financial district. Nevertheless, the main body of the shipyard was preserved as a building of both historical and cultural importance. Under the design of Kengo Kuma--a preeminent Japanese architect, it was converted into a combination of both antiquity and modernity—now known as 1862 Shipyard.
In the reconstruction of the shipyard, Kengo Kuma kept an 800-seat space for art, which becomes 1862 Theater.
Rusty iron pipes, weathered concrete pillars and the looming varnished slogans are all distinctive styles of 1862 Theater. It is equipped with a lifting stage and 200 retractable seats out of its 800-seat capacity, which can meet the needs of various performances and activities. Electric soundproof glass doors are mounted to the side that faces the river. It offers visitors a beautiful view of the flowing Huangpu River, passing ships and the resplendent neon waves at night.
1862 Theater is an art center dedicated to pioneering dramas, resident performances, chamber music, modern dances, fashion shows, art exhibitions, among others aim at combining tradition and fashion, classics and universality, modernity and future. The theatre is committed to promoting Sino-foreign culture exchange and creating a multi-art platform which is locally-based and internationally-embracing.
Today, this 156-year-old ship sets sail again. The flowing Huangpu River carries this old yet still vibrant giant art vessel, adding a touch of unique and unrestrained character to this international metropolis which is at the forefront of global trend.