Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Return to Vernacular Origins through Parametric Interpretation

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posted on 2021-11-15, 23:21 authored by Zhang, Yunjing

Without any doubts, China has made a remarkable development in various fields in a last decade, and there are no any signs of that the paces of rapid development happened to China will slow down in the next decades. As a result, every city in China are entering into a boom period in term of urbanization and modernization. No matter it is a super metropolis, for instant, Shanghai, Beijing or it is a small city as Yangzhou, the one chosen for this research thesis, they are all a part of this rapid booming trending and progress. Parametric architecture has been playing a significant role in this booming period: avant-garde forms, incredibly large scale, starchitect such as Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas etc, and extra economic value added, all these features had made parametric architecture to be considered as the symbol of the rapid development. At same time, the voice of critical on this has never stopped: lack of traditions, absence of “Chineseness”, cities identity damaged caused by parametric architecture. Unfortunately, there seems neither nothing going to stop numerous parametric architecture raised up, nor provide a convincible solution to the issues in the contemporary cites in China.  This thesis explores the conflict between Chinese vernacular manner and parametric architecture, and investigate how the parametric architecture is able to well fit in the Chinese environment context and express Chinese vernacular ideas which needs to be redefined.  It argues the so called ‘Chineseness’ is blur and unclear, or most of people ‘s understanding toward ‘Chineseness’ always stay at the iconic level. It further argue the essences of Chinese vernacular ideas which could be merged into parametric architecture and help to deal with the issues which the contemporary city in China has such as inhumanity scale, lack of green space and public space. The aim is not only to find a way to combine the parametric design and Chinese vernacular ideas harmoniously but also via this combination to solve the issues in Yangzhou which is a representative and typical China contemporary city.


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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Master of Architecture (Professional)

Victoria University of Wellington Unit

University Library

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Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



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Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


Schnabel, Marc Aurel