Shanghai is China's largest city, comparable to New York or Tokyo and in recent decades it has experienced a building boom on a scale that is simply unprecedented in world history. Statistics that hint at its rapid growth abound: perhaps the most striking is that it now has more skyscrapers than New York City.Pridmore tells a story that combines art, technology, capitalism and Communism in vivid prose backed up by extensive reporting and illustrated with superb photographs. After surveying Shanghai's traditional Chinese and colonial architecture, Pridmore turns to the amazing city of today. In the last decades of the 20th century, Shanghai was seen as the engine of modernization in China. Leading architects from around the world were lured into competitions to design vastly ambitious projects and towering buildings in a riot of different styles sprung up before planners could even map their neighbourhoods. Out of this ferment of creative growth came the most significant 'new' city of the 21st century.
Jay Pridmore is an architectural historian and the author of numerous books, especially about the architecture of Chicago. Among them is Abrams' Chicago Architecture and Design, now in its second edition. To write about Shanghai, he shifts his focus from Chicago, which saw the most important developments in architecture in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, to the great Chinese city that promises to play the same role in world architecture a century later. To write Shanghai, he has interviewed numerous architects as well as journalists and other experts. He divides his time between Chicago and Rome.