Building Restoration

On this page you will find all the articles that cover the subject of restoration, including those projects dealing with monuments, parks and other areas of cultural or historical significance.

The definition of building restoration is the process of restoring a building to it’s original condition. However this concept is still fairly new in China. Major UNESCO sights such as the Great Wall or Forbidden City are good examples of Chinese building restoration. Yet when strolling around the older parts of any major Chinese city, it becomes apparent that individual building restoration is less favoured compared with the more cost effective ‘knock-down and rebuild’ approach, often used for an entire area. In Beijing for example, if you stroll around the Dongsi hutongs to the north of the capital, it’s possible to uncover some of the more genuine restoration projects, such as the Red Capital Club and Residence and Nanluoguxiang. However if you walk along the pedestrianised street of Qianmen in the city centre you’ll find yourself in a far more commercialised “restoration” project.

If you’ve come across an article about, or a had a personal experience with a restoration project in China that you would like to share with us, feel free to contact us.

Interview With A Forbidden City Restoration Expert

Interview With A Forbidden City Restoration Expert

 With Spring quickly approaching and a rare Beijing “blue sky day”, I recently found myself with a perfect opportunity to visit a local courtyard project in the city. I was invited by a friend Ian, an Old China Hand who also has an interest in Beijing’s culture and heritage, to visit a private courtyard in Banshang Hutong in the Xidan… Read more →

Hall Of Rectitude Rebuilt

Here is an article by the International Herald Tribune on the restoration of the Hall of Rectitude in the Forbidden City. Seeing as the original complex burnt down in 1923 I’m not sure it can accurately be called a restoration, and perhaps would better suit the title of ‘reconstruction’. The complex – initially created in 1697 – consists of 10 Buddhist buildings originally… Read more →

Dashilan's Inevitable Fate?

Dashilan’s Inevitable Fate?

This article was originally published in the Global Times (09.11.12) and discusses the ongoing development projects in the Qianmen area of Beijing, using the example of the former Quanyechang department store as an example of  the Beijing Municipal Commission of Urban Planning’s approach to building preservation.   It said historic buildings will be preserved, and there will be eight new buildings in “neo”… Read more →

Preserve, Restore Or Create Anew?

Preserve, Restore Or Create Anew?

Article featured in the Global Times (06.11.12) on the Old Summer Palace, YuanMingYuan, and the ongoing debate about whether to restore, rebuild or simply preserve the site. The article outlines the shift in people’s outlook over the past few decades towards how best to commemorate this part of China’s history. Although a few people are still debating whether to rebuild the Old… Read more →