Main Article Content
The Chinese have lived in single-extended-family courtyard houses in many parts of China for thousands of years. The earliest courtyard house found in China was during the Middle Neolithic period (5000-3000 BCE). The courtyard form signifies Chinese quest for harmony with nature and in social relationships. However, the 20th century was a significant turning point in the evolution of Chinese courtyard houses; this paper provides an overview of this transition. It starts by briefly introducing traditional Chinese courtyard houses and their decline since 1949, it then examines the emergence of new courtyard housing in Beijing and Suzhou since the 1990s, and then it evaluates the new development of Chinese-style courtyard garden villas in/around these two cities since the 2000s, such as Beijing Guantang and Suzhou Fuyuan villa estates. They are explorations of a new way to honor Chinese architectural history and philosophy, meanwhile, incorporating Western interior design principles to meet modern living requirements. This architectural acculturation represents Chinese sustained quest for harmony in their art of living. The paper finally proposes four designs of new courtyard garden houses for future practice.
 Amato, P.R. (2008). Recent changes in family structure: implications for children, adults, and society. National Healthy Marriage Resource Center. Retrieved May 30, 2011 from: http://www.healthymarriageinfo.org/docs/changefamstructure.pdf
 Arenibafo, F. (2016). The Transformation of Aesthetics in Architecture from Traditional to Modern Architecture: A case study of the Yoruba (southwestern) region of Nigeria. Contemporary Urban Affairs (JCUA), 1(1), 35-44. Retrieved from http://ijcua.com/index.php/jcua/article/view/10
 Beijing.anjuke.com (2014a). Juer Hutong (《菊儿胡同》). Retrieved September 15, 2014 from: http://beijing.anjuke.com/community/view/81403
 Beijing.anjuke.com (2014b). Nanchizi Hutong (《南池子胡同》). Retrieved September 15, 2014 from: http://beijing.anjuke.com/community/view/77803
 Beijing.anjuke.com (2014c). Beijing Dragon Villas (《龙苑别墅》). Retrieved September 16, 2014 from: http://beijing.anjuke.com/community/view/50460
 Beijing.anjuke.com (2014d). Beijing Rose Garden Villas (《北京玫瑰园》). Retrieved September 16, 2014 from: http://beijing.anjuke.com/community/view/50967
 Beijing City Planning Chart 1949-2005 (2007). Beijing Municipal Planning Commission, Beijing Municipal Urban Planning and Design Institute, Beijing City Planning Institute.
 Blaser, W. (1985). Atrium: five thousand years of open courtyards. New York: Wepf and Co. AG, Basel.
 Blaser, W. (1995). Courtyard house in China: tradition and present (2nd enlarged ed.). Basel/Boston/Berlin: Birkhäuser Verlag.
 Bosker, B. (2014). Why haven”t China’s cities learned from America”s mistakes? Retrieved August 20, 2014 from: http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2014/aug/20/why-havent-chinas-cities-learned-from-americas-mistakes
 Chang, S.S.-H. (1986). Spatial organisation and socio-cultural basis of traditional courtyard houses. PhD thesis, University of Edinburgh, UK.
 China.org.cn (2014). Press conference on new urbanization plan. Retrieved October 14, 2014 from: http://china.org.cn/china/2014-03/19/content_31836248.htm
 Cohen, M.L. (2005). House united, house divided: myths and realities, then and now. In R.G. Knapp and K.-Y. Lo (Eds.), House home family: living and being Chinese (pp. 235-257). Honolulu: University of Hawai”i Press.
 Collins, M. (2005). Protecting the ancient alleys of Beijing. Contemporary Review, 286(1668), pp. 34-38.
 Coonan, C. (2006). Red phone boxes and village greens: a slice of Olde England in China. The Week, August 26, 2006, the last word.
 Doc88.com (2008-2014). Suzhou Chinese-style villas market (《苏州中式别墅市场》). Retrieved September 14, 2014 from: http://www.doc88.com/p-79653707012.html
 Edwards, B., Sibley, M., Hakmi, M., and Land, P. (Eds.) (2006). Courtyard housing: past, present, and future. New York: Taylor and Francis.
 Explore (August, 2007). Humanity manifests great fascination; details construct top-quality products: interview with Zhang Han (《人文彰显魅力，细节构筑精品：访苏州嘉德房地产开发有限公司副总经理张涵》). 《发现》 (Suzhou Edition, pp. 20-22).
 Flath, J.A. (2005). Reading the text of the home: domestic ritual configuration through print. In R.G. Knapp and K.-Y. Lo (Eds.), House home family: living and being Chinese (pp. 325-347). Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.
 House.focus.cn (2014). Guantang (《观唐》). Retrieved September 13, 2014 from: http://house.focus.cn/votehouse/1455.html
 International Business Times (2011). New guidelines ban foreign investment in villa construction in China. Retrieved August 3, 2011 from: http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/132133/20110408/new-guidelines-ban-foreign-investment-in-villa-construction-in-china.htm
 Jervis, N. (2005). The meaning of jia: an introduction. In R.G. Knapp and K.-Y. Lo (Eds.), House home family: living and being Chinese (pp. 223-233). Honolulu: University of Hawai”i Press.
 King, A.D. (2004). Spaces of global cultures: architecture, urbanism, identity. London: Spon.
 Knapp, R.G. (2005). Chinese houses: the architectural heritage of a nation. North Clarendon, VT: Tuttle Publishing.
 Kong, F. (2004). Dilapidated housing renewal and the conservation of traditional courtyard houses (《危房改造方式与传统四合院保护》). Beijing Municipal Administration of Cultural Heritage. Retrieved February 13, 2008 from: http://www.bjww.gov.cn/2004/12-7/3717-2.shtml
 Land, P. (2006). Courtyard housing: an “afterthought.” In B. Edwards et al. (Eds.). Courtyard housing: past, present, and future. New York: Taylor and Francis.
 Lin, N. (2003). Urban development and handing culture down to latecomer: a planning for Beijing Nanchizi preservation area of historical culture (experimental project).
《建筑学报》 Architectural Journal, 11, pp. 7-11.
 Lin, N. (2004). Insist on the views of practice and development and search for method of protecting historic street areas. 《北京规划建设》Beijing Planning Review, 2.
 Liu, X. (2002). The origins of Chinese architecture. In X. Fu et al., Chinese architecture (pp. 11-31). New Haven: Yale University Press.
 Ma, B. (1993). Quadrangles of Beijing (《北京四合院》). China: Beijing Arts and Photography Publishing House.
 Ma, B. (1999). The architecture of the quadrangle in Beijing (《北京四合院建筑》, Chinese edition). China: Tianjin University Press.
 Ornelas, M. (2006). Beijing’s rapid urbanization and the hutong. La Voz de Esperanza, 19(8), pp. 7-9.
 Pfeifer, G. and Brauneck, P. (2008). Courtyard houses: a housing typology. Basel/Boston/Berlin: Birkhäuser Verlag.
 Polyzoides, S., Sherwood, R., and Tice, J. (1992). Courtyard housing in Los Angeles: a typological analysis (2nd ed.). New York: Princeton Architectural Press.
 Rabbat, N.O. (Ed.) (2010). The courtyard house: from cultural reference to universal relevance. Oxon: Ashgate/Routledge.
 Reuters (2011). China to ban foreign investment in villas. Retrieved August 3, 2011 from: http://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2011/04/06/china-ban-foreign-investment-villas/
 Reynolds, J.S. (2002). Courtyards: aesthetic, social, and thermal delight. New York: John Wiley and Sons.
 State Council (2011). Catalogue for the Guidance of Foreign Investment Industries (《外商投资产业指导目录》Waishang Touzi Chanye Zhidao Mulu). Retrieved September 13, 2014 from: http://images.mofcom.gov.cn/wzs/accessory/201112/1325217903366.pdf
 Su.fang.anjuke.com (2014). Suzhou Fuyuan (《苏州福园》). Retrieved September 16, 2014 from: http://su.fang.anjuke.com/loupan/229103.html
 Suzhou.anjuke.com (2014a). Tongfangyuan housing estate (《桐芳苑小区》). Retrieved September 15, 2014 from: http://suzhou.anjuke.com/community/view/165017
 Suzhou.anjuke.com (2014b). Shilinyuan (《狮林苑》). Retrieved September 15, 2014 from: http://suzhou.anjuke.com/community/view/166389
 Suzhou.anjuke.com (2014c). Jiaanbieyuan (《佳安别院》). Retrieved September 15, 2014 from: http://suzhou.anjuke.com/community/view/165076
 Suzhou.focus.cn (2014). Suzhou Fuyuan (《苏州福园》). Retrieved September 13, 2014 from: http://suzhou.focus.cn/votehouse/382.html
 Suzhou Guardian Real Estate Development Co. (2007). Suzhou Fuyuan: a cultural handbook (《苏州福园：文化手册》). Brochure from Suzhou 7th Housing Exhibition, China.
 Times China (September, 2007). Good houses can speak themselves: interview with Zhang Han (《好房子自己会说话：专访嘉德房产开发公司副总张涵》, pp. 30-31).
 UN (2002?). Demographic and social trends affecting families in the south and central Asian region. Retrieved May 30, 2011 from: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/family/Publications/mtdesilva.pdf
 Van Elzen, S. (2010). Dragon and rose garden: art and power in China. Hong Kong: Timezone 8/Modern Chinese Art Foundation.
 Wu, L. (1991). Rehabilitation in Beijing. Habitat International, 15(3), pp. 51-66.
 Wu, L. (1994). The future direction of the experiments. Beijing Ju”er Hutong New Courtyard Housing Experiment. Institute of Architectural and Urban Studies, Tsinghua/Qinghua University, China.
 Wu, L. (1999). Rehabilitating the old city of Beijing: a project in the Ju”er Hutong neighbourhood. Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia Press.
 XJTLU (2016). Reclaiming identity and (re)materialising pasts: approaches to heritage conservation in China. International Symposium, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Suzhou, China, April 6-8, 2016. Retrieved May 6, 2016 from: http://www.xjtlu.edu.cn/en/events/2016/04/reclaiming-identity-and-%28re%29materialising-pasts-approaches-to-heritage-conservation-in-china
 Yan, Y. (2005). Making room for intimacy: domestic space and conjugal privacy in rural north China. In R.G. Knapp and K.-Y. Lo (Eds.), House home family: living and being Chinese (pp. 373-395). Honolulu: University of Hawai”i Press.
 Zhang, D. (2006). New courtyard houses of Beijing: direction of future housing development. Urban Design International, 11(3), 133-150.
 Zhang, D. (2011). Courtyard houses of Beijing: past, present, and future. Saarbrücken, Germany: VDM Verlag.
 Zhang, D. (2006-2012). Courtyard housing and cultural sustainability: a study of housing renewal and redevelopment in Beijing and Suzhou. PhD Thesis, Oxford, UK: Oxford Brookes University.
 Zhang, D. (2013/2016). Courtyard housing and cultural sustainability: theory, practice, and product. Oxfordshire, UK: Ashgate/Routledge.
 Zhang, D. (2015a). Classical courtyard houses of Beijing: architecture as cultural artifact. Space and Communication, 1(1), 47-68.
 Zhang, D. (2015b). Courtyard houses of Beijing: lessons from the renewal. Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review, 27(1), 69-82.
 Zhang, D. (2015c). Courtyard housing for health and happiness: architectural multiculturalism in North America. Oxfordshire, UK: Ashgate/Routledge.
 Zhang, D. (2016a). Juer Hutong new courtyard housing in Beijing: a review from the residents’ perspective. International Journal of Architectural Research, 10(2), 166-191.
 Zhang, D. (2016b). Courtyard housing in North America: Chinese design for health and happiness. Urban Design International, 21(4), 281-297.
 Zhang, L. (2010). In search of paradise: middle-class living in a Chinese metropolis. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.