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Going native : British diplomatic, judicial and consular architecture in China (1867-1949)

Huang, Hsin-Yin (2010) Going native : British diplomatic, judicial and consular architecture in China (1867-1949). PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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This research examines connections between British and Chinese architectural cultures in the history of Anglo-Chinese relationships. The research subject is British diplomatic, judicial and consular establishments built in China between 1867 and 1949. These consulates were established by the British government in a variety of Chinese environments, from freezing to humid climates, and from Muslim to Westernised Russian-Japanese dominated cultures. They become an ideal subject for an investigation into the interaction between Chinese and British cultures. Instead of repeating the dichotomy between Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism or between tradition and modernity, this research argues that British consular architecture was developed based on British's Orientalist impressions of the Chinese environment. The research is carried out using the case study method in order to understand in detail the response of each British consulate to a variety of political, cultural, and geographical environments, and the craftsmanship then available in China. Together, it can also understand China's response to these political and economic institutions. Cases include the Peking Legation, the Shanghai British Supreme Court, the Canton Consulate, the Tientsin Consulate, and the British Consulates in the provinces of Yunnan and Manchuria. These cases are examined by mainly using correspondence between the Office of Works, Foreign Office and the Treasury. Counter-evidence is drawn from contemporary Chinese literature, such as Lu Ban Classic of Carpentry and Yuan Yeh Craft of Gardens as well as the diaries of Chinese people, to prevent misinterpretation of the correspondence as well as to reconstruct the late Imperial Chinese environment. The final result of the research is presented in the form of a thesis whose structure consists of reviewing literature, a case study based on five British consulates, and a discussion about the development and characteristics of the British consulates. Finally, in the conclusion, the research finds great similarity between British and Chinese architectural cultures in the case of governmental buildings. Both the Chinese and the British chose identical strategies to face the varied conditions of the Chinese environment.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Architecture (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.531185
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2016 14:08
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2016 14:08
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10374

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