China gets a rare glimpse at rebuilding an old hotel this week

With a 28-foot tall, 450-pound steel beam jutting out of the ground, a new project by a group of local artists, designers and builders emerged this week in the Shanghai district of Pudong.

The steel beam set the pulse of “The Walk,” a 200-foot-tall, 55-foot-wide structure whose components are made from scraps of steel sent to the team from around the world. Of the steel that goes into the building, 40 percent of it is made in China and the rest comes from the United States.

The idea behind the project was to “rebuild” existing buildings and build them from their ground up — or from the ground up again. For the Shanghai project, an existing Ritz-Carlton hotel in the Pudong district was set to go, but when the hotel owner rejected the proposal for the project’s developer to dismantle the hotel and rebuild it elsewhere, the team opted to reimagine the entire building and put it out to bid.

After a final win for the project was secured by Didi Chuxing, the Chinese ride-hailing company, demolition was scheduled to begin Thursday. About 6.9 million people are expected to pass through The Walk daily.

“As a result of Didi’s hard work, the unfinished Ritz-Carlton Shanghai will finally be turned into The Walk — a public park offering Chinese tourists and the Chinese mainland the first space to see and experience true reconstruction,” the project team wrote in a statement.

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