1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of Chinese Architecture Social Production of Buildings and Spaces in History

Edited By Jianfei Zhu, Chen Wei, Li Hua Copyright 2023
    778 Pages 167 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This handbook, representing the collaboration of 40 scholars, provides a multi-faceted exploration of roughly 6,000 years of Chinese architecture, from ancient times to the present.

    This volume combines a broad-spectrum approach with a thematic framework for investigating Chinese architecture, integrating previously fragmented topics and combining the scholarship of all major periods of Chinese history. By organizing its approach into five parts, this handbook:

    • Traces the practices and traditions of ancient China from imperial authority to folk culture
    • Unveils a rich picture of early modern and republican China, revealing that modernization was already beginning to emerge
    • Describes the social, intellectual, ideological, and formal enterprises of socialist architecture
    • Frames a window on a complex and changing contemporary China by focusing on autonomy, state practices, and geopolitics of design, ultimately identifying its still evolving position on the world stage
    • Examines the existing cultural and political theories to highlight potential avenues for future transformations in Chinese architecture that also retain Chinese identity

    Providing a pioneering combination of ancient and modern Chinese architecture in one coherent study, this book is a must-read for scholars, students, and educators of Chinese architecture, architectural history and theory, and the architecture of Asia.


    1 Reassembling for a Chinese Architecture: Notes for a New Departure
    Jianfei Zhu , Chen Wei, and Li Hua


    State Governance Over Building and City Planning

    2 The Chinese City in the Service of the State
    Nancy S. Steinhardt

    3 Typical Design Features of Ming Palaces and Altars in Beijing
    Fu Xinian

    4 Imperial Cities: Critical Changes in Urban Paradigm from Sui-Tang to Song
    Heng Chye Kiang

    5 Yingzao Fashi: The Book and Methodical Issues for Studying It
    Pan Guxi

    Literati Culture and Social Production

    6 Literati Gardens of the Jiangnan Region: Characters and Mutations
    Gu Kai

    7 Cang Lang Pavilion of Suzhou: Sentiment, Scenery, Aura, and Meaning
    Chen Wei

    8 Landscape Urbanism: Urban–Rural Relations in Hangzhou of Southern Song China
    Jia Xu

    9 Confucian Authority: Analysis of School-Temples at Imperial Academy of Beijing
    Shen Yang

    Folk Culture and Vernacular Practice

    10 Fengshui Practice and Urban Development in Ancient China: An Outline
    Dong Wei

    11 Yang Yunsong and the Jiangxi School of Fengshui Practice in Southern China
    Cheng Jianjun

    12 Carpentry In Vernacular Building Practice: The Master’s Way
    Chang Yu-yu

    13 Vernacular Architecture: Themes and Variations Over a Large Country
    Ho Puay Peng


    The Arrival of “Architecture”: Profession, Knowledge, and Education

    14 Emergence of “Architecture”: In the Reform Years of Late Qing Dynasty
    Xu Subin

    15 The Architect as a Profession in Republican China: Rising Under the State
    Wang Xiaoqian

    Modern Building Practice: Style and Technology

    16 Building Technology in Republican China and Its Historical Legacies
    Li Haiqing

    17 Chinese Classical Revival: Nanjing, Capital of Republican China (1910s–40s)
    Zhou Qi and Ji Qiu

    Modern City Construction and Spatial Formation

    18 From Hankou Town to Greater Wuhan: Urban Spatial Organizations in Early Modern China
    Li Baihao

    19 Modern Edutainment Space: Public Parks in Early Twentieth-Century China
    Zhang Tianjie


    Spatial Construction and City Planning Under Socialist Ideology

    20 Socialist Urban Planning in Mao’s China (1949–1976)
    Li Baihao

    21 Danwei and Socialist Urbanism
    Duanfang Lu

    Practice, Education, and Knowledge Production

    22 The Design Institute in Mao’s China (1950s–70s)
    Ke Song

    23 Architectural Education in China (1950s–1980s): Constructing and Deconstructing
    Qian Feng

    24 Theories of Spatial Composition: Design Knowledge in China up to the 1980s
    Li Hua

    25 Liang and Liu: Strategies for Writing an Architectural History in the 1950s
    Zhuge Jing

    Architecture in Socialist China: Nationalism and Modernism

    26 National Style: Thinking and Building for a New Republic in Beijing (1949–1959)
    Jianfei Zhu

    27 Towards a Regional Modernism in Chinese Architecture (1930s–70s)
    Eduard Kögel

    28 For a Modernism: Huang and Feng at Shanghai’s Tongji Architectural Programme
    Lu Yongyi

    29 Building Canton Fair: Towards a Regional Modernism in Southern China (1950s–1980s)
    Jiang Feng


    Architects and the Issue of Autonomy

    30 Critical Pragmatism: Architects as Refl exive Individuals in Contemporary China
    Li Xiangning

    31 Architects as Authoring Individuals: Y. H. Chang, Liu Jiakun, and Wang Shu
    Hing-Wah Chau

    State Design Institutes in the Reform Era

    32 From Mao to Market: Evolution of the State Design Institutes in China
    Charlie Q. L. Xue and Guanghui Ding

    33 The Chinese Design Institute: A Critique of “Critical Thinking”
    Jianfei Zhu

    CBDs: Global Spectacles

    34 Objects in Territories Along Avenues: Spatial Planning in Beijing and Shanghai
    Peter G. Rowe and Har Ye Kan

    35 Iconic Architecture in China (2000s): Historical Reading or Marxist Critique
    Ming Wu

    36 Urban–Rural Development in China and a Way Forward With “New Urbanization”
    Wang Jianguo

    Geopolitical Differentiations

    37 “Chinese Cultural Renaissance” and a Chinese Neoclassicism: Taiwan (1960s–80s)
    Chao-ching Fu

    38 Architects as Reflexive Individuals: Taiwan and Hong Kong Since the 1950s
    Ke Song


    Culture and Epistemology

    39 Ten Lamps of Architecture in Chinese Culture
    Wang Guixiang

    40 Deriving Architectural Theory From Chinese Philosophy: ThinkingWith Xunzi
    David Wang

    41 Figuration: Writing, Memory, and Cities in Chinese Culture
    Shiqiao Li

    42 Signs of Empire: Scale and Statehood in Chinese Culture
    Jianfei Zhu

    Political Ethics

    43 The State Function of Architecture
    Shiqiao Li

    44 Political Space and Moral Statehood
    Jianfei Zhu


    45 Studies on Architecture of Ancient China: As in Part I
    Chen Wei , Li Hua, and Jianfei Zhu

    46 Perspectives on Architecture of (Modern) China: As in Parts II–V and Part I
    Jianfei Zhu , Li Hua, and Chen Wei


    Jianfei Zhu is Professor of East Asian Architecture at Newcastle University UK, author of Chinese Spatial Strategies (2004) and Architecture of Modern China (2009) with Routledge, as well as Forms and Politics (2018) and works on space, power, visuality, and geopolitics with a Chinese focus.

    Chen Wei is Professor, Director, History and Theory Research Institute, Southeast University China, eminent historian and architect on literati gardens and author of Private Gardens (1999), Collected Works of Chen Wei (2015), Ornament of Jiangnan (2016), Walking Along the Grand Canal (2 vols, 2013) in Chinese.

    Li Hua, PhD (AA), Professor, Deputy Director, History and Theory Research Institute, Southeast University, is author of ‘“Composition” and Regularisation of Architectural Production in Contemporary China’ (2010) and other papers in China’s top journal Jianzhu Xuebao, and editor-in-chief of bilingual AS series on architectural theory.