Built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, shikumen houses are barely holding on in the modern megacity.
New Zealand photographer Cody Ellingham’s “Shanghai Streets” series explores the colonial-era lanehouses, now being torn down for new housing developments.
Built between the end of the 19th century and World War II, these buildings take influence from traditional Chinese hutongs and colonial French and British Art Deco architecture. The homes typically have ornate stone gates and large courtyards wrapped by rooms on three sides. Characterized by narrow, pedestrian-friendly streets, neighborhoods of shikumen comprised an estimated 60 percent of the city’s housing stock at their peak.