Liu Dunzhen: First Academician of CAS from Xinning County

Liu Dunzhen (1897.9.19-1968.5.10), styled Shineng, also known as the owner of the Dazhuang Room, a native of Xinning county, Hunan province,is a modern architecture expert, an architectural historian,and one of the pioneers of Chinese architectural education and Chinese ancient architecture research, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences(member of the faculty).

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He founded China’s first architect firm run by a Chinese. He has been engaged in architectural education and architectural history research for a long time. He is one of the founders of architectural education in China and a pioneer of Chinese architectural history research. His investigation of ancient buildings in north and southwest of China and the systematic research on Chinese traditional houses and gardens have laid the main foundation for this discipline. He has organized and presided over the compilation of national architectural history many times, and published influential monographs such as “Suzhou’s Classical Gardens”.

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In 1956, he published the monograph “Introduction to Chinese Housing”, which set off an upsurge of comprehensive research in this field in domestic academic circles. He led his assistants in detailed surveying and mapping of large, medium and small typical gardens in Suzhou. During the eight or nine years, he drew more than 2,000 surveying papers, photographed more than 20000 pieces and wrote more than 100000 words. Unfortunately this work was interrupted by the “Cultural Revolution”, and the manuscript was compiled and published by his assistants and descendants in 1979. After publication, it became well-known both at home and abroad, and was translated into English and Japanese for publication. He called together the old, middle-aged and young academic elites in architectural history and some archaeological circles, presided over and compiled “A Brief History of Chinese Architecture” and “History of Ancient Chinese Architecture”, which lasted 7 years, revised 8 times, and finally publised in 1966. These two book are still important reference books, and won the special prize of National University Excellent Textbook in 1988.

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