Chinese Houses: The Architectural Heritage of a Nation

Knapp, Ronald G.

Published by Tuttle Publishing
ISBN 10: 0804835373 / ISBN 13: 9780804835374
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Synopsis: Winner of ForeWord Magazine's Architecture "Book of the Year" Award!

Exquisite examples of traditional dwellings are scattered throughout modern-day China. Chinese Houses focuses on 20 well-preserved traditional Chinese homes, presenting examples from a range of rural and metropolitan areas throughout China.

The photographs of each are accompanied by extensive background information and historical content. An introductory essay examines the different types of Chinese homes and provides an overview of the rich regional variety of Chinese dwelling forms. It also provides insights into little-known design concepts that emphasize the flexibility, adaptability, and versatility of traditional building forms and the work of classical craftsmen.

Richly illustrated with photographs, woodblock prints, historical images, and line drawings, Chinese Houses portrays an architectural tradition of fantastic range and resilience.

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The migration of Chinese from southeastern China to the Nanyang--the peninsular and insular region known today as Southeast Asia--is a significant component of the world's major cultural diasporas. After many of these migrants and their descendants became successful, they built architecturally eclectic homes--shophouses, bungalows, villas, and mansions--that combined Chinese, European, and local influences. It is the story of these hybrid architectural forms, built under different social and geographical environments than had been known at home in China and thus the products of cultural fusion, that is the focus of this book. While most of these old buildings have disappeared, scattered throughout Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, there still remain; fine examples worth studying, documenting, and explaining. Over a three-year period from 2007 to 2009, Ronald G. Knapp and A. Chester Ong made; five; field excursions to Asia in search of the old homes of Chinese sojourners and settlers. "Chinese Houses of Southeast Asia, " a fascinating account of architectural multiculturalism in the pre-modern world, presents the results of their research. An introductory essay portrays the historical circumstances that gave rise to Chinese houses overseas, and includes historic images, color photographs, paintings, and line drawings. At the core of the book are stunning color photographs of nearly forty residences built from the late eighteenth into the early twentieth century. For each residence, background information about the individual and his family who built and then lived there is given. These tales reveal the entrepreneurial spirit of the immigrants as well as the social and economic circumstances in which they lived. Images and drawings from southeastern China help clarify similarities and differences, and, in several cases, related family residences in China are also presented. "Chinese Houses of Southeast Asia" complements Knapp and Ong's 2005 award-winning "Chinese Houses: The Architectural Heritage of a Nation, " which highlighted more than twenty of China's most significant historic residences.

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Title: Chinese Houses: The Architectural Heritage ...
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: New

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