Chinese Architecture  and the Beaux-Arts
408pp. January 2011
Chinese Architecture and the Beaux-Arts
Editor: Cody, Jeffrey W.; Steinhardt, Nancy S.; Atkin, Tony;
Recipient of the 2013 ICAS Reading Committee Edited Volume Accolade in the Humanities

In the early twentieth century, Chinese traditional architecture and the French-derived methods of the École des Beaux-Arts converged in the United States when Chinese students were given scholarships to train as architects at American universities whose design curricula were dominated by Beaux-Arts methods. Upon their return home in the 1920s and 1930s, these graduates began to practice architecture and create China’s first architectural schools, often transferring a version of what they had learned in the U.S. to Chinese situations. The resulting complex series of design-related transplantations had major implications for China between 1911 and 1949, as it simultaneously underwent cataclysmic social, economic, and political changes. After 1949 and the founding of the People’s Republic, China experienced a radically different wave of influence from the Beaux-Arts through advisors from the Soviet Union who, first under Stalin and later Khrushchev, brought Beaux-Arts ideals in the guise of socialist progress. In the early twenty-first century, China is still feeling the effects of these events.

Chinese Architecture and the Beaux-Arts examines the coalescing of the two major architectural systems, placing significant shifts in architectural theory and practice in China within relevant, contemporary, cultural, and educational contexts. Fifteen major scholars from around the world analyze and synthesize these crucial events to shed light on the dramatic architectural and urban changes occurring in China today—many of which have global ramifications.

This stimulating and generously illustrated work is divided into three sections, framed by an introduction and a postscript. The first focuses on the convergence of Chinese architecture and the École des Beaux-Arts, outlining the salient aspects of each and suggesting how and why the two "met" in the U.S. The second section centers on the question of how Chinese architects were influenced by the Beaux-Arts and how Chinese architecture was changed as a result. The third takes an even closer look at the Beaux-Arts influence, addressing how innovative practices, new schools of architecture, and buildings whose designs were linked to Beaux-Arts assumptions led to distinctive new paradigms that were rooted in a changing China. By virtue of its scope, scale, and scholarship, this volume promises to become a classic in the fields of Chinese and Western architectural history.

Contributors: Tony Atkin, Peter J. Carroll, Yung Ho Chang,Jeffrey W. Cody, Kerry Sizheng Fan, Fu Chao-Ching, Gu Daqing, Seng Kuan,Delin Lai, Xing Ruan, Joseph Rykwert, Nancy S. Steinhardt, David VanZanten, Rudolf Wagner, Zhang Jie, Zhao Chen.

208 illus., 60 in color

For sale in East Asia, Australia, and New Zealand by Hong Kong University Press
Spatial Habitus: Making and Meaning in Asia's Architecture
Published in association with Hong Kong University Press
“This beautifully illustrated volume succeeds in demonstrating the sweeping influence of the Beaux-Arts school. There is much work yet to do on this topic, but Chinese Architecture and the Beaux-Arts should change the way we look at Chinese cities, and it will stand as a benchmark in the burgeoning field of Chinese urban studies.” —Pacific Affairs (85:2, June 2012)

“Rich, complex, and panoramic. ” —China Review International (17:3, 2010)

“The catch phrase ‘clash of civilizations’ has today become a part of political discourse, but as this publication by the universities of Hawai‘i and Hong Kong shows, with many an attractive illustration and persuasive arguments, appreciation, not conflict, between dissimilar cultures is not only possible but sometimes fruitful. Here a consideration of the divergent architectural systems of China and that of the French-derived Beaux-Arts architecture—and how the latter influenced and changed the other—provide readers with a fascinating account of why and how this cultural exchange occurred.” —Chinese Cross Currents (9:2, April 2012)

“[The] fascinating and under-appreciated cross-pollination of Eastern and Western architecture is thoroughly examined in [this] absorbing new book. . . . Although filled with handsome photos contemporary and historic, Chinese Architecture and the Beaux-Arts is no coffee-table book — this volume is a thoughtful and far-ranging account of international trends in architecture, which have been too little known in the U.S. It fills an important need and is certain to find its place in every serious library of architectural history.” —Traditional Building (2011)

Editor: Cody, Jeffrey W.; Steinhardt, Nancy S.; Atkin, Tony;
Jeffrey W. Cody is senior project specialist in the Education Department at the Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles. Nancy S. Steinhardt is professor of East Asian art and curator of Chinese art at the University of Pennsylvania. Tony Atkin, FAIA, is adjunct associate professor of architecture at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design and a principal of Atkin Olshin Schade Architects in Philadelphia and Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Read the introduction (PDF).

A Note on Chinese Names and Other Clarifications

Jeffrey W. Cody

PART I. Divergence to Convergence
1. Chinese Architecture on the Eve of the Beaux-Arts
Nancy S. Steinhardt
2. Just What Was Beaux-Arts Architectural Composition?
David Van Zanten

PART II. Convergence to Influence
Convergence to Influence: Introductory Perspectives
Jeffrey W. Cody
3. Chinese Architecture Students at the University of Pennsylvania in the 1920s: Tradition, Exchange, and the Search for Modernity
Tony Atkin
4. An Outline of Beaux-Arts Education in China: Transplantation, Localization, and Entrenchment
GU Daqing
5. A Classicist Architecture for Utopia: The Soviet Contacts
K. Sizheng FAN
6. Beaux-Arts Practice and Education by Chinese Architects in Taiwan
FU Chao-Ching

PART III. Influence to Paradigm
Influence to Paradigm: Introductory Perspectives
Jeffrey W. Cody
Yang Tingbao, Dong Dayou, and Liang Sicheng
7. Yang Tingbao, China’s Modern Architect in the Twentieth Century
8. Between Beaux-Arts and Modernism: Dong Dayou and the Architecture of 1930s Shanghai
9. Elevation or Façade: A Re-evaluation of Liang Sicheng’s Interpretation of Chinese Timber Architecture in the Light of Beaux-Arts Classicism
Lü Yanzhi, Zhang Kaiji, and Zhang Bo
10. From Studio to Practice: Chinese and Non-Chinese Architects Working Together
Jeffrey W. Cody
11. Ritual, Architecture, Politics, and Publicity during the Republic: Enshrining Sun Yat-sen
Rudolf G. Wagner
12. The Sun Yat-sen Memorial Auditorium: A Preaching Space for Modern China
Delin LAI
13. Zhang vs. Zhang: Symmetry and Split: A Development in Chinese Architecture of the 1950s and 1960s
Chinese Cities
14. The Beaux-Arts in Another Register Governmental Administrative and Civic Centers in City Plans of the Republican Era
Peter J. Carroll
15. Chinese Urbanism beyond the Beaux-Arts

Afterword: The Four and the Five
Joseph Rykwert