Conference Proceedings

Negotiation Across Cultural Distance: The Creation and Interpretation of a “Chinese Style” Christian Campus

Yinrui Xie, Paul Walker, Victoria Jackson Wyatt (ed.), Andrew Leach (ed.), Lee Stickells (ed.)

Proceedings of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand 36, Distance Looks Back | Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) | Published : 2020

Abstract

For Europeans, China has long been in the imagination of remote fantasies. The seventeenth century and the following eras of colonialism witnessed a lasting interest among Western architects in designing Chinese-style buildings. These either represented historical and geographical “distance” or – if built for Chinese audiences – a putative “familiarity.” The campus of West China Union University (Chengdu, China) was among the Chinese-style projects designed by Western architects in the early twentieth century. To facilitate local acceptance of this institution, British architect Fred Rowntree took great pains in combining Chinese architectural elements with Western principles and technolog..

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