Performing art buildings in Taiyuan : Cultural history buildings in a second-tier Chinese city

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-228
Number of pages14
Journal / PublicationFrontiers of Architectural Research
Issue number2
Online published23 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019



In the twenty-first century, Chinese cities tend to rely on cultural megastructures to define their new districts and reflect their aspirations. A grand theater, a most complicated building type in technology and striking image, is a central attraction and the focus of new district. This paper focuses on Taiyuan city, a second-tier Chinese city with a brilliant history that had been gradually reduced to mediocrity. This paper aims to reveal the relationship among productivity, urban development and theater construction in different historic periods; highlights the initiation, design and implication of the latest grand theater designed by a French firm; and investigates the city and its performing art spaces, stakeholders, and various forces that make the theater and its urban form. These affective forces may be typical in Central China, which is a generally backward area compared with the entire country. The paper presents proper descriptors for performing art buildings in Taiyuan in three generations, and the lessons from Taiyuan can provide references for other cities that face similar problems and challenges.

Research Area(s)

  • The Shanxi grand theatre, Performing art space, Importation of design, International architecture

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