People's Wall : reconstructing a new city wall for the modern city of Beijing
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture.
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"If the Warsaw community is to be reborn, if its core is to be constituted by former Warsawians, then they have to be given back, their old rebuilt Warsaw to some extent, so that they can see in it the same city, though considerably altered, and not a different town on the same spot. One must take into consideration the fact that individual attachment to old forms is a factor of social unity." --A writer's Comments Warsaw's post WWII reconstruction project for The Warsaw Escarpment, 1946 The notion of "Wall" is intrinsic to how Chinese people understand and define a city; in fact, the very character "City" in an ancient Chinese pictogram depicts a wall with two gates preventing an attacker from invading. The People's Republic of China came into power with an overwhelming sentiment of restart and revolution following the trauma of World War II and the Chinese Civil War. In the early period of modern China, the critical relics of the wall were quickly dismissed in favor of expansion and modernization. It was dismantled under Mao Zedong's regime in only a decade. The sentiment to resurrect the wall has long been present; people wish for its resurrection in part because many places in Beijing are still named accordingly. It is apparent that the wall and its gates are still instrumental to the local inhabitants' psycho-geographic maps. However, the few reconstruction projects that were actually realized by the government have not only disrupted the life of current inhabitants, but also done more harm to the surviving courtyard house fabric than good. Therefore, this project proposes an alternative method of reconstruction which enriches, rather than damages, the old city center. The new wall is imagined as a continuous landscape infrastructure; the design systematically investigates the original footprint and existing context. A set of interventions, ranging from constructions of new wall structures to minimal marking of the original footprint, aim to actualize a much-missed coherency in a fragmented reality.
Thesis: M. Arch., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Architecture, 2017.Page 99 blank. Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 97-98).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture
Massachusetts Institute of Technology