1st Edition

Hans Scharoun and China The East Asian Depth of Neues Bauen

By Liyang Ding Copyright 2025
    246 Pages 57 Color & 50 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book presents the first systematic overview and analysis of the deep connection between Scharoun and China, offering insights into East-West cultural exchange and enriching existing understandings of modernism.

    The German architect Hans Scharoun has typically been pigeonholed as a leading figure in “expressionist” architecture. As this book shows, however, this understanding oversimplifies the multifaceted nature of Scharoun’s career and overlooks his central role within the tradition of Neues Bauen. The book begins with Scharoun’s early interactions with East Asian architects in the 1930s, his active involvement in the Chinese Werkbund (1941–42), and his extensive research on Chinese architecture and urban culture in the mid-1940s and 1950s. The book then examines Scharoun’s postwar architectural designs and urban planning projects, most notably the Kollektivplan, the Volksschule Darmstadt, and the Berliner Philharmonie, which incorporated original spatial and urbanistic concepts such as “Stadtlandschaft,” “Raum der Mitte,” and “aperspectival” space, inspired to varying degrees by Chinese architectural and urban planning traditions.

    The title will appeal to scholars and students of modern architecture, urban planning, and architectural theory, especially those interested in modernism and East-West cultural exchange.

    1. Introduction  2. Neues Bauen  3. Early Encounter  4. The Chinese Werkbund  5. Hans Scharoun’s Postwar Urban Planning  6. Hans Scharoun’s Volksschule Darmstadt  7. Hans Scharoun’s Theaters and Concert Halls  8. Epilogue


    Liyang Ding is an architect, teacher, and architectural historian. He is an Assistant Professor of Architecture at the School of Architecture of Marywood University. His research revolves around the intersection of architectural representation, a revisionist interpretation of modernism, and the cross-cultural exchange of architecture and urban culture during the 19th and 20th century in Germany, China, and the United States.