I’m reading Shi Jian’s The Soul of the Land (《大地之灵》) (Chinese book, ISBN 7-80603-252-5). I learnt the three orders or organizational systems of classical western architecture. I am very happy about the new knowledge. Whenever I look at a western style building now, I can quickly recognize the language they use – it’s like a secret code between the architect and me, so I get more information about the building.
I browsed my old photo gallery on my computer. Many buildings in Shanghai borrowed the orders from Greek. I admire the small country who spread its culture to the world.
Photo 1: The transformed Doric Order of the Shanghai Exhibition Center:
© Jian Shuo Wang.
Photo 2: The Ionic order of the Shanghai Concert Hall:
© Jian Shuo Wang. The Shanghai Concert Hall before it was moved to the new location
The Shanghai traditional resident buildings are mixture of both Chinese and western architectural style. I took the picture below on Oct 21, 2004 in the area near Xintiandi. Look at the Ionic orders on the second floor. It is a resident building with traditional Chinese roof and Ionic orders. This should be the last photo of this beautiful house. It was tore down about one month later. It is the typical fate of nice Shanghai traditional houses. When one small apartment of the building on the same land raises to 7000 USD/sq. meter, who can resist the offer to tear them down and build something new? When I was interviewed in New York, I talked about this issue.
© Jian Shuo Wang
The area in Luwan District still remains large areas of such houses. Take of the picture below. I hope after 2 years from now on, they are stil there.
© Jian Shuo Wang. Large area of old houses in Shanghai. Taken from the top of the Corporate Avenue Building
Next time, I will visit the Bund again. I believe it will no longer be the previous Bund I saw.
I will continue to read about the Chinese traditional architecture part and hopefully, be able to read more from the silent houses. Maybe I will visit the Zhuo Zheng Yuan for the third time with the new knowledge.