Situated on No.210 Taikang Road Shanghai, Tianzifang is a highly-touristic area known for its unique Shikumen-style buildings with the art galleries and workshops. Together with the art workshops, the district is also full of bars, cafes and restaurants for the visitors to spend a leisure time.
Taikang Road used to be a market on road with narrow alleyways before 1998. It turns to a modern creative venue famous for the humanistic and artistic atmosphere. Although it may be not as famous as Xintiandi, travelers would be still accosted by the souvenir stores, art workshop and picture-taking crowded.
Stretching 7.2 hectares, this area was gradually converted into an area of painter studios, design workshops, photo studios, crafts shops, fashion halls, etc. Tianzifang is a paradise for the enthusiasts who are fascinated for the interior design, visual design, arts and crafts.
When an amount of artists settled their workshops or studios in this area in 1998, there is a rising trend in Tianzifang that the small artistic stores open based on the abandoned factories. The area still preserve the original Shikumen buildings. Shikumen is a traditional Chinese architecture style popular in the 1920s in Shanghai. The most obvious architectural feature is the residencewith stone doorframes and solid wooden doors. The Shikumen houses blend both exotic and oriental interior designs.
Tianzifang was firstly nicknamed by Chinese painter Huang Yongyu for this narrow neighborhood. The remarkable feature of Tianzifang is that there are still lots of local residents living there. The alley connecting the porch of the Zhichengfang was firstly built in 1933.
Different from Xintiandi Street, Tianzifang shows more of the intimate, warm and noisy lives of the local citizens. Nowadays there are over 40 craft workshops and more than 20 art studios in the narrow street. Travelers could spend half day to explore the interesting tiny boutique store for souvenirs in this former French concession. Wandering at Tianzifang, you could feel the lifestyles of the old Shanghai: sitting outside a café, selecting artwork in small antique store and so on.