Shanghai blue highway

Shanghai highway underlit with blue light
Shanghai highway underlit with blue light

Shanghai blue highway tangle

A stretch of highway in central Shanghai is transformed at night with the addition of dark blue lights that underlight the concrete structure to a dramatic effect. The purple in the photos is an effect of the mix of light sources. The noise of motors and constant honking from all sides was deafening, and the air was barely breathable, otherwise we would have stayed much longer. The effect was quite magical, these photos are essentially unretouched.

Shanghai highway underlit with blue light

Buildings in the distance disappearing into the smog and mist from the approaching rainstorm. It poured all night that night and several hours the next day.

Shanghai highway underlit with blue light

Blue highway and buildings trimmed with lights.

View from inside the cab, looking forward. The blur on the left is from the plexiglass and steel enclosure around the driver. Uncomfortable for passing money, but safer for the driver when 8 people cram into the small car...

View from inside the cab, looking forward. The blur on the left is from the plexiglass and steel enclosure around the driver. Uncomfortable for passing money, but safer for the driver when 8 people cram into the small car…

 

Shanghai highway underlit with blue light

Stopped an an intersection. A passenger in the taxi next to mine is checking me out as I hang out the window to get this angle.

 

Shanghai highway underlit with blue light

Stopped at an intersection. Pedestrian walkways are sandwiched between the ground roadway and the first level of raised highway.

 

Shanghai highway underlit with blue light

Network of pedestrian walkways between car levels.

 

Shanghai highway underlit with blue light

Cars stretched to lights on an onramp.

 

Shanghai highway underlit with blue light

Shanghai blue highway with the distinct “crown” building visible from many central Shanghai locations.

 

Shanghai highway underlit with blue light

The structures themselves are pretty barebones and not much to look at during the day. The wonder a bit of coloured lights creates.

 

Shanghai highway underlit with blue light

Traffic control tower between lanes of traffic, under lanes of traffic. This is actually not a true highway by Shanghai standards, it is quite narrow. Many “regular” roads boast several lanes each way.

 

Shanghai highway underlit with blue light

Shanghai blue highway highway announcements in kanji.

 

Shanghai highway underlit with blue light

Marc on one of the elevated pedestrian walkways, capturing the effect also on the iPad, we just couldn’t get enought.

 

Shanghai highway underlit with blue light

The mundane made magical with colour.

 

Shanghai highway underlit with blue light

That “white” strip of light on the right edge of the overpass is responsible for all the blue light. I believe it must be LED lights, so much effect with so little.

Dedicated to Paul Blackmore and his University of Waterloo, School of Architecture thesis work from 1996, an ode to highway overpasses, modern architecture, and slick cars. Dream on, brother, it’s the only way we’ll ever have flying cars and the vacations on the moon.
Photos taken 5 October 2013.

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2 thoughts on “Shanghai blue highway

  1. Hi,

    I have a question about the blue lighting on the highways, can you tell me if these are on every night? I have been told that they are only lit up like this on weekends.
    The reason for my asking is that we are looking to do some filming in shanghai in March and would love to know if this can be captured any night of the week.

    Thanks!

  2. Hi Natalie,
    How did you make out? Sorry to not have noticed this comment earlier.
    You can probably check with the local tourism board about these lights. We were there for about a week and they were on every night, but it was Golden Week, the national civic holiday, and there were tonnes of additional people in the city.
    Magda

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