Theses Master's

East Meets West in Cheeloo University: A Hybrid Architecture in China and its Preservation

Wei, Jianing

In the first half of the 20th century, missionaries were active in building universities and hospitals for preaching in China in addition to churches. Having the largest group heritage of mission universities in China, Cheeloo University existed from 1902 to 1952. Its historic campus is where east and west met and formed hybridity throughout every aspect of it. The hybridity of Cheeloo’s physical campus is the witness and now the most powerful and representative heritage of the bilateral cultures on this site. Therefore, it should be primarily preserved.

This research first analyses the hybridity of Cheeloo’s campus: the siting of the campus is an American tradition influenced by the unsteady Chinese environment; the campus planning is in totally American style without Chinese characteristics; but there is an almost chronological style change in Cheeloo’s building design from totally Chinese, different levels of hybridity to totally Western style, which were contributed by a variety of Western architects from 1905 to 1935.

Based on the analysis on the hybridity in Cheeloo’s campus, the insufficiency of the preservation work starting from the designation in 2013 is listed: the siting of Cheeloo on both sides of the city wall is not claimed on the site; the current relations between the two campuses are not strong enough; no actions have been taken to claim the importance of the demolished structures; the implementation of the preservation has weakened the hybridity in building design. Then recommendations for the future preservation work in Cheeloo are given in response to the insufficiency, such as reconstructing part of the city wall, road signs connecting the two campuses and the restoration of the architectural hybridity as the old photos.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Historic Preservation
Thesis Advisors
Bollack, Francoise A.
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
August 3, 2022