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Title: Linked hybrid in Beijing : placing an American building and its architectural concept in its Chinese context
Author: Lam, T.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis takes the American architect Steven Holl’s design in Beijing, Linked Hybrid, as a case study to investigate the social, political and cultural context of China’s contemporary architecture. The research focuses on the development, in an urban zone in the Dongzhimenwai area of Beijing, of a socialist paper mill community from the late 1980s into the Beijing Linked Hybrid community in 2010. The urban development process was analysed through six emic concepts, which were discovered in the course of ethnographic fieldwork research. These concepts are dayuan (big community or 大院), guanxi (personal connection or关系), mianzi (face or 面子), shi (trend or 势), mofan (exemplary model or 模范) and shanzhai (fake product or山寨). Fieldwork trips were undertaken between 2007 and 2010 to understand how the local community members of the paper mill and Linked Hybrid perceived the changes in their living environment. Key community members and architectural practitioners were traced and interviewed during the period of research. Written documentation from the paper mill’s propaganda department archives and the personal archives of an ex-worker about the area before the construction of Linked Hybrid, provided the historical context for the case study. The Linked Hybrid occupants eventually built a wall to enclose their new residential community, which was specifically designed to be an open community to solve China’s problematic urbanism. Thus, the architect’s architectural ideals became ineffective when his architecture was situated in the Chinese context that is described in this thesis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available