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In Session: On the Reception of Foreign Landscape Elements in Asia, with A Focus on Garden-Architecture Relationship
2: The Juxtaposition of Landscape Ideal and Complex Reality of Cities: The Chinese Conception of Shan-shui City
Tuesday, March 23, 2021
8:30am – 10:00am EDT
Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture, China
The Chinese compound Shan-shui, meaning mountains and waters in natural landscapes, has been a consistent ideal pursued in traditional garden making. With the core tasks of shaping the overall Shan-shui structure and the relationships between landscape elements, the tradition of Chinese garden concluded as Landscape Shan-shui plays a distinctive role in the development of contemporary Chinese urban landscapes. The role is manifested in building an ideal urban pattern of mountains-waters-settlements. In the early 21st century, the definition of landscape in Western countries was expanded into urban scale, thus interweaving with more complex urban realities, such as city sprawl, uncertain urban environmental crises, and focusing on landscape performance. Landscape was conceived critically as a primary element in forming the urban order and a medium for constructing the city in the framework of Landscape Urbanism and further Ecological Urbanism. The research manifests that under the influences of the new development of Western landscape and the urgent needs for large-scale urban constructions, the concept of Shan-shui city proposed in 1990 by Chinese scientist Qian Xuesen became vital, which offered a holistic approach of Shan-shui structure for Chinese landscape architects and architects to explore the transition of Landscape Shan-shui to the new development of planning and design at scales of architecture-landscape-city. The Shanshui city further embodies the Ecological Shan-shui but not focusing on the landscape performance, as well as the Humanistic Shan-shui confronting urban complexity but still remaining ideal Shan-shui structure and cultural image, when critically responding to the new understanding of Western landscape.