Combine traditional culture and modern architecture: new chinese residence and public space

Dian Sheng

courtyard village

China's 'reform and opening-up' (Opening of China) has seen an influx of foreign cultures introduced into the country, including concepts of architectural design. As a result, Chinese architecture has developed dramatically.  

This shift led to the demise of many buildings with traditional Chinese cultural characteristics. Fortunately, in recent years, more designers have realised the importance of traditional culture and have begun integrating it into modern architectural design. However, as Chinese architects began creating distinctive local buildings, they encountered the problem of the privatisation of the public spaces attached to existing buildings.

Through years of research, Chinese designers, based on both classical and modern architecture, put forward a new concept: new Chinese architecture. This concept has been put to practical use in residential areas in China called 'new Chinese residential'. The new Chinese-style house meets people's needs to recognise the traditional culture alongside daily life convenience. It has gradually become an indispensable part of Chinese residential architecture.

This thesis studies the relevant theories of Chinese architecture, taking them as the foundation. It looks for ways to integrate traditional culture into modern architecture through the project analysis of the existing Chinese residential buildings.

Public space is also an important carrier of cultural inheritance and cultural exchange. With the rapid development of the building, the public area attached to it has also undergone significant changes. The privatisation of public space brings some problems, such as:

— A reduction in 'publicness'

— A disappearance of public amenities, evoking loss of culture

This thesis analyses the problems brought about by privatisation and proposes solutions through the existing public space. Overall, there are two aims in the final design:

— To successfully combine traditional culture and modern architecture

— To oppose the constraints to daily life caused by the privatisation of public space and counter the subsequent loss of social and cultural agency

The development of concept

Base on the main concepts of courtyard to develop my concepts. Each color represent one unit of apartment. On the ground floor, the communal rooms provide the kitchen, studio and a tea room for people to interact and get along. On the top floor, people can People can grow vegetables and talk together

06 Render
BBq and talking in the courtyard
Daily acitivities on the street (playing chess, Erhu performance, stall)
Community center

The center of my site is a community center. This community center consists of a central park and activities center.

The site is located in Shaoxing city, which has a long history and culture and is a famous water town in China. The center park design's inspiration comes from the collision and integration of Chinese traditional culture and modern design. The four elements of formal gardens, namely mountain, water, architecture, and plants, are integrated with modern design techniques to create a cultural and beautiful landscape effect. The whole park is divided into an entrance landscape area, central water scenic area, a quiet recreation area, and a daily leisure area. Use the water feature as the base of the whole garden, connect plants, buildings, and pieces, and use the reflection of the water to create the landscape. And the use of a large number of traditional garden techniques - opposite scenery, enframed scenery, leaking through scenery, combined with modern design forms and means. Sculpture, landscape wall, gallery frame, chair, tree pool, and other architectural pieces are set to meet People's Daily use needs.

The activity center surrounds the central park, and its layout is borrowed from the courtyard house. besides, The activity center's facade adopts the curtain wall to borrow the grain of the traditional Chinese structure "column and tie construction."

01 Render
opposite scenery
02 Render
enframed scenery
leaking through scenery
04 Render
leaking through scenery
05 Render
Tai Ji