Beijing (1950s) / Chinese vs. International Architecture

Chinese vs. International Architecture


Liang Sicheng used to be an admirer of modernist architecture. However in his later age he became a steadfast advocate of architecture in traditional Chinese style. Liang Sicheng believes in modern artistic creation, deliberate refusal to use machinery and new materials resulting from development of science and technology.

Wenyuan Chamber in the Forbidden City

Liang Sicheng reminded fellow Chinese architects of the need to be keen to “extract the unique Chinese elements contained in old buildings” These elements are a part of the national recognition and must be used wisely. There is need for us to suit the European and American architecture style. He stressed that although modernist building were becoming popular worldwide, but they should be differs in their respective national styles, designed to suit the specific environment and taste of each.

Monk Ganjin memorial Hall, designed by Liang Sicheng

For a country with a long history and cultural character, Its is a question that whether we could follow the trend of international style of architecture. International style celebrates the new technology and efficiency of new materials and structure. However we do have number of architecture tradition that is still valid nowadays such as, the Chinese courtyard plan layout and the feng shui principles. Young architects in China should find a way to balance between the modernism and Chinese distinction to create the new generation of architecture.

Modern architecture in Beijing (The China Central Television Headquarters building)

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