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Historic silo will be further renovated next year

    Further renovation will be carried out on Asia’s once largest grain silo a year from now to open more space to the public.

    The ground and top levels of the 48-meter-tall silo, which has a total storage of 80,000 tons, is being opened for a three-month urban planning exhibition that will run until January 15. There is no charge to visit the exhibition.

    The second phase for converting the silo, at Minsheng Wharf along Huangpu River, will focus on the middle levels where the 10 separate cylindrical storage facilities will be broken through and converted into five stories, said Zhang Guodong, the deputy project manager with Shanghai Construction No. 1 (Group) Co.

    “Detailed plans have yet to be confirmed, but the main direction is to develop the industrial heritage into exhibition halls and offices,” Zhang told Shanghai Daily.

    According to the city’s top planning body, the further development of the historic silo aims to “involve arts into people’s daily life.”

    As a highlight of its future redevelopment, part of the walls currently covered with ceramic tiles will be replaced by a line of French-style windows to make the exhibition inside visible to people outside, according to the plan.

    The silo was built more than two decades ago to be the city’s major wharf for grain and sugar.

    When it opened, it was the largest silo in Asia — and at the time the most cutting-edge storage facility in the Far East.

    During the first phase of the renovation, six escalators have been installed outside the silo to take visitors to the top of the structure. Apart from that, no other change has been made to the silo’s appearance in order to protect its historic structure, said Liu Yichun, the designer for the redevelopment.

    The escalators allow visitors to watch both Huangpu River and the historic wharf side, Zhang said.