Shanghai Exhibition Centre

Architecture in Jing'an

The hulking monolith of the Shanghai Exhibition Centre was built in 1955 as the Sino-Soviet Friendship Mansion – a friendship that soon turned sour and even regressed to the brink of war in the 1960s. The Stalinist-style architecture is based on St Petersberg's Admiralty Building, with neoclassical columns and a skeletal spire topped by a communist red star. The best view of it is from Yan'an Rd, where it's fronted by a stirring bronze socialist-realist monument and red-star stained-glass windows.

The site of the Exhibition Centre was originally the gardens of Jewish millionaire Silas Hardoon. You're allowed to wander its grounds and photograph the buildings. Architecture lovers will appreciate its monumentality and bold, unsubtle Bolshevik strokes. There was a time when Pudong was set to look like this.