Since the 1990s, the city has speeded up construction of cultural facilities. Such new facilities include the Shanghai Museum’s new gallery, Shanghai Library, Shanghai Grand Theater, Shanghai Book City, Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, the Oriental Art Center and the Oriental Green Land juvenile education and recreational center. By the end of 2008, the city had 29 cultural centers and mass artistic activities centers, 105 art troupes, 29 public libraries, 41 archive offices, and 110 museums.
Shanghai Library is a large, modern and multi-functional public library, covering a combined floor space of 83,000 square meters. The 3,036-seat library boasts a collection of 13.2 million volumes of publications, 38 reading rooms, 24 research rooms, and eight audio-video rooms. The library has a lecture hall, an exhibition hall, a multifunctional hall and a seminar room where advanced computer management facilitates international academic exchanges.
Shanghai Museum, with a total floor area of 38,000 square meters, opened in late 1995. The upper part of the building is round and the lower part square, reflecting the ancient Chinese belief in the“hemispherical dome cosmology”. The square shape indicates all directions on earth and the round shape implies the cycle of cultural evolution. There are 10 galleries, including the Ancient Chinese Bronze Gallery, the Ancient Chinese Pottery and Ceramics Gallery, and the Ancient Chinese Paintings Gallery. It houses special rooms for repairing cultural relics, mounting Chinese paintings and calligraphy works and doing academic research. Boasting a collection of more than 126,900 rare cultural relics, Shanghai Museum enjoys a high reputation both at home and abroad.
Shanghai Grand Theater
Shanghai Grand Theater is a world-class arena. With a total floor area of 62,800 square meters, the theater has a main theater seating 2,000 and a stage of nearly 760 square meters. Its three theaters feature ballet, opera and symphony respectively. In its huge arc-shape dome, there is a 500-seat multi-functional hall.
Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall
The largest of its kind throughout the world, the facility covers a total floor space of 18,400 square meters. The roof is a grid in the shape of four portals of a white magnolia, the city flower. It offers exhibitions, data searching, study and exchange, education and leisure and sightseeing services. The center features the theme of“City, Human, Environment and Development”. It has a 1:200 giant model of the city center, covering 800 square meters. In the basement is a 45-meter-long mock scene of an old Shanghai street.
Shanghai Science and Technology Museum
Featuring the theme of“Nature, Man and Science and Technology”, the museum serves as a center for exhibition, education, scientific study and exchange, exhibits collection and production, and leisure and tourism. With a total floor space of 98,000 square meters, the museum has seven exhibition areas for the Earth’s Crust, Life, Light of Wisdom, Audio-Video Paradise, Cradle of Designers, Children’s Garden, and Natural Science. It also has a large 3-D screen cinema, a 360-degree circular screen cinema and a 4-D screen cinema. It receives about 3 million visitors a year.
Oriental Art Center
The butterfly orchid-shaped architecture has a total floor area of nearly 40,000 square meters. It has a 1,953-seat concert hall, a 1,020-seat opera hall and a 333-seat music hall. It boasts the top-class acoustic and lighting facilities in the world, geared for symphony, ballet, musical, opera and other performances.
Oriental Green Land
Located by the Dianshan Lake in Qingpu District, it is one of the top sites in the country for juvenile extracurricular education and entertainment. Covering more than 3,700 hectares, the center is divided into eight areas, including the Bravery and Wisdom, the Knowledge Boulevard, the National Defense Education, the Wildness Surviving, the Creation Activities, the Aquatic Sports, the Daily Life Practice, and the Sport Training. It has a lawn extending 170,000 square meters, 110,000 trees and more than 400 types of flowers, which blends perfectly with buildings of a variety of foreign styles.