Chinese Houses: The Architectural Heritage of a Nation


Ronald G. Knapp, Jonathan Spence and A. Chester Ong
2004. Tuttle Publishing
Hard cover. 31.3cm x 23.8cm, 288 pages
200+ black/white and colour photographs
ISBN: 9780804835374

Out of stock

Product Description

Drawing on decades of research, this award-winning book is a fascinating guide to a compelling part of China’s built heritage and showcases 20 once-dilapidated dwellings that have been tastefully refurbished to reflect their grand past, or reinvigorated as modern residences. In Chinese Houses, Ronald G. Knapp has compiled a definitive collection of domestic architecture in metropolitan China as well as a number of rural areas. Beautifully illustrated with sumptuous photography and detailed plans, along with background information and historical context, this scholarly work examines each carefully chosen home, and introductory essays look at the Chinese house as an architectural type and provide an overview of the rich diversity of dwellings found in the country.

Chinese House is the winner of the Henry Glassie Award for Vernacular Architecture and is ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year for Architecture!

Editorial Reviews

“This beautifully composed and produced book results from the effective collaboration of an experienced scholar and a talented photographer.” Choice magazine “This book, Illustrated with many beautiful photographs and drawings, could serve as the best guide for preserving China’s heritage.” Orientations Magazine

About the Author

Ronald G. Knapp has been carrying out research in China’s countryside on cultural and historical geography since 1965. Currently SUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the State University of New York, New Paltz, he is the author or editor of more than a dozen books, including, most recently, China’s Living Houses: Folk Beliefs, Symbols and Household Ornamentation; China’s Old Dwellings; Tradition, Resilience and Change; and is co-editor with Kai-Yin Lo of House, Home, Family: Living and Being Chinese.

About the Photographer

A. Chester Ong, born and raised in the Philippines and currently based in Hong Kong, specializes in cultural documentary, architecture and food photography. He has contributed to magazines, books, and exhibitions in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. Among recent books featuring his photography are Tropical Living: Contemporary Dream Houses in the Philippines and China Modern

Table of Contents

Foreword by Jonathan Spence
Part One: The Architecture of the Chinese House
Part Two: The Chinese House as Living Space
Part Three: China’s Fine Heritage Houses
A Beijing Courtyard House: Mei Lanfang’s Siheyuan
Northern Mountain Houses: Chuandixia Village
Jiangnan Canal Houses: Homes in Yangzi Delta Watertowns
An Educator’s Residence: Shen Family Home
A Scholar’s Study: Xu Wei’s Green Vine Studio
A Millionaire’s Home: Kang Family Manor
A Three-Story Ming Dynasty House: Wang Ganchen’s ‘Swallow’s Wing Hall’
A Merchant’s Residence: Wang Dinggui’s ‘Hall of Inheriting Ambition’
The Five Phoenix Mansion: Lin Family’s ‘Fortune in Abundance Tower’
Round Fortress Ramparts in Fujian: ‘Inspiring Success Tower’ and ‘Like a Sheng Tower’
Hakka Encircling Dragons: De Xing Tang and Ning’an Lu Weilongwu
A Mandarin’s Mansion in Hong Kong: Man Chung-luen’s Residence
A Country Farmhouse: Mao Zedong’s Boyhood Home
A Landlord’s Village Home: Liu Shauqui’s Boyhood Home
Urban Dwellings in Northern Sichuan: Ma and Feng Family Residences
A U-Shaped Farmhouse: Deng Xiaopeng’s Boyhood Home
A Grand Qing Manor and a Simple Ming Courtyard House: Qiao Family Manor and Ding Family Village
The Manor of a Bean Curd Maker: Wang Family Manor
Walled City Residences: Fan Family Courtyard
Cave Dwellings of the North: Subterranean Adaptations

Additional Information

Weight 2000 g
Dimensions 31.3 x 23.8 x 2.5 cm