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Chinese Architecture and Metaphor

Song Culture in the Yingzao Fashi Building Manual

Jiren Feng

Investigating the historical tradition of Chinese architectural writing from antiquity to the twelfth century, Architecture and Metaphor reveals significant and fascinating social and cultural phenomena in the most important primary text for the study of the Chinese building tradition. Unlike previous scholarship, which has reviewed this imperially commissioned architectural manual largely as a technical work, this volume considers the Yingzao Fashi’s unique literary value and explores the rich cultural implications in and behind its technical content.

Utilizing a philological approach, the author pays particular attention to the traditional and contemporary architectural terminology presented in the Yingzao Fashi. In examining the semantic meaning of the architectural terms used in the manual, he uncovers a systematic architectural metaphor wherein bracketing elements are likened to flowers, flowering branches, and foliage: Thus pillars with bracketing above are compared to blossoming trees. More importantly, this intriguing imagery was shared by different social groups, in particular craftsmen and literati, and craftsmen themselves employed literary knowledge in naming architectural elements. Relating these phenomena to the unprecedented flourishing of literature, the literati’s greater admiration of technical knowledge, and the higher intellectual capacity of craftsmen during the Song, Architecture and Metaphor demonstrates how the learned and “unlearned” cultures entangled in the construction of architectural knowledge in premodern China. It convincingly shows that technical language served as a faithful carrier of contemporary popular culture and aesthetic concepts.

Architecture and Metaphor demonstrates a high level of engagement with a broad spectrum of sophisticated Chinese sources. It will become a classic work for all students and scholars of East Asian architecture.

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Chinese Architecture and the Beaux-Arts

edited by Jeffrey W. Cody, Nancy S. Steinhardt, and Tony Atkin

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.

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Chinese Architecture in an Age of Turmoi, 200-600

Nancy S. Steinhardt

Between the fall of the Han dynasty in 220 CE and the year 600, more than thirty dynasties, kingdoms, and states rose and fell on the eastern side of the Asian continent. The founders and rulers of those polities represented the spectrum of peoples in North, East, and Central Asia. Nearly all of them built palaces, altars, temples, tombs, and cities, and almost without exception, the architecture was grounded in the building tradition of China. The physical remains are a handful of pagodas, dozens of cave-temples, thousands of tombs, small-scale evidence of architecture such as sarcophaguses, and countless representations of buildings in paint and relief sculpture. Together they narrate an expansive architectural history that offers the first in-depth study of the development, century-by-century, of Chinese architecture of third through the sixth centuries, plus a view of important buildings from the two hundred years before the third century and the resolution of architecture of this period in later construction. Illustrated with more than 475 color and black-and-white photographs, maps, and drawings, Chinese Architecture in an Age of Turmoil uses all available evidence—Chinese texts, secondary literature in six languages, excavation reports, and most important, physical remains—to present the architectural history of this tumultuous period in China’s history.

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Churches Of Minnesota

An Illustrated Guide

Alan K. Lathrop

Churches are among the most profound and long-lasting expressions of faith, reflecting the heritage, beliefs, and traditions of their congregations. Whether they are elaborate or austere, traditional or modern, they are places to visit and admire, whatever your creed. In Churches of Minnesota, Alan Lathrop profiles more than one hundred religious buildings in a valuable compendium made even richer by the photography of Bob Firth. More than 140 black-and-white and full-color images present a comprehensive view of the architectural styles that make up Minnesota’s religious and cultural heritage.

Lathrop embarked on a journey to explore the architectural histories of churches in every corner of Minnesota, and what he found was a panorama of designs steeped in the traditions of their communities. From the board and batten siding on the tiny St. Mark’s Episcopal Chapel in Annandale to the grand elegance of St. Paul’s cathedral, Lathrop discusses a variety of architectural styles in both urban and rural settings across the state. He reveals the intrinsic character of these buildings and uncovers the enchanting stories behind the lives of those connected to each church—the architects, the leaders, the parishioners—and the history that brought them to where they are today.

By enticing his readers to explore the pleasures of architecture, Lathrop has created a valuable resource not only for those with an interest in ecclesiastical design and tradition, but also for anyone who simply cherishes the beauty and character of Minnesota’s churches.


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ChurchScape

Megachurches and the Iconography of Environment

Susan Power Bratton

Buildings and landscapes are as much a part of the Christian church as its creeds—reflecting the faith and proclaiming God. The architecture of the church’s structures and the curating of its grounds are unique windows into the church’s history and the shape of its theological commitments.
 
Birthed in the iconoclastic spirit of the Reformation, the scapes of Protestant churches have experienced massive shifts in design and scope. From humble beginnings—small buildings and cemeteries—churches today can occupy thousands of square feet across hundreds of acres. The modern megachurch, with its extensive campuses, parking lots, and sprawling lawns, has changed how we think about the church and its spaces. Form follows function, and theology is in both. The shifts in scale, style, and symbol within the church’s common spaces reflect changes in ecclesial priorities, even as they form the theological imagination in new ways.
 
In ChurchScape, Susan Bratton chronicles the story of the Protestant church’s transformation of landscape and building. Citing the influence of college campuses on megachurch architecture, Bratton examines the features that are a part of many megachurch complexes, including waterscapes, iconography, and outdoor art. Taking readers on a cross-country journey to over two hundred churches, Bratton traces the movement from the small parish building of the nineteenth century to the extensive complexes that form today’s churchscapes. As she moves from church to church, Bratton describes how all the church’s spaces—buildings, greens, gardens, and gateways—together shape its practices, name its beliefs, and form its life together.
 
Bratton’s work offers the first historical and theological analysis for the megachurch and its physical planners and planters. She demands that all of us look with new eyes at the ways the church may be an innovator without being disruptive, a place of community without becoming exclusive, and a site of abundance without decadence. The church-in-place must consider how its scapes and spaces reflect its sacred life.

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Cities That Think like Planets

Complexity, Resilience, and Innovation in Hybrid Ecosystems

Marina Alberti

As human activity and environmental change come to be increasingly recognized as intertwined phenomena on a rapidly urbanizing planet, the field of urban ecology has risen to offer useful ways of thinking about coupled human and natural systems.

On the forefront of this discipline is Marina Albert whose innovative work offers a conceptual framework for uncovering fundamental laws that govern the complexity and resilience of cities, which she sees as key to understanding and responding to planetary change and the evolution of Earth. Bridging the fields of urban planning and ecology, Alberti describes a science of cities that work on a planetary scale and link unpredictable dynamics to the potential for innovation. It is a science that considers interactions - at all scales - between people and built environments and between cities and their larger environments.

Cities That Think like Planets advances strategies for planning a future that may look very different from the present, as rapid urbanization could tip the Earth toward abrupt and nonlinear change. Alberti's analyses of hybrid ecosystems, such as self-organization, heterogeneity, modularity, multiple equilibria, feedback, and transformation, may help humans participate in guiding the Earth away from inadvertent collapse and toward a new era of planetary co-evolution and resilience.

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City Choreographer

Lawrence Halprin in Urban Renewal America

Alison Bick Hirsch

One of the most prolific and influential landscape architects of the twentieth century, Lawrence Halprin (1916–2009) was best known for the FDR Memorial in Washington, D.C., and Sea Ranch, the iconic planned community in California. These projects, as well as vibrant public spaces throughout the country—from Ghirardelli Square and Market Street in San Francisco to Lovejoy Fountain Park in Portland and Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis—grew out of a participatory design process that was central to Halprin’s work and is proving ever more relevant to urban design today.

In City Choreographer, urban designer and historian Alison Bick Hirsch explains and interprets this creative process, called the RSVP Cycles, referring to the four components: resources, score, valuation, and performance. With access to a vast archive of drawings and documents, Hirsch provides the first close-up look at how Halprin changed our ideas about urban landscapes. As an urban pioneer, he found his frontier in the nation’s densely settled metropolitan areas during the 1960s. Blurring the line between observer and participant, he sought a way to bring openness to the rigidly controlled worlds of architectural modernism and urban renewal. With his wife, Anna, a renowned avant-garde dancer and choreographer, Halprin organized workshops involving artists, dancers, and interested citizens that produced “scores,” which then informed his designs.

City Choreographer situates Halprin within the larger social, artistic, and environmental ferment of the 1960s and 1970s. In doing so, it demonstrates his profound impact on the shape of landscape architecture and his work’s widening reach into urban and regional development and contemporary concerns of sustainability.

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City of the Soul

Rome and the Romantics

John A. Pinto

City of the Soul critically examines how an international cast of visitors fashioned Rome’s image, visual and literary, in the century between 1770 and 1870—from the era of the Grand Tour to the onset of mass tourism. The Eternal City emerges not only as an intensely physical place but also as a romantic idea onto which artists and writers projected their own imaginations and longings.

The book will appeal to a wide audience of readers interested in the history of art, architecture, and photography, the Romantic poets, and other writers from Byron to Henry James. It will also attract the interest of historians of urbanism, landscape, and Italy. Nonspecialists and armchair travelers will enjoy the diverse literary and artistic responses to Rome.

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The Classical Gardens of Shanghai

Shelly Bryant

In The Classical Gardens of Shanghai, Shelly Bryant looks at five of Shanghai’s remaining classical gardens through their origins, changing fortunes, restorations, and links to a wider Chinese aesthetic. Shanghai’s classical gardens are as much text as space; they exist in art, poetry, and literature as much as in stone, rock, and earth. But these gardens have not remained static entities. Rather, they have been remodelled constantly since their inception. This book reflects this process within the constancy of traditional Chinese horticulture and reveals Shanghai’s remaining classical gardens as places representing wealth and social status, social and dynastic shifts, through falling family fortunes and political revolutions to search for a recovery of China’s ancient culture in the modern day. ‘Like a classical Chinese garden, this admirable and beautifully balanced book conjures up wider landscapes from within a small compass. It can be savoured on many levels: poetic and aesthetic no less than scholarly and intellectual. It is the next best thing to being guided through such gardens by Shelly Bryant herself.’ —Lynn Pan, author of When True Love Came to China and Shanghai Style

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Clay Lancaster's Kentucky

Architectural Photographs of a Preservation Pioneer

James D. Birchfield

"Clay Lancaster was infected by a love of architecture at an early age, a gentle madness from which he never cared to recover." -- From the Foreword, by Roger W. Moss

It is easy to take for granted the visual environment that we inhabit. Familiarity with routes of travel and places of work or leisure leads to indifference, and we fail to notice incremental changes. When a dilapidated building is eliminated by new development, it is forgotten as soon as its replacement becomes a part of our daily landscape. When an addition is grafted onto the shell of a house fallen out of fashion or function, onlookers might notice at first, but the memory of its original form is eventually lost. Also forgotten is the use a building once served. From historic homes to livestock barns, each structure holds a place in the community and can tell us as much about its citizens as their portraits and memoirs. Such is the vital yet intangible role that architecture plays in our collective memory.

Clay Lancaster (1917-2000) began during the Great Depression to document and to encourage the preservation of America's architectural patrimony. He was a pioneer of American historic preservation before the movement had a name. Although he established himself as an expert on Brooklyn brownstones and California bungalows, the nationally known architectural historian also spent four decades photographing architecture in his native Kentucky. Lancaster did not consider himself a photographer. His equipment consisted of nothing more complex than a handheld camera, and his images were only meant for his own personal use in documenting memorable and endangered structures. He had the eye of an artist, however, and recognized the importance of vernacular architecture.

The more than 150 duotone photographs in Clay Lancaster's Kentucky preserve the beauty of commonplace buildings as well as historic mansions and monuments. With insightful commentary by James D. Birchfield about the photographs and about Lancaster's work in Kentucky, the book documents the many buildings and architectural treasures -- both existing and long gone -- whose images and stories remain a valuable part of the state's heritage.

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