Routledge Handbook of Chinese Architecture : Social Production of Buildings and Spaces in History book cover
1st Edition

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

ISBN 9780415729222
Published November 30, 2022 by Routledge
778 Pages 167 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents


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

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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.