The Invented Chinese Classical Garden

Supervisors: Mark Cousins, Doreen Bernath

The “Chinese classical garden” has been a popular topic in Chinese architecture for almost 80 years, in use not only in landscape design, but also in architecture and urban design. Wang Shu, the laureate of the 2012 Pritzker Prize, referred to it in presenting his design. The “Chinese classical garden” has encouraged the birth of a Chinese contemporary architecture satisfying both Chinese and western audiences. However, why does “Chinese classical garden” and not any the other types of antique architecture become the representative of Chinese architecture? This study investigates the conception of “Chinese classical garden” in the architectural history and theory writings of the 20th century. A further aim is to consider the ambitions of government and of the architects who invented the term “Chinese classical garden” as a “traditional architecture” during the revolution period of the 1950s.

Jingming Wu gained her master and bachelor degrees from Southeast University China and has been studying at the AA since 2012. She won the second prize in the Japanese 2nd NTT Docomo design competition and presented a paper at the 2nd East Asian Architectural Culture International Conference in singapore. Her research interests cover contemporary architectural design and antique history.

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Jingming Woo