The Shanghai Concert Hall Lifting and Moving Project


Irene Kremer, Enerpac B.V.
Special Collaboration


The decision to relocate the 74-years old building was made mainly because of noises from neighboring areas. With the city's busiest expressway nearby, the aged building has been plagued by noises and exhaust gas. With its south and west walls close to a populated residential complex, daily chaos often burst into the music hall. Although building a new Concert Hall would have been less expensive, the Shanghai City choose to move the entire building to retain the distinctive architecture and acoustics.

Built during Shanghai's early 1900's construction boom, the former Nanking Theatre was Shanghai's first venue for foreign films and was one of the few buildings of its era designed by a Chinese architect. Known for its excellent acoustics, the theatre has been used as a venue for symphony orchestras since 1959. After its relocation and renovation, the old concert hall will again welcome orchestras.

Mammoth Project
The Shanghai Concert Hall relocating project involved three main stages:

1st: Lifting the entire concert hall 1.7 m from its original foundations.

2nd: Moving the entire building 66.4 m southeastwards to its present location.

3rd: Lifting the building another 1.68 m and lowering and positioning it down on a new base.

Before the relocating project, engineers had spent seven months strengthening the construction and collecting data on the inside force system. During the entire lifting and moving process, a variety of data-collection tools and instruments collected every millimeter of change.

The primary lifting phase
Due to the mixed foundation design and the lack of an integrated frame, the 5,800 tons building was extremely difficult to lift and move. For that reason the music hall was put onto a 1,800-ton armored concrete tray to help the building move along the tracks. In addition, both the exterior and interior of the building were strapped with steel structures. Now the physical prerequisites were there to apply Enerpac's high-accuracy integrated hydraulic system technology.

The Enerpac Integrated System Technology has been widely recognized as the highest-level sophisticated technology in the high-pressure hydraulic industry. The entire system for the concert hall relocation project included 59 cylinders with a capacity of 200 tons per cylinder and 4 large hydraulic pump stations with the ability to both weigh and lift. The central PLC-control system controlled and monitored all movements.

The entire Shanghai Concert Hall was lifted in only 6 days to the prescribed height of 1.7 m.

The moving phase
The journey southeastwards, down ten tailor-made concrete tracks, went smooth and took only 12 days. As the tracks could only withstand the weight of the concert hall for about ten days, ten large hydraulic cylinders were installed underneath the building to take the strain.

The first day, the building moved less than 40 cm and during the first five days, the total distance moved was only 3.5 m. The following days however the building reached a speed of 2 m/h and the longest distance covered in a single day was 16.5 m.

The integrated hydraulic system with high-tech PLC system was used to control all processes and movements, ensuring both safety and accuracy.

Final destination
At the new site, the building was raised another 1.68 m, so that a new foundation could be molded to dovetail with the building.

Now that the relocating project has been completed, technical staff is making improvements to the concert hall, to make this old hall a venue for the 21st Century. The stage will be enlarged and a new basement will be built.


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