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Chinese Civilization and Architecture

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TUL 2015 GP

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Chinese Civilization and Architecture

  1. 1. MPU3123 Islamic and Asian Civilization (TITAS) Title: Chinese Civilisation and Architecture 1 Prepared by • Nafis Nirman (0323418) • * • * • * • * • * • * • *
  2. 2. Snippet (Youtube 2015) 2
  3. 3. Introduction (Pheng 2001; Pheng 2007)  This group of scholar are pitted against a bigger and more conservative clan which argued that based on archaeological evidence, it can only be safely claimed that Chinese history is 5000 years old.  This is because it is widely accepted that the civilisation of Egypt, Babylon and India are older than that of China and that Chinese history is the forth oldest in the world.  By virtue of its long history, valuable lessons from the point of view of technology, management and economics may be found within Chinese civilization. Some of these lessons may be historical in architecture. 3
  4. 4. Background: Chinese Ancient Civilization (Jing & Campbell 2009) Display 1.0 Previous studies focused on the antecedents of the Central Plains Bronze Age, home of the ruling dynasties of the traditional Chinese historical narrative and it is only with the caveat of an ancestral relation that we can speak of them in terms of 'Chinese‘ civilisation. 4
  5. 5. Background: The Chinese Dynasties (Loewe & Shaughnessy 1999) *BCE: Before Current Era *CE: Current Era 5
  6. 6. Background: Environment in Ancient China (Loewe & Shaughnessy 1999) 6
  7. 7. Background: Earliest Architect (Pheng 2001) Display 2.0 portrayed Gongshu Ban also known as 'Lu Ban' a Chinese architect who is responsible for inventions such as grappling hooks and cloud ladder during the slave society dating back from 2100 BC – 1027 BC. 7
  8. 8. Methods: Structural & Auxiliary Materials (Pheng 2007) Display 3.0 shows some example of materials used to build buildings and structures during the ancient Chinese civilisation (e.g. Loess; Knails; Bamboo; Bricks; Timber; Tiles; Mud). 8
  9. 9. Methods: Types of Tool (Peng 2001) •Stone Axe •Stone Wedge •Plank •Column Primitive (Hemudu Culture) • Pick Axe • Hook • Adze & Chisel • Knife • Stone Mould • Ropes Slavery (Xia; Shang, Zhou; Spring & Fall; Warring State) •Beam •Eave and Strut •Corbel Bracket •Plows and Scythes Feudal (Qin up to Qing) 9
  10. 10. Methods: Records of Building Practice (Pheng 2007) Display 4.0 exemplifies treaties derived building manuals derived from Gonghu Gongchen Zuofa Zeli or "Engineering Manual of the Board of Works" and Yingzao Fashi or "Treaties on Architectural Methods“. 10
  11. 11. Methods: Types of Building (Pheng 2001) • Dwelling on piles, a nest known as 'Ganlan' • Bag-shaped upright cave • Semi-underground cave Primitive (Hemudu Culture) • Wood-earth building and palace • Wooden building • Adobe wall • Wood-skeleton wall • Rammed-earth wall Slavery (Xia; Shang, Zhou; Spring & Fall; Warring State) • Clay brick and wooden governmental building • Clay brick and wooden Buddhist building like 'Pagoda' • Stone-structured bridge • Stone chamber and temple Feudal (Qin up to Qing) 11
  12. 12. Findings: Traditional Architecture (Fu Wei 2014)  Confucianism has always been the mainstream of ancient Chinese thought, so Confucianism also exists in the construction activities and the buildings. The traditional architecture also plays on the Confucianculture.  The building is the external reflection of thinking. Chinese traditional architecture in a specific region and the quite long historical period, as a mature system of the building, is the inevitable product of corresponding culture. 12
  13. 13. Findings: Preservation (Pheng 2001) Display 5.0 These evidence suggest that the ancient people of China stayed in caves during the winter so that they to make a fire to keep out the cold and dampness. During the summer when the weather is warm they would move to their dwellings on the piles (e.g. Longmen Caves of Chang’an; The Feng Huang Ancient City). 13
  14. 14. Findings: Preservation (Pheng 2001) Display 6.0 Great achievement made in architectural technology. Mark by the introduction by wood-earth engineering , the emergence of platforms and the use of pottery building materials (e.g. Chigang Pagoda; Forbidden City; Jing’an Temple) for the making of water pipes as well as roofing and paving tiles. 14
  15. 15. Findings: Preservation Cont. (Smith 2013) Display 7.0 The wall was first open to tourist in 1957. The last battle to be fought at the wall was in 1938 during the Sino-Japanese war. The mortar used to bond the stone was made from rice flour. Further, one million people died in the construction of the wall. 15
  16. 16. Findings: The New Agenda (Meili 2013; Zhang 2011)  Apart from financial and technological assistance, communist China strenuously sought academic aid from the Soviet Union to modernise its science and education sectors. In 1954, the name of the faculty of archaeology at Beijing University was changed to kaogu zhuanmenhua to reflect its new level of specialisation following the Soviet education model, and its earlier four-year programme was extended to five years.  Beginning in the late nineteenth century, after experiencing tremendous political, economic, social, and intellectual hardship, the Chinese strongly believed that only with advanced Western science and technology was their country likely to survive. The May 4th Movement in 1919 was supported by most Chinese intellectuals because it boosted the infusion of Western science. It marked the decision and desire of the Chinese government and intellectuals to accept and study Western science. ‘Science’ was enthusiastic. 16
  17. 17. Findings: In Vogue Architect (Boddy 2012) Display 8.0 a picture of Ieoh Ming Pei better known as IM Pei a Chinese-born American architect who is responsible for constructions such as J. F. Kennedy Library of USA and Museum of Islamic Art of Qatar. 17
  18. 18. Findings: Contemporary (Xu 2013) Display 9.0 This famous Bund river-front-area of Shanghai is dotted with historical and architectural landmarks and was developed at the turn of the 20"" century during a time of foreign investment. It continues to house consulates, foreign banks, multi-national conglomerates and other major players in world government and commerce. 18
  19. 19. Findings: Contemporary Cont. (Roskam, C 2013) Display 10.0 Changsha's Sky City--a proposal for the world's tallest building, which was initially intended to be entirely constructed in only 210 days embody the scale, ambition, and sheer force of the country's inextricably intertwined economic and physical development. 19
  20. 20. Major Point of Discussion: Will Chinese Civilisation and Architecture Extinct? (Callahan 2008) Chinese was forced to build a modern nation-state to defend itself from these foreign challenges. The question that many Chinese scholars are now asking is whether it is time for China (which is now a strong nation-state) to engage in promoting, establishing or constructing Tianxia—not just for Chinese benefit, but for the benefit of the world. Glossary Tianxa: Chinese cultural concept that denoted either the entire geographical world or the metaphysical realm of mortals, and later became associated with political sovereignty. 20
  21. 21. Conclusion • Traditional architecture is not only the history of civilization, the crystallization ancestor shard-working, but also the symbol of the wisdom about the Chinese. It is the traditional thinking form performance. • Today, in our architectural creation, we need to constantly review the traditional, tracing back to history, based on understanding of the national traditional culture in order to "bring forth the new through the old", designed with the national characteristics. 21
  22. 22. Reference Boddy, T 2012, 'IM PEl', Architectural Review, vol. 232, no. 1387, pp. 102-103. Callahan, WA 2008, 'Chinese Visions of World Order: Post-hegemonic or a New Hegemony?', International Studies Review, vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 749-761. Fu Wei, T 2014, 'The Mean Thought of Chinese Traditional Architecture', Applied Mechanics & Materials, no. 630-642, pp. 2261-2264. Jing, Y, & Campbell, R 2009, 'Recent archaeometric research on 'the origins of Chinese civilisation.'', Antiquity, vol. 83, no. 319, pp. 96-109. Loewe, M, & Shaughnessy, EL 1999, The Cambridge history of ancient China: From the origins of civilization to 221 BC. Cambridge University Press. Meili, Y 2013, 'Modern Western Science in Initial Chinese Archaeological Development', International Journal of Science in Society, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 23-31. Pheng, LS 2001, 'Construction of dwellings and structures in ancient China', Structural Survey, vol. 19 no. 5, pp.262 – 274. Roskam, C 2013, 'Structures of everyday life', Artforum International Magazine, vol. 53 , no. 3, p. 253. Smith, N 2013, 'Blueprint Great Wall of China: Classic Project', Engineering & Technology, vol. 7, no. 12, pp. 102-103. Xu, X 2013, 'A Gem in the History of Chinese Architecture: Bund 12', Journal of Property Management, vol. 78, no. 3, pp. 44-45. YouTube 2015, China Architecture. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Sep. 2015]. Zhang, L 2011, 'Soviet inspiration in Chinese archaeology', Antiquity, vol. 85, no. 329, pp. 1049-1059. 22