China travel guide


China Travel Guide

Modern architecture

Modern architecture The Chinese modern architecture reflects political and economic issues, rather than ethnic or climatic concerns. During the nineteenth century several treaty ports were established in the European colonial form by the foreign merchants, banks, shipping firms and missionaries who developed their affairs at the coast of the country.

Today, the old offices, warehouses and churches still give certain cities a distinctive appearance. Hankou in Wuhan Province has a Customs House and a lot of streets with colonial buildings, as do the former east-coast concessions of Shanghai, Qingdao, Yantai, Shantou, Xiamen and Guangzhou. European-inspired building continued until the 1930s.

When the Communist took the control of the government, there were some efforts to join Chinese styles with modern materials; for example, replacing adobe walls with concrete, and preserving the traditional designs in rural and state constructions, but it had a limited succeed.

By the 1950s, the Russian style became the urban norm because the ideological alliance with the Chinese government, practically obliging that everything, from factories to hotels, had to be built with similar grey cubic forms.

Since the Chinese economy have been opened up to the World, particularly to capitalism, in the late 1970s; in the major cities have appeared a move towards a more international-modern appearance of the buildings, as seen in the increasing demand of concrete-and-glass in the country.

However, it has a sad aspect; the traditional distinctiveness of the Chinese architecture is increasingly seen as old fashioned. Today, there are occasional attempts to unite the ancient Chinese methods with current needs, and in a small number of places can be found apartment buildings bordered by walled compounds and topped with curled roof tiles.

In the other hand, China currently has one of the most powerful economies of the world. It can be practical seen in the major cities, where there is an impressive increase of modern buildings and skyscrapers. Years before, the Chinese constructions were poor imitations of the Western style, but nowadays places like Shanghai or Guangzhou are creating their new modern architectural style.

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