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Situated in the center of Shanghai close to Huaihai Road (M.) and the People's Square, Xintiandi is a successful combination of Shikumen (a style of Shanghai's traditional architecture) and modern Western-style architecture, a typical manifestation of "Hai Pai" (Shanghai Style) civilization.

The first phase of the construction scheme covers an area of 30,000 sq. m, focusing on the preservation and transformation of some blocks of the old lanes (kown as "nong tang") and the Shikumen to the south of Huaihai Road (M.).

In the mid-1990s, Hong Kong's Shui On Group announced a US$50 million plan to construct a hub of culture, art, entertainment, shopping, dining, and leisure by renovating the original Shikumen on the south of Huaihai Road (M.), with a view to building up a "London's Piccadilly Circus" or Paris' "Arc de Triomphe" in Shanghai.

Yet, the interior of each building is made completely modern and provided with all kinds of relaxing facilities, such as cafés, restaurants, galleries, boutiques, and bars. Now, both local people and visitors think of it as one of the most attractive places for nightlife.

Xintiandi is composed of two parts: the South Block and the North Block. The former mainly comprises of buildings of contemporary styles, with a few Shikumen houses, while the latter reserves the true features of Shikumen style on the whole, and thus has greater nostalgic value.