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Grand Opening Light Show, Projection mapping

ZHANGYUAN's grand opening show, a stunning heritage landmark restoration project developed by Swire Properties in Shanghai.

This light show was running every evening for one month and recorded more than 400,000 visitors. It is a celebration of the vibrant 100 years history of ZHANGYUAN, which boasts some of the best-preserved Art Deco Shikumen buildings in Shanghai. As the first urban regeneration project to implement protective expropriation and historical restoration, it reflects Shanghai’s diverse cultural heritage, making it a unique lifestyle destination. The video showcases the grandeur of ZHANGYUAN rich offerings including art exhibitions, hospitality and luxury boutiques such as Dior, Bvlgari, Vacheron Constantin, Gucci, Sisley or Moet & Chandon.

A new model for urban regeneration projects in Shanghai

ZHANGYUAN is a vivid example of the Jing'an District government's drive to develop Shanghai as a "people's city", combining people-centric innovation with high-quality development. It is also the first urban regeneration project in Shanghai to implement protective expropriation and historical restoration. This Shikumen building complex – the most complete in Shanghai, with an abundance of iconic architectural forms and artistic features – reflects the city’s "diversified and inclusive" characteristics. 

The project brings together Swire Properties’ expertise in commercial planning, property leasing and management and Jing’an Real Estate Group's extensive experience in the protection and rejuvenation of historic buildings.  The two parties adopted an innovative approach to renovation at ZHANGYUAN, combining the protection of historical features with organic urban regeneration.

Drawing on the humanistic characteristics of Shanghai-style architecture, the comprehensive renovation protects the historical features and layout of Shanghai’s traditional Shikumen lanes. Careful efforts have been made to revitalise and repurpose historical buildings, improve transportation connections to the area, and create new underground retail space beneath the existing buildings. The renovation project marks the rebirth of ZHANGYUAN and sets a new standard for Shanghai's urban regeneration that focuses on history and culture at the same time as bringing energy, internationalisation and the latest trends to the area.

A pioneering public space with historical significance

Historically ZHANGYUAN was an elite rendezvous, a social hub and then a public park which was opened to the public in 1885. It was the largest civic park in Shanghai during the late Qing Dynasty. At that time, ZHANGYUAN was regarded as the place to discuss and debate new ideas. Many “firsts in Shanghai" originated in ZHANGYUAN: it was the first private garden that opened to the public for free, where China's first electric lamp was lit, where the first bicycle was presented, where the first bicycle race took place, where the first outdoor photo booth was located and where the first film was projected.

ZHANGYUAN was also a public lecture stage bringing together many influential figures. Arcadia Hall, the tallest building in Shanghai at that time, could accommodate 1,000 people and was once a significant meeting place for revolutionary figures. Sun Yat-sen, Huang Xing, Song Jiaoren and Zhang Taiyan all gave speeches here.

ZHANGYUAN was the cultural and artistic centre of Shanghai, breaking the boundaries between Chinese and Western cultures and having a profound impact on people’s way of life. The Flora Festival, the World Treasure Fair, rollercoasters, circuses and hot air balloons were all staged at Zhangyuan. Peking opera maestro Mei Lanfang made his Shanghai debut at ZHANGYUAN, while kung fu master Huo Yuanjia competed here. 


The centennial Zhang Yuan features a unique historical architectural style, with 28 different types of Shikumen lane houses from the opening of treaty ports in Shanghai, and nine alley facades along Maoming North Road. However, the complex construction of the building walls and diverse materials make it difficult to achieve a unified visual effect when projecting onto a large area. Additionally, to fully demonstrate the real-life memories in Shanghai's century-old alleys, there are highly demanding requirements for color expressiveness of the projectors. The complex building shapes also require high-level warping and blending performances of the projectors.


To meet the challenges, our design team selected a total of thirty-four Barco ultra-high brightness laser projectors from the UDX and UDM series for five different scenes in Zhang Yuan. These projectors are dual-color laser-phosphor projectors with brightness up to 40,000 lumens, making them the best choice for outdoor projection. The UDX series also supports constant light output (CLO) technology, ensuring stability and consistency of long-term projection effects. The ultimate color expressiveness of the UDX and ultra-wide color gamut of the UDM projectors allow for the presentation of real images with consistent visual effects on different carriers.


The installation team installed 34 ultra-high brightness laser projectors in optimal positions, coordinating closely to meet the challenges of numerous projection carriers of different sizes. The powerful color reproduction and wide coverage achieved a perfect blend of scenes, perfectly interpreting the customs and sentiments of Shanghai. With a long warranty and good stability, the Barco projectors ensure long-term and reliable image output, allowing for an optimal and worry-free display of Zhang Yuan's projection mapping show.

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