Go drink coffee at Moller - enjoy "dreamlike" views
"Go drink coffee at Moller!" This must be an invitation offered by a sentimental and romantic person quite familiar with Shanghai. In the afternoon sunshine, Moller Villa beams the dreamlike atmosphere in isolation with the world, bringing you back to the dream of a girl more than eighty years ago.
There is a beautiful legend about the luxury mansion. Once the beloved daughter of the owner dreamed that she was in a fairyland. After she woke up, she drew the fairyland in a painting, according to which her father hired some architects to design and build the present luxury mansion. It is located at No. 30 South Shaanxi Road, formerly the Avenue du Roi Albert in the French Concession, Shanghai. According to China Hong List of the 1937 edition, the owners of the mansion are Mr. and Mrs. Moller.
Northern Europe was one of the earliest regions to pioneer sea shipping in the world. The Moller's started their business from shipping and trade. In their time, the residences of Shanghai were built in various styles including the British and French but excluding the Northern European style. Accordingly, Moller deliberately built his new mansion into a typical Northern European style.
Moller Villa at first sight features complex arrangement and Northern-European peaked roof of various sizes, creating a visual contrast and fantasy and lending much color to the architectural art. The brown fireproof outer walls make the mansion more elegant and serene.
The indoor design, in a rather bold style, breaks the distributing concept of traditional residences and making the mansion into a passenger liner. The rooms and levels in the mansion are not designed with the same height as usual but rather in a split-level style; the elevators are running up and down with many zigzags. Around the corners of the elevators, there are many non-functional rosettes. The ceilings are carved with patterns of steering wheels and other ship equipment.
One feature of Moller Villa is that it combines the Chinese and Western architectural elements, which contrast and complement each other. It is hard for many to imagine that the Gothic peaked roof could stay in harmony with the Chinese glazed tiles in such a perfect way.
Old Name: Moller Villa
Current Name or Current User: Moller Villa Hotel, Shanghai
Address: No. 30, South Shaanxi Rd., Shanghai, China
Built in: 1930-1936
Total Area (m2): 5269
Building Area (m2): 3220
Designer: the Allied Architects, Shanghai
Styles or Features: Northern European (Norwegian)
State of Protection: listed as one of the prominent historical buildings in Shanghai in 1989 and a key cultural relic under state protection in 2006.