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Architectural Encounters with Essence and Form in Modern China : The MIT Press - Peter G. Rowe

Architectural Encounters with Essence and Form in Modern China

The MIT Press

Paperback Published: 2nd April 2004
ISBN: 9780262681513
Number Of Pages: 304
For Ages: 18+ years old

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Built around snatches of discussion overheard in a Beijing design studio, this book explores attitudes toward architecture in China since the opening of the Treaty Ports in the 1840s. Central to the discussion are the concepts of ti and yong, or "essence" and "form," Chinese characters that are used to define the proper arrangement of what should be considered modern and essentially Chinese. Ti and yong have gone through various transformations -- for example, from "Chinese learning for essential principles and Western learning for practical application" to "socialist essence and cultural form" and an almost complete reversal to "modern essence and Chinese form."The book opens with a discussion of cultural developments in China in response to the forced opening to the West in the mid-nineteenth century, efforts to reform the Qing dynasty, and the Nationalist and Communist regimes. It then considers the return of overseas-educated Chinese architects and foreign influences on Chinese architecture, four architectural orientations toward tradition and modernity in the 1920s and 1930s, and the controversy over the use of "big roofs" and other sinicizing aspects of Chinese architecture in the 1950s. The book then moves to the hard economic conditions of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, when architecture was almost abandoned, and the beginning of reform and opening up to the outside world in the late 1970s and 1980s. Finally, it looks at the present socialist market economy and Chinese architecture during the still incomplete process of modernization. It closes with a prognosis for the future.

"Peter Rowe and Seng Kuan present a magnificent panorama of one and a half centuries of Chinese architecture." - Delin Lai, Ph.D., former faculty member, School of Architecture, Tsinghua University, and current graduate student in art history, University of Chicago"

List of Illustrationsp. viii
Acknowledgmentsp. xii
Traditionalism versus Modernism in Chinap. 2
Foreign Influences and the First Generation of Chinese Architectsp. 24
Four Architectural Attitudes toward Modernizationp. 55
The "Big Roof" Controversyp. 87
Struggles with Modernismp. 107
The "Culture Fever"p. 137
A Commodification and Internationalization of Architecturep. 161
Modernization in Chinap. 200
Profiles of Selected Chinese Architects and Schoolsp. 214
Glossary of Termsp. 232
Notesp. 249
Illustration Creditsp. 267
Indexp. 268
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780262681513
ISBN-10: 026268151X
Series: The MIT Press
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 2nd April 2004
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.23 x 20.32  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.73

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