In Shanghai’s Hongkou district is a building of such interesting mystique and history that it stands out prominently among the thousands of others in the city. The 1933 Slaughterhouse combines function with intriguing design elements that some describe as eerie and “Escheresque“. The building was designed and used to slaughter and process perhaps millions of animals up to about 1960 when it closed. After some years of abandon and disrepair, the building was resurected in 1998 to become an events venue with shops and galleries.
The maze of staircases, ramps, bridges were all planned in a way to efficiently manage the flow of animals and people as they moved through the meat processing steps. Today, the facility is a popular backdrop for photo shoots and corporate events. The building is an excellent place to visit for the cafes, shops, dining & galleries when you are not wandering around exploring.
Quite a lot of attention was put into the details such as rough surfaces on the ramps so cattle don’t slip in all the blood and mess. Along the corridors ther are many sharp turns and cut-outs for people to stand in should the animals get too close. The exterior walls are thick and hollow which offers some insulating benefit for maintaining air temperature. Intricate pathways directed the cattle to the central killing floor and natural light all done in a cool art-deco style makes for a really unique experience.
Overall the 1933 Slaughterhouse is great fun for those interested in the obscure or photographers looking for stunning shots. We had a blast wandering through the narrow corridors taking photos then afterward hanging out in a cafe. Not a bad way to spend a few hours.
Getting to 1933 Slaughterhouse
Simplest is to take a taxi however if you want to combine the journey with some local adventure then go by metro and walk through the old neighborhood.
The closest metro station is Hailun Road 海伦路 on both line numbers 4 and 10. Go out exit #2 and walk a few blocks.
10 Shajing Rd, Hongkou Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200000
See Google Map here