January 18, 2013
10.00 Inches (US)
7.00 Inches (US)
2.95 Pounds (US)
$60.00 USD
v2.1 Reference

Chang'an Avenue and the Modernization of Chinese Architecture

In this interdisciplinary narrative, the never-ending "completion" of China's most important street offers a broad view of the relationship between art and ideology in modern China. Chang'an Avenue, named after China's ancient capital (whose name means "Eternal Peace"), is supremely symbolic. Running east-west through the centuries-old heart of Beijing, it intersects the powerful north-south axis that links the traditional centers of political and spiritual legitimacy (the imperial Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven). Among its best-known features are Tiananmen Square and the Great Hall of the People, as well as numerous other monuments and prominent political, cultural, financial, and travel-related institutions. Drawing on Chang'an Avenue's historic ties and modern transformations, this study explores the deep structure of the Chinese modernization project, providing both a big picture of Beijing's urban texture alteration and details in the design process of individual buildings.

Political winds shift, architectural styles change, and technological innovations influence waves of demolition and reconstruction in this analysis of Chang'an Avenue's metamorphosis. During collective design processes, architects, urban planners, and politicians argue about form, function, and theory, and about Chinese vs. Western and traditional vs. modern style. Every decision is fraught with political significance, from the 1950s debate over whether Tiananmen Square should be open or partially closed; to the 1970s discussion of the proper location, scale, and design of the Mao Memorial/Mausoleum; to the more recent controversy over whether the egg-shaped National Theater, designed by the French architect Paul Andreu, is an affront to Chinese national pride.

About the Author

Shuishan Yu is associate professor of art history at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.


"The book highlights radical changes in China’s economy and politics that have created new opportunities, new practices, and new debates in architecture. It will be of great interest to students of Chinese contemporary culture and architecture, and valuable as supplementary reading for courses on the global history of architecture."—Choice Reviews, September 2013

"Presents evocative ideas through detailed accounts of various projects in different historical periods…[and]demonstrates that modernization has never been linear in regard to urban planning and architectural design in modern China."—Qiu Zitong, The China Journal


"There is no comparable book in a Western language, and Chang'an Avenue goes farther in its vision than any comparable book in Chinese. Focusing on China's most important locus, Tian'anmen and the Forbidden City behind it, and modern China's most important street, Chang'an Avenue, it explains how architecture was integral to China's attempt to define a socialist, sometimes totalitarian, and ultimately people's republican state from the rapidly changing world of the 1950s through the Beijing Olympics."—Nancy Steinhardt, author of Chinese Imperial City Planning

9780295992136 : changan-avenue-and-the-modernization-of-chinese-architecture-yu
352 Pages
$60.00 USD

Other Titles from China Program Books

City of Virtues

Chuck Wooldridge
May 2015 - University of Washington Press
$30.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$90.00 USD - Hardback

Scenic Spots

Pal Nyiri
Oct 2007 - University of Washington Press
$90.00 USD - Hardback
$25.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles in ARCHITECTURE / Urban & Land Use Planning

Improvised City

Cole Roskam
Apr 2019 - University of Washington Press
$65.00 USD - Hardback

Building Washington

Robert J. Kapsch
May 2018 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$69.95 USD - Hardback
$69.95 USD - Electronic book text

Waterfront Manhattan

Kurt C. Schlichting
Apr 2018 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$24.95 USD - Hardback
$24.95 USD - Electronic book text

Other Titles in Ethnic minorities & multicultural studies

Gateway to Equality

Keona K. Ervin
May 2019 - University Press of Kentucky
$60.00 USD - Hardback
$60.00 USD - Electronic book text
$60.00 USD - Electronic book text

Indian Fishing

Hilary Stewart
Jan 2018 - HFWSH
$34.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Speaking Havoc

Ramu Nagappan
Oct 2017 - HFWSH
$28.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$90.00 USD - Hardback