Reinterpretation of Traditional Chinese Courtyard House

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University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Trace: Tennessee Research and Creative ExchangeMasters Theses Graduate School

8-2009

Reinterpretation of Traditional Chinese Courtyard HouseChen LiUniversity of Tennessee - Knoxville

Recommended CitationLi, Chen, "Reinterpretation of Traditional Chinese Courtyard House. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 2009. http://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_gradthes/45

This Thesis is brought to you for free and open access by the Graduate School at Trace: Tennessee Research and Creative Exchange. It has been accepted for inclusion in Masters Theses by an authorized administrator of Trace: Tennessee Research and Creative Exchange. For more information, please contact trace@utk.edu.

To the Graduate Council: I am submitting herewith a thesis written by Chen Li entitled "Reinterpretation of Traditional Chinese Courtyard House." I have examined the final electronic copy of this thesis for form and content and recommend that it be accepted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture, with a major in Architecture. Edgar Stach, Major Professor We have read this thesis and recommend its acceptance: Barbara Klinkhammer, Archana Sharma, Suzanne Wright Accepted for the Council: Carolyn R. Hodges Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School (Original signatures are on file with official student records.)

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To the Graduate Council: I am submitting herewith a thesis written by Chen Li entitled Reinterpretation of Traditional Chinese Courtyard House. I have examined the nal electronic copy of this thesis for form and content and recommend that it be accepted in partial fulllment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture, with a major in Architecture.

Edgar Stach, Major Professor

We have read this thesis and recommend its acceptance: Barbara Klinkhammer Archana Sharma Suzanne Wright Accepted for the Council: Carolyn R. Hodges Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School

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Reinterpretation of Traditional Chinese Courtyard House

A Thesis Presented for the Master of Architecture Degree The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Chen Li August 2009

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DedicationThis project is dedicated to my family for their unwavering support during the process of this thesis and most especially to my husband whose patience, suport and love kept me going.

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AcknowledgementThis project would not have been possible without the help of Edgar Stach, Barbara Klinkhammer, Suzanne Wright, and Archana Sharma and all others who aided me in my work.

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AbstractThe thesis explores the reinterpretation of the spatial, social and cultural values of Chinese traditional courtyard house. I use Colin Rowes mathematical architecture theory and literal and phenomenal transparency theory to analyze the spatial logics existing in the Chinese courtyard house, as well as the generated social functions and its cultural background. Abstracting the spatial, social and cultural values of the Chinese courtyard house and establishing a modern architectural language with the ideas inherent in the study of Chinese traditional courtyard house is mutually benecial for contemporary housing design.

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Table of ContentChapter 1 Thesis statement........................................................................... 1 Chapter 2 Framing: Introduction................................................................... 22.1. The history and typology of Chinese courtyard house ......................................... 2 2.2. The modern context of Chinese courtyard house................................................. 4

Chapter 3 Analyzing: Situation ..................................................................... 73.1. High-rise buildings: solution and problem............................................................. 7 3.2. Contemporary Chinese housing projects ............................................................. 9

Chapter 4 Supporting: Design principles................................................... 144.1. Spatial values ..................................................................................................... 14 4.2. Social values ...................................................................................................... 20 4.3. Cultural values .................................................................................................... 24

Chapter 5 Referencing: Precedents study ................................................. 265.1. Raj Rewal, Sheikh Sarai Housing Complex ....................................................... 26 5.2. Moshe Safdie, Habitat 67 .................................................................................. 28 5.3. Le Corbusier, Unite at Marseille ......................................................................... 29

Chapter 6 Locating: Site analysis ............................................................... 306.1. Context ............................................................................................................... 30 6.2. Physical site........................................................................................................ 32

Chapter 7 Forming: Design solution .......................................................... 347.1. Programs ............................................................................................................ 34 7.2. Solution............................................................................................................... 36

Bibliography.................................................................................................. 38 Appendix ....................................................................................................... 40 Vita ................................................................................................................. 71

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List of FiguresFigure Page Fig.2.1 a Chinese Courtyard House 41 Fig.2.2 the Plan of the Excavated Building Complex 41 Fig.2.3 a Painting from Han Dynasty Showing an Upper-class Residential Complex 41 Fig.2.4 the Floor Plan of Mei Lanfangs (a celebrated actor) Residence in Beijing 41 Fig.2.5 the Perspective of Mei Lanfangs (a celebrated actor) Residence in Beijing 41 Fig.2.6 the Enclosure of the Courtyard House 41 Fig.2.7 the Layout of the Courtyard House 42 Fig.2.8 Each Building in the Courtyard House 42 Fig.2.9 the Big Population in China 42 Fig.2.10 the Big Population in China 42 Fig.2.11 the Crowded Courtyard 42 Fig.2.12 the Crowded Courtyard 43 Fig.2.13 the Old Courtyard 43 Fig.2.14 Mei Lanfangs (a celebrated actor) Residence is Preserved as a Cultural Heritage 43 Fig.3.1 High-rise Housing in Beijing 43 Fig.3.2 Floor Plan of A High-rise Housing Unit 43 Fig.3.3 Sidewalk Depicted by Jane Jacobs 43 Fig.3.4 Modern High-rise Buildings 44 Fig.3.5 Floor Plan of a Modern High-rise Building 44 Fig.3.6 Burglarproof Doors and Windows are Installed in Modern High-rise Housing 44 Fig.3.7 Residents are Cleaning the Flyers Posted in the Dark Staircase 44 Fig.3.8 Shenzhen Village 44 Fig.3.9 Shenzhen Village 45 Fig.3.10 Master Planning of Shenzhen Village 45 Fig.3.11 Model of Shenzhen Village 45 Fig.3.12 Courtyard in Shenzhen Village 45 Fig.3.13 Alley in Shenzhen Village 45 Fig.3.14 Walls in Shenzhen Village 45 Fig.3.15 Shenzhen Village 46 Fig.3.16 Interior of a House in Shanghai Mandarin Palace 46 Fig.3.17 Floor Plan of a House in Shanghai Mandarin Palace 46 Fig.3.18 Master Planning of Shanghai Mandarin Palace 46 Fig.3.19 Roof Weaved by Aluminum Tubes 46 Fig.4.1 Villa Malcontenta 47 Fig.4.2 Villa Stein 47 Fig. 4.3 the Geometrical Order of the Courtyard House 47 Fig. 4.4 Floor Plan of a Courtyard House 47 Fig. 4.5 Axes in the Courtyard House 48 Fig. 4.6 Symmetry and Asymmetry in the Courtyard House 48 Fig. 4.7 Columns and Walls in Dening Spaces 48

viiFig. 4.8 Buildings as the Figure Fig. 4.9 Buildings as the Ground Fig. 4.10 Hierarchy of Buildings Fig. 4.11 Hierarchy of Outdoor Space Fig. 4.12 Circulation in the Courtyard House Fig. 4.13 Connections between Buildings Fig. 4.14 Pitched Roofs in Dening Spaces and in Connecting the Buildings to the Earth Fig. 4.15 Fernand Leger, Three Faces, 1926 Fig. 4.16 Picasso, LArlesienne, 1911-12 Fig. 4.17 Transparency in the Villa at Garches Fig. 4.18 Spatial Transparency Fig. 4.19 Interior and Exterior Spaces Fig. 4.20 Feeble Separation between Indoor and Outdoor Fig. 4.21 Corridors in the Courtyard House Fig. 4.23 Palace of the League of Nations Fig. 4.24 Palace of the League of Nations Fig. 4.24 Palace of the League of Nations Fig. 4.26 Stratications in the Courtyard House Fig. 4.27 Moon Gate as a transverse Tension in the Courtyard House Fig. 4.28 Solid Boundaries in the Courtyard House Fig. 4.29 Linear Change from Public to Private Fig. 4.30 Linear Change from Public to Private in Section Fig. 4.31 Radiant Change from Public to Private Fig. 4.32 Co-effect of Linear and Radiant Models Fig. 4.33 Decorated Gate between the Entrance and the Main Courtyard Fig. 4.34 Aggregation of Courtyards Fig. 4.35 Combinations of Courtyard houses within the Family Fig. 4.36 a Combination of Courtyards and Gardens Fig. 4.37 a Hutong Neighborhood with Paralleled Hutongs Fig. 4.38 Hutong is the Combination of Daily Trafc Route and A Public Space Fig. 4.39 Social Interaction Happens in Hutongs Fig. 4.40 Social Interaction Happens in Hutongs Fig. 4.41 Corner Shops in a Hutong Fig. 4.42 Children are Playing in a Hutong Fig. 4.43 the Symmetrical Layout of the Forbidden City Fig. 4.44 Yin-Yang Trigram Fig. 4.45 Interior and Exterior Fig. 4.46 Five Elements in Fengshui Fig. 4.47 Building Site in Terms of Good Fengshui Fig. 4.48 Human Body and Courtyard House Fig. 5.1 the Facade of A Typical Housing Fig. 5.2