Emmanuel Gran


"I may be not the best architect in the world, but I am the fastest."

Emmanuel Moiseevich Gran (1894–1969)

Эммануил Моисеевич ГРАН (1894–1969). Русский текст – внизу страницы

Born on April 5, 1894, in Samara, Russia; died on June 21, 1969, in New York, USA. First wife Lydia Arnoldovna Gran (b. 1899), second wife – Delight Gran.

Gran studied architecture in Saint Petersburg, and also was a marine officer who fought against the Bolsheviks as part of the Siberian Fleet in 1917. After landing in Shanghai in 1921, he worked as an architect at Palmer & Turner for ten years. During that decade, the company completed its largest projects, including the Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation (1923), Yokohama Specie Bank (1924), Custom House (1926), the remodeling of the Palace Hotel (1927), Beth Aharon Synagogue (1927), Cathay Hotel (1929), Embankment Building (1931), Metropole Hotel (1931) and Hamilton House (1932).

In his interviews in the 1960s, Gran claimed to have designed Cathay Hotel. His name, always placed near the top of the list of Palmer & Turner staff, was the only one without the credentials of the Royal Institute of British Architects. By 1932, local newspapers described Gran as the "author of many notable buildings" and "an architect with an already established reputation."

In January 1932, E. M. Gran – " exponent of the newer tendencies of modern architectural practice" – became partner in the firm of Davies & Brooke. A year later, one of the partners – C. Gilbert Davies – died, so Emmanuel Gran and John Tallents Wynyard Brooke continued as a duo, retaining the firm's name Davies, Brooke & Gran (建兴). During the 1930s, the firm accomplished a number of large-scale projects in Shanghai, most of which survive to this day: the Lafayette Court (1933), Medhurst Apartments (1934), Yue Tuck Apartments (1934), Victor Court (1934), Commercial Bank of China, aka Development Building (1935), Ashkenazi Synagogue (1937), Magnet House (1938), Hanray Apartments (1939) and two versions of the Pushkin's Monument (1937 and 1947).

In 1931, together with N. N. Emanoff, E. M. Gran founded the Russian Engineering Society and was its chairman for years. He was also a lecturer in architecture and vice-president of the Higher Technical Centre of the French Concession in 1936–1941, and chairman of the ORT Society, which promoted handicrafts among Jews, in 1941.

Davies, Brooke & Gran had a branch office in Hong Kong (as of 1940), where Gran designed the China Light and Power (CLP) building on Argyle Street; it is still standing and belongs to the same company.

In 1949, Gran left China and relocated to New York. He worked as architect and director of interiors for the Hilton Hotels until his death in 1969, having authored more than 45 buildings around the world. In various interviews, he stated that he had designed his first hotel in 1926; he also claimed to have designed the Cathay Hotel! He admitted to occasionally thinking about retiring. "But then last year I met an active architect who was 90 years old, and I changed my mind," he stated a few months before his death. (TWA, March 1969)

Gran's vast collection of Chinese art, jades and scholar's objects, amassed during his time in China and exhibited at his home and workplaces, made a splash at major auctions in 2014.

Chinese apartments, Northern district

1932 (unrealized?)

Lafayette Court, Rue Lafayette


Residence for Z. Y. Woo, Jessfield Road


Interior of Maison Arcus, Ward Building


Apartments for S. C. Chang, Avenue Joffre

1932 (unrealized?)

Apartments, Route Edan

1932 (unrealized?)

Medhurst Apartments, bubbling well road


yue tuck Apartments, tifeng road


Victor Court, rue victor emmanuel


Shops and residences, tsingtao road


AVan Villa, tifeng road



shops and residence, Chinhai Road


pushkin's monument, route pichon


Japanese apartments, Quinsan Road


magnet house, szechuen road


ashkenazi synagogue, r. tenant de la tour


hanray Mansions, avenue joffre


pushkin's monument, restored version


Hong Kong

Ultra-modern building, Kowloon

1932 (unrealized?)

Bay View Mansions, Hong Kong


Apartments in North Point, Hong Kong


China Light and Power (CLP) building, on Argyle Street, Hong Kong, under construction in June 1940. Gwulo


edgewater mansions hotel, tsingtao


List of works by Davies, Brooke & Gran

  • Residence for Z. Y. Woo, 97 Jessfield Road (1933), now 618 Wanhangdu Road 万航渡路618号

  • Lafayette Court, 1248 Rue Lafayette (1933), now 复兴新村, 1248 Middle Fuxing Road 复兴中路1248弄.

  • Bay View Mansions, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong (1933) – demolished in 1959.

  • Apartments in North Point, Hong Kong (1933) – location and state to be confirmed.

  • Medhurst Apartments, 934 Bubbling Well Road (1934), now Taixing Apartments 泰兴公寓, 934 West Nanjing Road 南京西路934号

  • Victor Court, 76 Route Victor Emanuel (1934), now 56 Shaoxing Road 绍兴路56号

  • Edgewater Mansions hotel, Tsingtao (1934), now 东海饭店, 7 Huiquan Road 汇泉路7号, Qingdao 青岛

  • Shops and residences, Myburgh / Park / Tsingtao Road (1934), now 承兴里, Lanes 253–281 Huanghe Road 黄河路253、281弄

  • Yue Tuck Apartments, 7 Tifeng Road (1934), now Yide Apartments 懿德公寓, 69 North Wulumuqi Road 乌鲁木齐北路69号

  • Avan Villa, 74 Tifeng Road (1934), now 468 North Wulumuqi Road 乌鲁木齐北路468弄

  • Shops and residences, 44 Chinhai Road (1935) – demolished

  • Commercial Bank of China, 181 Kiangse Road (1935), later known as Development Building, now 181 Jiangxi Road 江西中路181号

  • Two blocks of Japanese apartments, 136 Quinsan Road (1937), now Lane 136 Kunshan Road 昆山路136弄

  • Monument of the poet A. S. Pushkin, Route Pichon (1937), now Yueyang Road/Taojiang Road 岳阳路桃江路

  • Ashkenazi Synagogue, 102 Route Tenant de la Tour (1940), now 102 South Xiangyang Road 襄阳南路102号

  • Magnet House, 41 Szechuen Road (1938), now 49 Middle Sichuan Road 四川中路49号

  • Residence of Zong Chuen Dong, "modern Chinese architecture, with facade in tile and glass" (1936) – location being confirmed

  • Hanray Mansions 亨利公寓, Avenue Joffre (1939), now 淮中大楼, 1154–1170 Middle Huaihai Road 淮海中路1154–1170号

  • Restoration of the Pushkin Monument (1947), Yueyang Road/Taojiang Road 岳阳路桃江路

Эммануил Моисеевич Гран (1894–1969) – развернуть ⬇

Родился 5 апреля 1894 года в Самаре; умер 21 июня в Нью-Йорке, США.

Эммануил Моисеевич Гран в 1917 году окончил Школу прапорщиков флота в 1917 году и с июня 1918 года служил в белых войсках Сибирской флотилии, сражаясь на Восточном фронте. Оказавшись в Шанхае, в 1921 году Гран вступил в состав архитекторов крупной фирмы "Palmer & Turner", одновременно публикуя иллюстрации в журналах. Отсутствие аккредитации Королевского института британских архитекторов (R.I.B.A.) не помешало Грану стать одним из ведущих архитекторов компании. За время его работы в компании, она выполнила свои крупнейшие проекты: Гонконгско-Китайский банк (1923), Банк Иокогамы (1924), Таможенный союз (1924), синагога Бет Ахарон (1927), отель "Катэй" (1928), отель "Метрополь" (1931) и "Хамильтон-хауз" (1932). В 1932 году Гран был упомянут в шанхайской прессе как "автор множества известных зданий".

В январе 1932 года, Э. М. Гран стал партнером в архитектурной фирме "Davies & Brooke", которая поменяла название на "Davies, Brooke & Gran". Через год основатель фирмы Чарльз Гилберт Дэвис умер, и Гран продолжил дело вдвоем с Джоном Бруком. Компания создала множество крупных зданий в Шанхае и за его пределами, большинство из которых сохранились по сей день: многоквартирные дома "Медхерст" (1933), "Виктор Корт" и "Юэ Так" (1934), Коммерческий банк Китая (1935), новая синагога "Охейл Моше" (1937–1940), здание "Магнет-хауз" (1938), пристройка к многоквартирному дому "Гасконь" (1938), дом "Ханрэй" (1937–1939). В тандеме с архитектором Ливиным и художниками Подгурским и Кичигиным Гран создал памятник А. С. Пушкину (1937), а впоследствии участвовал в его восстановлении в 1947 году. Фирма "Davies, Brooke & Gran" имела отделение в Гонконге (в 1940 году).

Э. М. Гран был председателем Русского Технического общества в 1934–1935 годах, вице-президентом Высшего Технического Центра Французской концессии в 1936–1941 годах и председателем общества "ОРТ", продвигавшего занятость среди евреев в 1941 году. Шанхайское отделение архитектурной фирмы "Davies, Brooke & Gran" проработало до 1947 года, а в 1948 году Э. М. Гран перебрался в Калифорнию и впоследствии в Нью-Йорк. Там он плодотворно работал архитектором и директором по интерьерам в сети отелей "Хилтон", став вице-президентом компании незадолго до своей смерти в 1969 году. За годы жизни в Китае Э. М. Гран собрал обширную коллекцию предметов традиционного искусства и изделий из нефрита, которая пошла с молотка в 2014 году.

Portrait of E. M. Gran by Sapajou. North-China Daily News, 1934
Gran's first wife Lydia Arnoldovna, in 1930. China Press
E. M. Gran in the architecture department of Hilton, 1969. TWA Skyliner
E. M. Gran in his New York apartment, 1960s. Bonhams

Lafayette Court (1933)

Buck Clayton's band on the terrace of Jimmy Carson's residence, 3 Lafayette Court. Now 1248 Middle Fuxing Road 复兴中路1248弄. UMKC Collections.

Victor Court (1934)

Announcement of the opening of the Victor Court, on Rue Victor Emmanuel, now 56 Shaoxing Road 绍兴路56号. Shanghai Times, December 1934

Avan Villa (1935)

Avan Villa on Tifeng Road, built for the Tata family in 1935. Smaller houses on the property still survive at 468 Wulumuqi Road 乌鲁木齐北路468弄. Tata family, via Mishi Saran

Edgewater Mansions hotel, Qingdao (1934)

Model of Edgewater Mansions hotel, built by Davies, Brooke & Gran on the beachfront in Tsingtao (Qingdao) in 1934
Plan of the building. 青岛档案馆
Finished building c. 1935
1930s map showing Edgewater Mansions (lower right). willysthomas.net
Postcard with Edgewater Mansions 东海饭店, Tsingtao 青岛

Residence on CHinhai Road (1936)

Map from 1939. Virtual Shanghai.
Newspaper announcement of the development on the SW corner of Bubbling Well and Chinhai Roads. Shanghai Sunday Times, December 1935.
Modernist private residence designed by Emmanuel Gran, photographed c. 2000; now part of Yueyang Hospital. Tracing Back: The Excellent Architecture of Modern Times in Shanghai (2002).

Pushkin’s Monument (1937)

Unsigned drawing of the Pushkin's monument, published in the brochure Pushkin Centenary, 1837–1937