Date of Award

Spring 5-30-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master in Interior Architecture [Adaptive Reuse]


Interior Architecture

First Advisor

Markus Berger

Second Advisor

Jeffrey Katz

Third Advisor

Liliane Wong


As a traditionally rural- based country, the countryside of China has undergone drastic changing settings since the hasty urbanization procedure and township development over last thirty years. One outstanding manifestation is how residents take shelter. The centuries-old dwellings with rich ornamentation or great historical value caught eyes of researchers, designers and developers, while the rising defective undertow in civilian houses is somewhat neglected.

Rural residences are no longer related to their local context, through wide acceptance of western styles and easy access to modern, standard non-regional materials. In the lower Yangtze River region (also known as Jiangnan district), where the Chinese classic garden culture originates, the built environment condition is far more severe, due to the clash between tradition and the fastest pace modernization across the country against the intrinsic classic garden culture. As a prominent dwelling typology, the architectural language of the garden residence, together with the traditional Chinese aesthetic values, is slipping away. The traditional home, with its living habits and customs, is no more.

It is only when people realized that memories evoked in certain places (lieux de memoire) no longer correspond to the changed surroundings will they become especially aware of changes that had taken place.1 By intervening within a family house compound with characteristics of western and Chinese residences in the rural Jiangnan District, my thesis investigates the current relationships between heterogeneous and local elements, seeking for an optimal solution that could be applied to any number of impacted habitats dwellings in the rural areas.

My intervention strategy aims to embrace various elements into one integral unit, by using the versatility of the non-native elements in new and distinctly indigenous ways. The connection between families, houses, surroundings, house- courtyardgarden hierarchy will be re-established in order to contextualize the rural residences within the region. The self-awareness and cultural identity in modern built environment could be restored from this point.



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