Towards the flourishing of Chinese Protestantism : an architectural enquiry, Shanghai

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Fan, Kai
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Architecture (Professional)
Unitec Institute of Technology
Su, Bin
McConchie, Graeme
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Shanghai (China)
church architecture
Protestant church design
social services
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Fan, K. (2019). Towards the flourishing of Chinese Protestantism : an architectural enquiry, Shanghai. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional)). Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from
RESEARCH QUESTION: How can a new church architecture be formed combining Protestant and social service functions to enable a Protestant community to prosper in China? ABSTRACT: Shanghai is a metropolitan city in China with a growing number of young people. While these young people enjoy the high standard of living offered by the city, they are are under intense pressure from their work, family and study. Many turn to God and convert to Protestantism in a search for spiritual strength and to relieve this pressure. This has increased a need for Protestant church architecture in Shanghai. However, the government and building developers are not willing to invest money in the construction of such churches due to its single functional use. This leads to a small number of churches being built in Shanghai hindering the development of Chinese Protestantism. The Protestant church complex in this project explores multiple possible functions of the building and encourages government and building developers to see the value of Protestant church architecture. Moreover, instead of being limited to a single function, diversified church architecture helps Protestantism become more firmly rooted in Chinese society and aid an understanding of the universality of the Protestant faith. Good Protestant church architecture appeals to more worshippers. My research focuses on literature about Protestant faith, the relationship between Protestant communities and Protestant church architecture in China and its social use. An analysis of precedents in architecture is included to help me understand existing forms of Protestant church architecture and how to combine them with religious and secular needs. The outcome of this project is to create a new architectural form for the Protestant church: a Protestant church complex providing both religious and social functions. The aim is to offer both a meaningful spiritual experience to Chinese Protestants and a platform for the public to learn about the Protestant faith. A future vision of the project is to promote this new architectural form to other Chinese cities and engender a flourishing of Chinese Protestantism.
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