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Investigation of Genius Loci Theory on Historic Commercial Blocks in China
Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Planning and Media Design.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years))Student thesisAlternative title
Investigation of Genius Loci Theory on Historic Commercial Blocks in China (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

As a result of economic development and globalization, cities, especially their commercial blocks, are becoming highly similar because their local culture is crashed by foreign ones. As an essential component of a city, commercial blocks represent the image of the city and have a positive value of local culture. Thus, it is necessary to find out how to create both attractive and unique commercial blocks. This thesis is aiming to explore the feasibility of keeping the spirit of commercial blocks. Genius Loci, a powerful phenomenological theory, is going to be studied, while some deficiency of it will also be pointed out. The importance of culture and society is introduced to supply Genius Loci. It starts with the problem that nowadays historic commercial blocks are losing unique features and indicates the importance of historic commercial blocks. Afterwards, the concepts of local culture and Genius Loci are illustrated, followed by some related theories about the design of commercial blocks. Moreover, it discusses the application of Genius Loci as a useful guideline in commercial block design. After analyzing two cases of commercial blocks (Old Street commercial block in Gaochun and Tianzifang commercial block in Shanghai, both in China), the results and conclusions will be presented and discussed. In the final part, this thesis evaluates Genius Loci and summarizes the critical points of historic commercial blocks.

Abstract [sv]

Genius Loci has a guidance effect in the preservation of historic commercial blocks. The special atmosphere of historic commercial blocks is based on their genius loci. If the essential elements of genius loci have been respected, the spirit of the place can be preserved. However, it is not the sole element which has a significant influence. The cultural perspective also has a beneficial influence. It needs to be considered in the regeneration process. Although there are some defects of the phenomenology of architecture like the theory is quite subjective and lacks a standard, scientific analysis, it still makes a noticeable contribution to the architectural field. Norberg-Schulz focuses too much on the physical aspect, ignoring the social and cultural aspects. His analysis trends to the "environmental determinism". That is why this paper tries to abstract the elements from the genius loci and use them in future study. Nothing can be preserved as its original character forever, especially the architectures. Sometimes, change equals future.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 75 p.
Keyword [en]
Historic Commercial block, Genius Loci
National Category
Environmental Analysis and Construction Information Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-3456Local ID: diva2:830763
Available from: 2015-04-22 Created: 2012-11-08 Last updated: 2015-06-30Bibliographically approved

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