Jonathan Chatwin

This chapter tells the story of the first years of Republican rule, and in particular that of China’s first president, Yuan Shikai. It explores the history of Zhongnanhai, China’s presidential compound, with a particular focus on the years when Mao Zedong lived there.

in Long Peace Street
Jonathan Chatwin

This chapter describes a visit to Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery, China’s national cemetery. Established in 1951 for the burial of revolutionary martyrs, the site is home in perpetuity to the remains of many of the elite of the Chinese Communist Party. In particular, it tells the story of Peng Dehuai, China’s former Defence Minister and one of the key leaders of the Chinese Communist Party during the revolution, who was purged from the party after daring to challenge Mao over his management of the Great Leap Forward in 1959.

in Long Peace Street
Jonathan Chatwin

This chapter tells of the history of the city, from its first founding by the Mongol Yuan dynasty to the early twentieth century.

in Long Peace Street
The development and design of the city 1660–1720

This book is about the making of London in the period 1660-1720. This period saw the beginnings of a new understanding of built form and a transitional stage in the transmission and articulation of that form in design procedures. The book discusses the processes and methods by which the development of the city was financed and organized. It considers the leading developers and questions to what extent the traditional model which attributes responsibility for the development of London to aristocratic landlords is a viable one. The book looks at the structure of the building industry and assesses how it was adapted to meet the demands of the production of speculative housing on a scale and at a pace never previously experienced. It outlines how concepts concerning the form of the new terraces were communicated and transmitted through the building chain and finally realized in the built product. The book focuses on the discipline of architectural history and is primarily concerned with architectural and urban design issues. It talks about drawings as the sum of an architect's oeuvre, rather than the buildings, or the drawings and the buildings together. The book provides information on the style and layout of the new developments and explores the extent to which they can be categorized as a 'modernizing' phenomenon.

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Honest artisans and crafty contractors
Elizabeth McKellar

Dan Cruickshank has characterized the constructor of the Georgian speculative house as a builder rather than a craftsman. This chapter investigates who the craftsman was and the ways in which he operated in speculative development, an area in which architects were not involved as designers, although sometimes as developers and investors. It necessarily concentrates upon practice among the higher ranks of the building trades, although more information about the divisions and structures within those trades is needed for a fuller picture. Linda Clarke insists, as the result of a rigidly deterministic Marxist mode of analysis, that the building tradesman remained an artisan; full capitalism, based in her view. The master builder or building contractor is usually seen as a nineteenth century phenomenon, with Thomas Cubbitt in the early nineteenth century being seen as the first of a new breed.

in The birth of modern London
Jonathan Chatwin

This chapter relates the history of the Shougang Iron and Steel factory, sited out at the western limit of Long Peace Street, and discusses the potential future plans for the now disused site. It also surveys the destructive years of the Great Leap Forward, and Mao Zedong’s preoccupation with industrial development.

in Long Peace Street
Jonathan Chatwin

This chapter continues to discuss the change witnessed in Beijing in the first two decades of the twenty-first century, and the seemingly endless process of destruction and rebuilding which has characterised the city’s regeneration. It also discusses the 2008 Summer Olympics.

in Long Peace Street
Design through drawing
Elizabeth McKellar

This chapter outlines what is meant by the term 'design'. The central question for design practice in early modern England, as for building practice, is the extent to which there was a separation of design and production. Very little attempt has been made to understand drawings in terms of the contemporary approach to design, or to consider in a broader sense what their purpose might have been. John Harris utilized the techniques of the drawings specialist to catalogue the collection there and established architectural drawing studies as a unique subject area. John Harris's Introduction to the Inigo Jones catalogue contains some interesting and perceptive notes on the direction that drawing studies have taken. Even at the highest levels of architecture it is possible that drawing skills were neither necessary nor common.

in The birth of modern London
Books and alternative design methods
Elizabeth McKellar

In the introductory remarks to his translation of Vignola, Joseph Moxon said that the purpose of the book was to make the use of the orders comprehensible so that, 'any that can but read and understand English, may Readily learn the Proportion that all Members in a Building have one unto an other'. The distinction Eileen Harris makes between books on the orders, and books of designs and pattern books, is of use in this context. By the time Campbell was writing his London Tradesman in 1747 he takes it for granted that all the masters of the major building trades will be able to read English, draw and design their own work and be acquainted with the architectural trends of the time. Design even for mass production was still a collaborative activity.

in The birth of modern London
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Elizabeth McKellar

The image of late seventeenth-century London as a phoenix rising reinvigorated from the ashes of the Great Fire has been a powerful and persuasive one. As far as architectural and building practice is concerned this book has argued that many features which were thought to have occurred in the eighteenth or nineteenth centuries actually originated much earlier. The London house was a new kind of object. It was perfectly suited in both structure and form to fulfil the demands of an increasingly commercialized, mass-consumption housing market arranged around the continual renewal and replacement of products. The late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century London house is then a regional dialect or a vernacular variant of the classical language.

in The birth of modern London