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Chinese Cultural Center


Chinese Cultural Center


Emily Lancaster-Vine Chinese Cultural Center University of North Carolina, Charlotte 5th Year Cap Proposal Spring 2009

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Chinese Cultural Center Washington, DC


Table of Contents Premise, Program, and Site Site Information Precedent Study China’s Vernacular Architecture Yung Ho Chang Process First Semester Drawings Final Drawings Bibliography

5 11 27 28 32 39 47 61 91

Table of Contents Spring 2009

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“I am trying to look at the industrial landscape as a way of defining who we are and our relationship to the planet. It is the thing that is growing and it is part of our economy, and it is a part of our politics, and it is part of how we elect our governments. It is a part of everything we do, but it is a big machine that started rolling and I’m not coming at it to celebrate it or glorify the industry, nor am I trying to damn it. I am just trying to say, ‘Well, this is what it is.’ So, to show those types of images or those types of places allows the viewer to begin to comprehend the scale. So, it is another landscape. It is a landscape. It’s a different landscape.” [Manufactured Landscapes]

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Chinese Cultural Center Washington, DC


Premise, Program, and Site

Premise, Program, and Site Spring 2009

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Premise China’s history has been a conglomeration of war time and peace time as power has been transferred through the hands of many dynasties. Other nations, such as India and the Soviet Union, have been a constant influence on the transformation of China’s religious beliefs and war tactics since the first century AD. In more recent times, the communist revolution and the growth of Mao Tse-Tung’s power banned many of the rights of China’s people. The industrial revolution made one of the greatest impacts on China’s building technology and continues to heighten the growth of change in rural and urban contexts. For example, advances in building technology led to the construction of the world’s largest dam, initiating the displacement of thousands of people from their villages. In the cities, more job opportunities are available, which has vastly increased the amount of new housing neighborhoods within the city. The rate of growth and change in China is escalating. Original Chinese traditions have been pushed aside. It is rare that traditional building types are still present within the city. The Forbidden City is an example that lives on in Beijing but now as a tourist attraction. The palaces and temples that have survived wartime and the growth of industry are places that need to be preserved and remembered. New buildings are being designed to represent the fast pace of change in modern Chinese society. They are overshadowing vernacular architecture of the past. The tense relations between the United States and China have been a critical influence in the recent past. The introduction of China’s culture and national identity into our nation’s capitol can help inform present and future generations. China’s long history and its transformation into one of the world’s Superpowers has placed a strain on the preservation its culture. Those who visit the Chinese Cultural Center in Washington, DC will be exposed to a greater knowledge of China’s original traditions and the escalating transformation of its cities. Examples of the Cultural Center’s permanent exhibits may include the setbacks and conquests of bloody wartimes, changes within governmental powers, self-preservation in rural areas, and recent expansion and development in urban areas. It is important to learn what has influenced the contemporary society of China.

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Chinese Cultural Center Washington, DC


Site Placed in the center of our nation’s capitol, the Chinese Cultural Center’s site is on H Street. It will reside next to the Chinese Friendship Arch, the city’s only landmark that marks the small district of Chinatown. Chinatown, a mere 6 blocks, is consumed within an established commercial district of mid-rise buildings and is close to many points of interest. Buildings adjacent to this area include the MCI/Verizon Center, the National Portrait Gallery and the National Building Museum. The Chinese Cultural Center is positioned north of the National Mall, United States Capitol building and the National Galleries. A second east/west axis connects the cultural center to the White House. The Cultural Museum is across the street from the Gallery Place - Chinatown Metro station entrance, establishing a further connection with areas outside of Capitol Hill. The Chinese Cultural Center is in close proximity to many points of interest of the Residents of DC, as well as tourists visiting the city for the fist time. Its location is easily accessible by foot, metro, or car, and will speculate visitors of all ages. Placing it inside the small district of Chinatown will strengthen the area’s Chinese culture and educate our nation and those unable to travel to their native land about the history of China.

Premise, Site, and Program Spring 2009

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Chinese Cultural Center Washington, DC


Program

Janitor’s Closet Transformer Vault, Room, or Exterior Pad Electrical Room Electrical Closet Communications Room Boiler, Chiller, & Pump Room Fan Room Plumbing Room

700 150 230 450 450 640 1,600 1,800 1,200 200

1 1 1 2 3 1 1 2 1 1

700 sf 150 sf 230 sf 900 sf 1,300 sf 640 sf 1,600 sf 3,600 sf 1,200 sf 200 sf

900 500 300 150 100 900 950 500

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

900 sf 500 sf 300 sf 150 sf 100 sf 900 sf 950 sf 500 sf

450 325 375 275 450 500 800

1 1 1 8 2 2 1

450 sf 325 sf 375 sf 2,200 sf 900 sf 1,000 sf 800 sf

25 100 50 25 50 300 300 50

2 1 1 2 1 1 1 1

50 sf 100 sf 50 sf 50 sf 50 sf 300 sf 300 sf 50 sf

Total of subconditioned (interior) floor area Circulation - 20% of subtotal floor area

21,820 sf 4,360 sf

Total floor area

26,180 sf

Premise, Site, and Program

Lobby Reception Coat Room Restroom Administrative Office Conference Room Bookstore Gallery Exhibition Space Visual Auditorium (75 seats) Projection Room / Lighting / Sound Courtyards Tai Chi Teahouse Garden Meditation Bamboo Café Café Patio Kitchen Classrooms Art Computer English as a Second Language [ESL ] Residence Bedroom Residence Restroom Residence Balcony Residence Patio

Spring 2009

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“The semi-suburbanized and the suburbanized messes we create in this way become despised by their own inhabitants tomorrow. These thin dispersions lack any reasonable degree of innate vitality, staying power, or inherent usefulness as settlements. Few of them, and these only the most expensive as a rule, hold their attractions much longer than a generation; then they begin to decay in the pattern of city gray areas. Indeed, an immense amount of today’s city gray belts was yesterday’s dispersion closer to ‘nature’.” [Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities]

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Site Information

Site Information Spring 2009

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German immigrants originally populated Chinatown. Chinese immigrants began to populate the area in the 1930s, after being displaced from Washington’s original Chinatown along Pennsylvania Avenue by the development of the Federal Triangle government office complex. After the 1968 riots, the population of Chinatown sharply declined and ethnic Chinese residents, as well as many others, left for suburban areas to escape the city’s rising crime and taxes. The Friendship Archway was dedicated to Washington DC in 1986. It is a traditional Chinese gate in the style of the Ming and Qing Dynasties and was designed by a local architect Alfred H. Liu. The arch was built to reinforce the neighborhood’s Chinese character. At this time, the local Metro station was given its present name, Gallery Place-Chinatown, but by then most of the neighborhood’s Chinese population

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had already moved to the suburbs. Large sections of Chinatown’s residential areas were torn town during the construction of the old Washington Convention Center and the MCI Center. In 1982, the city constructed the Wah Luck Housing at 6th and H Street, NW to accommodate the displaced residents. Recently, Chinatown underwent a $200 million renovation, transforming the area into a bustling scene for nightlife, shopping and entertainment. Local laws dictate that new businesses in the Chinatown area must have signs in English and Chinese to preserve local character. Chinatown’s most prominent businesses are the approximately 20 Chinese and Asian restaurants, almost all of which are owned by Asian-American families.

Spring 2009

Site Information

Chinese Friendship Arch, Chinatown

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Green Space Chinatown Site

District of Columbia

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Gallery Place - Chinatown Metro Station

Washington Public Library

Portrait Gallery / Smithsonian American Art Museum MCI / Verizon Center

United States Mint

Army Core of Engineering

Convention Center

National Academy of Sciences

Metro Center Station

National Building Museum

Surrounding Chinatown Institutions

Site Information Spring 2009

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5 min.

10 min.

15 min.

20 min.

Walking Distances

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1 foot contours site is effectively flat

Chinatown Topography

Site Information Spring 2009

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Project Site

NYC Philadelphia and Richmond Chinatown Buses

Wah Luck Housing Chinese Grocery

Chinese Grocery

Starbucks Friendship Arch Chinese Restaurant Gallery Place Community Center Gallery Place - Chinatown Station Entrances

Chinatown Landmarks

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Mixed Use

Commercial

Federal Public

Green Space

Low Density Residential

Medium Density Residential

High Density Residential

Local Public

Institutional

Chinatown Zoning

Site Information Spring 2009

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H Street South Elevation

Project Site 110 ft

(includes demolition of one existing building)

H Street North Elevation 20 Chinese Cultural Center Washington, DC


Site Information

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Spring 2009


Summer: Morning Shadows

Winter: Morning Shadows

Summer: Afternoon Shadows

Winter: Afternoon Shadows

Summer: Evening Shadows

Winter: Evening Shadows

Constant Afternoon Sun Constant Evening Shadows

Constant Sun / Shade 22 Chinese Cultural Center Washington, DC

Constant Morning Shadows


Automobile repair shop noise during daytime hours. Restaurant food delivery noise during daytime hours. Constant noise from street vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

Chinatown Noise

Strong North Western wind blocked by Residential Mid-Rise buildings.

Back of site exposed to strong North Eastern wind.

Site Information

Strong Southern Wind blocked by Residential Mid Rise building.

Chinatown Wind Forces Spring 2009

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A

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B

Site Information

C

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Spring 2009


“The once uniform urban landscape is now a metropolitan field that is inundated with skyscrapers and individually expressive architecture with a disorganized or damaged fabric or simply without.” [Yung Ho Chang, “City of Objects aka City of Desire”]

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Precedent Study

Precedent Study Spring 2009

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Courtyard Houses [Beijing]

In Beijing, the courtyard is an element in the traditional Chinese residence. It originated as a ‘walled garden.’ This space was considered a small ‘utopia’ and was intended for individual through and concentration. Open to the sky above, courtyards filter an abundance of light into the dense development of Beijing’s [hutong] neighborhoods.

Neighborhood Plan [Beijing]

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Residence Plan [Beijing]

Precedent Study

Courtyard [Beijing]

Spring 2009

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The courtyard is centrally located in the residence. It is protected from the outside world by the rooms that surround its four sides. Today, this space is celebrated as a place for family activity. The courtyards may vary in geometry and size, allowing others to be used for small gardens.

Courtyard [Sichuan Province]

Residence Section [Sichuan Province]

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Courtyard [Sichuan Province]

Precedent Study

Residence Plan [Sichuan Province]

Spring 2009

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32 Chinese Cultural Center Washington, DC


Yung Ho Chang Yung Ho Chang was the first Chinese student in Beijing to go abroad and study after China’s Cultural Revolution. He was a student and became an educator at the University of California at Berkeley and Ball State University. After 10 years in the United States he decided to go back to Beijing. In 1993, Chang became the first Chinese architect to establish a private firm in China. Mass development is a challenge affecting China’s cities. Development and construction that cause significant transformations are realized before planning ever takes place. Urban design concepts are undeveloped. In a consumer society such as China, economic and commercial concerns replace traditional Chinese social, economical, historic and personal interests. Radical transformations of cities change historic centers, natural terrain and walking space with Western style skyscrapers, new urban spaces and increased motorized transportation. Emerging generations of architects must address immediate urban conditions such as high-density, fast and uneven economic development, chaotic and unplanned settlements, pollution, traffic congestion, and political and cultural transition in society. Yung Ho Chang supports the “creation of ‘alternative’ public and private spaces that resist the homogenization of urban space and social life” (Hanru, 42). He wishes to provide urban inhabitants diverse and meaningful experiences of space and time. While Chang does not import conventional “global,” “high-tech,” or “virtual” vocabularies as alternatives to traditional styles, he articulates the excitement and pleasure of urban life in spite of the conditions of high density, speed and chaos. The courtyard is an element used in traditional Chinese architecture to provide both internal openness and protective closure from the outside world. The variety of scale in courtyards is seen from palaces to courtyard houses. Chang’s Eastern ideas suggest that “architecture is secondary to the space it contains” (Lerup 18). The courtyard’s versatility lies in its dynamic multiplication of space. Courtyards are vital in high-density housing, such as in Hong Kong, to allow for light to enter into rooms that would otherwise receive no sunlight. In his projects, Yung Ho Chang reinterprets the traditions normally followed by traditional Chinese elements.

Precedent Study Spring 2009

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Split House

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Split House for the Commune of the Great Wall [2002]

The Split House is located north of Beijing, in the mountains close to the great Wall of China. In this project, Yung Ho Chang redefines the traditional Chinese courtyard. One side of the courtyard is enclosed by mountains while the other side are enclosed by the walls of the house. Chang blurs the line between natural and man made. The house is “split� in the middle to bring in the scenery. The angle of the courtyard can be adapted to fit into the mountain landscape. Chang employs elements and materials that have been used in the past in new ways. The structure of the house employs wooden beams and columns that have been laminated to increase their longevity and structural integrity. The walls of the house are made from rammed-earth, an ancient technique. The earth formed walls are a good source of insulation and have minimal environmental impact.

Precedent Study

Construction Photographs

Spring 2009

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Hebei Education Publishing House

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Hebei Education Publishing House [2002]

Structural Model

Building Section

The Hebei Education Publishing House is located in Shijiazhuang, Hebei. The space needed for the publishing house only requires 3 floors. Yung Ho Chang’s mixed-use building occupies the bottom 9 floors with rental office buildings and retail shops to compete with China’s lively real estate market. The three different programs act as relatively independent micro-buildings. A void is created in the spaces between. The circulation core is a vertical urban garden that is open to the public.

Offices Retail

Vertical Garden

Publishing

Spatial Diagram

Precedent Study

Building Model

Building Elevation

Spring 2009

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“Preservation is a wonderful concept, which in itself shows the limited way in which the profession of the architect is considered. The architect is by definition the one who causes change. This role is the motivating thrust of the entire profession. Therefore, we are fundamentally reluctant to participate in preservation, seeing it very much as the enemy. However, this is an historical flaw. Preservation is not opposed to change; it is a modality of change. Preservation must be investigated in terms of modernity. This would entail that we have to preserve before we design, or rather, that we will decide whether we design something that is to be preserved or not.” [Rem Koolhaas, “Found in Translation”]

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Process

Process Spring 2009

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Chinatown Model

Preliminary Building Models 40 Chinese Cultural Center Washington, DC


tour bus drop-off

project site

Street Model

Process

H Street

Section Study Spring 2009

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Midsemester Ground Floor Plan Building Model

Level 1

Level 2

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Level 3


Midsemester Models

Process Spring 2009

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Rough Building Section

Rough Building Section 44 Chinese Cultural Center Washington, DC


Process Spring 2009

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“The city of the captive globe is devoted to the artificial conception and accelerated birth of theories, interpretation, mental constrictions, proposals and their infliction to the world. It is the capital of Ego, where science, art poetry and forms of madness compete under ideal conditions to invent, destroy and restore the world of phenomenal reality. Each science or mania has its own plot. On each plot stands an identical base, built from heavy polished stone to facilitate and provoke speculative activity, these bases – ideological laboratories – are equipped to suspend unwelcome laws, undeniable truths, to create non-existent, physical conditions.” [Rem Koolhaas, Delirious New York]

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First Semester Drawings

First Semester Drawings Spring 2009

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Street-front View


Final Model

First Semester Drawings

View through Market Alley

Spring 2009

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Site Plan

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Level 2

Level 3

Level 4

First Semester Drawings Spring 2009

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Building Section through Courtyards

Building Section 52 Chinese Cultural Center Washington, DC


First Semester Drawings

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Spring 2009


H Street Elevation

Elevation through Alley 54 Chinese Cultural Center Washington, DC


First Semester Drawings

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Spring 2009


View through Market Alley

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View of H Street and the Friendship Arch

First Semester Drawings Spring 2009

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H Street South Elevation

H Street North Elevation 58 Chinese Cultural Center Washington, DC

Project Site


First Semester Drawings

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Spring 2009


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Final Drawings

Final Drawings Spring 2009

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Final Drawings

Site Plan

Spring 2009

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Level 1

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Level 2

Final Drawings Spring 2009

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Level 3

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Level 4

Final Drawings Spring 2009

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Building Section through Courtyards

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Final Drawings

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Spring 2009


Building Section

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Final Drawings

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Spring 2009


Building Section

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Final Drawings

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Spring 2009


H Street Elevation

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Final Drawings

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Spring 2009


Elevation through Alley

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Final Drawings

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Spring 2009


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Final Drawings

Wall Section Spring 2009

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Building Assembly Diagram

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Final Drawings

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Spring 2009


Structural Plan

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Structural Diagram

Final Drawings Spring 2009

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View through Market Alley

Final Drawings Spring 2009

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View of H Street

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View to the Friendship Arch

Final Drawings Spring 2009

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View of H Street

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View from Adjacent Building

Final Drawings Spring 2009

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“The absence of a theory of bigness – ‘what is the maximum architecture can do’ – is architecture’s most debilitating weakness. Without a theory of bigness, architects are in the position of Frankenstein’s creators: instigators of a partly successful experiment whose results are running amok and are therefore discredited. Because there is no theory of bigness, we don’t know what to do with it, we don’t know where to put it, we don’t know when to use it, we don’t know how to plan it. Big mistakes are our only connection to bigness. But in spite of its dumb name, bigness is a theoretical domain at this fin de siècle; in a landscape of disarray, disassembly, disassociation, disclamation. The attraction of bigness is its potential to reconstruct the Whole, resurrect the Real, reinvent the collective, reclaim maximum possibility.” [Rem Koolhaas, Delirious New York]

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Bibliography Chang, Yung H., Ruan Xing, and Hou Hanru. Atelier Feichang Jianzhu : A Chinese Practice. Chicago: Map Book, 2003. Chang, Yung H. “City of Objects aka City of Desire.” A+U. December 2003. 70-73.t Jacobs, Jane. The Death and Life of Great American Cities. New York: Vintage, 1961. Koolhaas, Rem. Delirious New York : A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan. New York: Monacelli P, Incorporated, 1997. 495-516. Koolhaas, Rem. “Found in Translation.” Volume 8: Ubiquitous China. New York: Columbia University GSAPP / Archis, 2007. Manufactured Landscapes. Dir. Jennifer Baichwal. DVD. Foundry Films, 2006.

Images Knapp, Ronald G., A. C. Ong, and Jonathan Spence. Chinese Houses : The Architectural Heritage of a Nation. Grand Rapids: Tuttle, 2005. Chang, Yung H., Ruan Xing, and Hou Hanru. Atelier Feichang Jianzhu : A Chinese Practice. Chicago: Map Book, 2003.

Bibliography Spring 2009

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Chinese Cultural Center  

UNC Charlotte, College of Architecture 2009 CAP Proposal

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