The voice of women in Chinese architecture

The voice of women in Chinese architecture

Women’s studies officially began in China in the early 1980s. Women woke up and began to take on more important roles in society as it grew. Women had worked as architects for a century, but Lin Huiyin was not recognized as the country’s first female architect until the 1920s due to the late development of the profession in China. But nowadays, more and more women architects occupy crucial positions.

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The voice of women in architecture encompasses a sense of awareness within a traditionally male-dominated design rather than being limited to a predominantly female-dominated design. The architecture incorporates ethical theory grounded in feminist research that emphasizes human emotions, relationships, and reciprocal care by presenting the different facets of thinking brought about by gender disparities from a feminine position. and reflecting the aesthetic sensibility of women. Many Chinese women architects have made their voices heard throughout history and the present.

1. Diversity of aesthetic systems

In a long-standing patriarchal society, the rise of female architects released the aesthetic inclinations of women that had been suppressed, neglected, and dormant. The aesthetic system of architecture is now more diverse due to the aesthetic distinctions between the two genres and their respective ways of thinking.

Zhang Jinqiu: Shaanxi History Museum

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Zhang Jinqiu:. Picture via XINHUA DAILY TELEGRAPH

Zhang Jinqiu has studied and applied the resurrected architectural style known as “New Tang Style” in the modern urban development of Xi’an and has built many iconic structures that have marked and defined the city’s cityscape. The work of art demonstrates three points of view: harmony and difference in architecture, the unification of heaven and man in the environment, and harmonious architecture from a creative point of view. . “The Tang style that I practice is really a method of exploring varied creation. When it comes to different architectural designs, I appreciate them all as long as they are appropriate to the time, place and theme.”

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Shaanxi History Museum. Image via Shaanxi History Museum

Peng Lele: Red stone house / Workshop 100s+1

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Peng Lele. Image via Jie Mian

The bed and breakfast, known as Red Rock Mountain House, creates a contemporary architectural style rooted in the neighborhood. The building has a specificity specific to the local context thanks to the work of Peng Lele, who demonstrates respect for the environment in which it is located. She continually considers the most appropriate and relevant building materials for the “local” context as she designs. This link is sometimes found in nature, sometimes in social history. The Red Stone Hill House gives the impression of emerging from its surroundings thanks to the large red stone waste that was used in its construction.

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Red stone house. Image © Zhi Xia

2. Inconsistent Space Activity

Women are more likely to sense and encounter targets in space than men, and they enjoy staying there, discovering, meeting, and interacting, unlike men who prefer direct targeting through space. With a humanistic approach, people feel more comfortable in the structure because it emphasizes the relevance of communication space and human feelings.

Liu Heng: Shenzhen Futian Wedding Hall / KNOT Architecture & Urbanism

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Liu Heng. Image courtesy of NODE Architecture & Urbanisme

By linking the various activities that take place around the pond in an enclosed space – arriving, waiting, registering, crossing the pond, gathering steps, handing over the certificate and meeting waiting family and friends – the project aims to create a timeline experience. The design creates a rich space by using a promenade to connect the other elements of the site, including trees, fish ponds and other natural elements, in an offbeat and natural way. Two people metaphorically enter a new phase of their life as it meanders.

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Shenzhen Futian Wedding Hall. Image courtesy of NODE Architecture & Urbanisme

Huang Wenjing: Gehua Youth and Culture Center / Open Architecture

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Huang Wenjing. Image courtesy of Open Architecture

The interior of the camp structure is adaptable and variable, and it is permeable and open to meet various functional requirements. The space is organized around a central interior courtyard, taking advantage of the site’s 3-meter drop to naturally create several activity spaces. The “zigzag” green brick road that crosses the courtyard connects the different heights while also serving as an intriguing landscape feature. A small 120-seat theater is located at one end of the courtyard. Two walls of substantial folding doors that can be opened into the theater face the courtyard. The modest theater is perfectly transformed into a spacious new performance hall by incorporating the outdoor courtyard.

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Gehua Cultural and Youth Center. Image © Zhi Xia

3. General impression with textures and details

Moreover, the design consistently demonstrates the distinctive finesse of female architects. seeking romantic and sensual activities, feeling the mood changes caused by changes in the physical environment Therefore, female thought directs the creation of more exquisite and private settings, connecting with the emotional experience of humans through the use of color and manipulation of light to produce quality work.

He Qing: Changde Bozi Kitchen Museum / Ideal Space Studio

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He Qing. Image courtesy of Ideal Space Studio

The gray and white district of Changde’s Old West Gate is where the red volume of the Bozi Kitchen Museum first appears, displaying a setting that emphasizes modernism in the undulating gray tiled roof from space. The twisted red concrete conveys memories of Changde’s Bozi cuisine while showcasing the romance of concrete and the distinctive texture of the building due to the material’s inherent coarseness.

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Changde Bozi Kitchen Museum. Image © Lei Qu

Hu Rushan Suzhou Chapel / Neri&Hu Design and Research Bureau

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Hu Ruchan. Image courtesy of Neri&Hu Design and Research Office

The delicate volume of white auditorium cubes separated into two layers is formed by the building’s floating white facade and undulating brick walls. The outer layer is a folded sheet metal skin with openings, like a “veil”, while the inner layer is a simple “box” with irregular window openings on all sides. In the veil under the cover of the disguised figure, the white box in the sunbath radiates soft light during the day. The auditorium is illuminated by light that filters through the windows at night, giving the building the appearance of a beacon.

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Suzhou Chapel. Image © Pedro Pégenaute

This article is part of the ArchDaily topics: Women in Architecture presented by Sky frame.

Sky frame is characterized by its empathetic ability to adopt different perspectives and points of view. We are interested in people and their visions, whether in architecture or in a social context. We care deeply about creating living spaces and in doing so we also question the role of women in architecture. From the arts to the sciences, women shape our society. We want to highlight this role, increase the visibility of women in architecture and empower/encourage them to reach their full potential.

Initiated by Sky-Frame, the Documentary “Women in Architecture” is an impetus for inspiration, discussion and reflection. The release of the film is November 3, 2022.

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