The article “Restored church to open for 1st time in decades,” by Michelle Qiao for Shanghai Daily, covers the reopening of Holy Trinity Cathedral in Shanghai. It features a unique account of the reopening from architect Zhang Ming.

Holy Trinity Cathedral

Holy Trinity Cathedral, also called Holy Trinity Church, is a neo-Gothic structure designed by Sir Gilbert Scott. It was the first cathedral of its type on China. The foundations for the building were laid in 1866 and the cathedral was dedicated in 1869. It served as a church for well over a hundred years and lasted through the ages.

Extensive renovation work

In 2006, it was announced that the cathedral would close for extensive renovations. The renovations were only supposed to take a few years, but they weren’t completed until 2017.

The church was due to reopen for the first time for years in 2014. Architect Zhang Ming led the renovation work. He found the church had lacked proper maintenance since the Pacific War broke out in 1941, so it was in a poor state.

Michelle Qiao offers unique insight into the workings of Zhang Ming, and the history behind the British colonies that occupied the church centuries before.

One of the biggest challenges Ming faced during restoration work was the clock tower. The tall and steep clock tower required a complete re-build. Thankfully, Ming was able to draw on experience – he had already repaired the Gothic clock tower of the Xujiahui Cathedral, so repairing Holy Trinity Cathedral’s went to plan.

You can find out more about the restoration and reopening of Holy Trinity Cathedral in Shanghai on Shanghai Daily.