The Condition of Chinese Architecture






Foreword: 24 Keywords, The Conditions of Chinese Architecture

by Li Xiangning


Nowadays Reality: Portrait of a Country

Introduction: Essential China

by Rory Stott

The Condition of Chinese Architecture

Inured to Demolition

The Architecture of the Tabula Rasa

City-Making Process

Growth 24/7: Experimental Miracle


Absorbing Modernity

Introduction: What is Modern Chinese Architecture?

by Charlie Q. L. Xue

The Firsts Contacts, 1582

Self-Strengthening, 1840

Writing the Architectural History, 1912

One Culture, One Architecture, 1949

From Postmodern to World Stage, 1978-2008

Avant-garde, Critic, and Post-Critic



Chang Yong Ho, Atelier FCJZ

Liu Jiakun, Jiakun Architects

Ma Yansong, MAD architects

Liu Xiaodu, URBANUS Architecture & Design

Zhang Ke, Zao/Standardarchitecture

Qi Xin, Qi Xin Architects and Engineers

Chen Yifeng, Atelier Deshaus

Rocco Yim, ROCCO Design Architects Limited

Li Xiaodong, Li Xiaodong Atelier

Li Hu, OPEN Architecture

Zhang Lei, AZL Atelier Zhanglei

Zhang Bin, Atelier Z+

Zhu Pei, Studio Pei-Zhu

Xu Tiantian, DnA Design and Architecture

Liu Yuyang, LYA Atelier Liu Yuyang Architects

Lu Wenyu, Amateur Architecture



Introduction: Experiments and Innovation in China’s Building Lab

by Harry den Hartog

Do What Is Taught

Peasant Construction Workers

Pushed by Practice

Visual Impact

Immaterial Legacy

World Culture



In China, 1% of the world’s architects have to design 50% of all the buildings and must do so for 15% of the profit. This extreme situation in which architects have to operate, design and build, creates the theoretical basis for ‘The Condition of Chinese Architecture’.


In addition to interviewing the critical voices of contemporaryChinese architecture, the authors report the nowadays reality of the country, the architectural evolution since the first contacts with the West in 1582 and the issues affecting its contemporary practice.

The result is a groundbreaking, cumulative reckoning teased out through layers of personal accounts and cross-disciplinary research, drawing on architecture, aesthetics, philosophy, politics, and society.


The Condition of Chinese Architecture



Pier Alessio Rizzardi

Zhang Hankun


Contributing Authors

Li Xiangning

Harry den Hartog

Rory Stott

Charlie Q. L. Xue


English Editor

Vanessa Quirk

Edna Gee

Lydia Cooper


Chinese Editor

Ai Zhang

Wang Jing


On the cover

Handan City Landscape, Stock City

by Yong Liang Yang



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ISBN-13: 978-1916453708

ISBN-10: 1916453708



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