A pathway into history

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Han, Liyang
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Architecture (Professional)
Unitec Institute of Technology
Su, Bin
McConchie, Graeme
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Jinan (Shandong Sheng, China)
Shandong Province (China)
memorial design
architecture and space
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Han, L. (2021). A pathway into history. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional)). Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand. https://hdl.handle.net/10652/5502
RESEARCH QUESTION How can architectural space and form serve to narrate a significant piece of history? ABSTRACT After 40 years of rapid economic development in China, the rate of economic growth has begun to slow down. China faces many social and economic problems, such as trade wars, COVID-19, population ageing and climate change. These challenges cannot help but remind the Chinese people of the difficulties associated with modern China’s development process since 1840. Chinese people learn about modern Chinese history from when they are at junior high school, and it inspires young students to be brave and strong in the face of problems in their life. China has some memorials for specific historical incidents. However, no architecture commemorates or tells the whole legendary story of the rise of modern China. People mainly learn about this history from books and films. This research project explores how to narrate the development history of modern China through the language of architectural space. It aims to use architectural space to let people perceive, understand and commemorate this period of history in a new and more comprehensive way. Many incidents related to the development process in modern China have occurred in Jinan, the capital city of Shandong Province, China. The site for this project is the location of a historic incident that took place in central Jinan and is now an inactive city-centre space. The project aims to achieve a multifunctional memorial architecture to connect different urban areas in relation to the site features. This research will include the history of China’s development since 1840, with the aim of understanding the details of the country’s development process. Reviewing the development process of memorial architectures provides direction for the design concept. Anthony Vidler’s idea of warped space is investigated in this research to help generate the design concept. This design project also studies the theory of architectural narrative and phenomenology to promote the development of the design process. This project integrates aspects of the urban structure of Jinan city centre by connecting the park, the commercial area and the square. It brings attraction and vitality to the inactive areas of the city centre. People are provided with a unique space experience. While they may not understand the form of this space, the experience and perception of the space will become part of people’s memory. When people recall the history of Chinese development that they learned in school, this space experience will be combined with the memories of the past, thus helping people to understand that period of history more deeply.
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