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BEIJING DANWEI. Industrial Heritage in the Contemporary City

Industrial Heritage
in the Contemporary City

Michele Bonino | Filippo De Pieri

Published by Jovis Verlag, 2015 | ISBN 9783868593822

Danwei these were urban sectors in China that were characterized by close links between work, residence, and social facilities. They are the material product of socialist city planning and therefore provide an urban experience that forms a stepping stone between the Hutongs of the imperial capital and the superblocks of the present-day metropolis. Contrary to the disused industrial sites in western cities that often disrupt the continuity and scale of the urban fabric, the danwei have a much closer relationship to the historical, as well as the contemporary city. In modern-day Beijing, the danwei represent a unique experimental field of urban design. Beijing Danwei looks at the history and future of former danwei and presents exemplary strategies for dealing with industrial heritage. Case studies show the problems that go hand in hand with transformation and present perspectives and potential with regard to usage and the urban regeneration of Beijing. The book includes essays by the editors, as well as by Pierre-alain Croset, Gary Hack, Thomas Herzog, Liu Boying, Liu Jian, Lu Duanfang, Shen Yuan, and Zhu Wenyi. With a visual essay by Jia Yue and Maria Paola Repellino. 

The book is composed of three parts.
A series of essays written by leading members of the research group and invited experts opens the publication. They outline the role played by danwei areas in the history of modern Beijing, and discuss the challenges that the physical and cultural heritage of the collectivist era poses to present-day urban transformations. A detailed analysis of four case studies of former industrial danweis forms the core of the second part. The book is closed by two epilogues, which put the previously collected materials in a wider perspective and elaborate on potential future scenarios.


Preface | 5
Michele Bonino, Filippo De Pieri, Zhang Li
Beijing, City of Danweis | 10
Michele Bonino, Filippo De Pieri
The Danwei-based Communities of Beijing | 25
Li Weidong
The Work Unit and the Foxconn Factory: A Comparative Perspective | 36 
Lu Duanfang
Transformation of Industrial Layout in the Spatial Planning of Beijing | 56
Liu Jian
The Danwei and the City | 74
Gary Hack 
Visual essay | 86 
photos by Jia Yue; drawings by Maria Paola Repellino 

Different Urban Renewal Solutions |113 
Maria Paola Repellino 
The Construction History of Beijing no. 2 Textile Factory | 116
Sun Haode
Family Danwei | 122 
Maria Paola Repellino
Factory and Home: A Portrait of Family Life | 130
Maria Paola Repellino
Interview with Cheng Yu | 131
Gu Feng
Interview with Lai Guowei and Xia Tian | 132 
Lu Quanqing 

XINHUA 1949 | 134
A Flagship Cultural Showcase | 135
Maria Paola Repellino
A Critical Construction History | 138 
Daniela Hidalgo Molina 
Memory and Postindustrial Identity | 140 
Maria Paola Repellino
Three Changes of xinhua 1949 Cultural Creative Park | 146
Liu Boying
Interview with Architect Luo Jin | 149 
Lu Quanqing 

The Chimney and the Temple | 151 
Arturo Pavani
History of the Thermal Power Plant | 157 
Daniela Hidalgo Molina 

The Industrial Shell | 159
Arturo Pavani 
Living in Ertong: Voices from the Residents | 169 
Sun Haode, with contributions by Gu Feng
A Design Experience in Ertong | 172
Thomas Herzog 

The Palimpsest and the Archipelago: The Danwei as a new Urban Project | 178 
Pierre-Alain Croset 
The Danwei as a Prototype of Beijing Urban Space | 182 
Zhu Wenyi 

Image Credits | 187
The Authors | 189

This book is the result of a partnership between Politecnico di Torino, Italy, and Tsinghua University in Beijing. The research on the former industrial danwei areas of Beijing was primarily carried out in 2014 under the general coordination of Michele Bonino and Filippo De Pieri. Four scholars from Torino—the two editors, Arturo Pavani and Maria Paola Repellino—spent extended research time in Beijing for a review of the literature, meetings and seminars, interviews with stakeholders and inhabitants, archival research, and fieldwork. Four scholars from Tsinghua—Zhang Li, Martijn de Geus, Daniela Hidalgo, and Sun Haode—also spent extended periods of time in Italy.

Michele Bonino Associate Professor, Politecnico di Torino, Italy. Partner at MARC | Filippo De Pieri Assistant Professor, Politecnico di Torino, Italy.


BEIJING DANWEI. Industrial Heritage in the Contemporary City BEIJING DANWEI. Industrial Heritage in the Contemporary City BEIJING DANWEI. Industrial Heritage in the Contemporary City BEIJING DANWEI. Industrial Heritage in the Contemporary City BEIJING DANWEI. Industrial Heritage in the Contemporary City BEIJING DANWEI. Industrial Heritage in the Contemporary City BEIJING DANWEI. Industrial Heritage in the Contemporary City