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Foreign Architecture in China - Essay Example

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Foreign Architecture in China

The lack of traditional Chinese form in any specific region and the ability of architects to reform China's urban landscape using experimental designs are attractive to architects (Moller 2004 p 1). China's architectural designs since the 1950's have been built heavily from Western influences, and most of the urbanised architecture from 1950 to 1970 was inherently designed and constructed by Russian builders (Moller 2004 p 1). China's spending on construction ranks only behind the United States and Japan's and is growing the fastest of the top ten spenders, at 8-9 percent annually. Remarkably, given China's cultural pride, most of the highest-profile projects now underway in Beijing were designed by foreign celebrities (Economist ed 2004 p 63).
The influx of foreign architects in Beijing has incited controversy amongst Chinese nationals. Zhou Ganzhi, member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering, says, "No other country has opened its architectural design market to the world as wide as China. The rise of pan-internationalism threatens the distinctiveness of Chinese cities, making architectural evaluation difficult" (Hong 2005 p 15).
The general consensus amongst critics of ...
Is the Distinctiveness of China Threatened
The influx of foreign architects in Beijing has incited controversy amongst Chinese nationals. Zhou Ganzhi, member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering, says, "No other country has opened its architectural design market to the world as wide as China. The rise of pan-internationalism threatens the distinctiveness of Chinese cities, making architectural evaluation difficult" (Hong 2005 p 15).
The general consensus amongst critics of foreign and Western architecture in Beijing, China is that it removes the traditional and regional identity. Yung Ho Chang, architect, states that Chinese and Asian cities have a "lack of clear traditional urban structures this introverted quality is at odds with a modern lifestyle and the openness demanded by a highly developed commercial society" (Moller 2004 p 1). China's biggest cities are struggling to balance modern design with their historical structures (Mcguigan, Lin-lui and Mooney 2003 p56). Wu Chen, a traditional Chinese architect states "Beijing has become an experimental site for foreign architects" (Hong 2005 p 14). Beijing has changed beyond recognition, losing the traditional Chinese forms and incorporating more global influences and talents who have been drawn to China in the building effort of Beijing officials (Mcguigan, Lin-lui and Mooney 2003 p56).
Review of Relevant Literature
Each resource in this research essay has been verified as either a foreign architect working in China, or a Chinese architect. For example, Xuefei Ren received a PhD at the University of Chicago and has published several texts on urban planning (Ren 2006 p 1) Web sites of the actual architects (verified by name, address and ...Show more

Summary

Few capital cities in the world, barring those destroyed by war or other calamity, have undergone such a rapid change in such a short space of time as Beijing, China (Economist ed 2004 pp 63). From the rubble of old alleyways and decrepit apartment blocks are sprouting gleaming office towers and shopping malls, colossal stadiums and lavish government buildings, the Western influence can be seen (Economist ed 2004 pp 63)…
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Foreign Architecture in China essay example
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