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Bridges, the least known and understood of China's many wonders, are one of its most striking and resilient feats of architectural prowess. Chinese Bridges brings together a thorough look at the marvels of Chinese bridge design from one of the world's leading experts on Chinese culture and historical geography, Ronald G. Knapp. While many consider bridges to be merely utilitarian civil engineering, the bridges of China move beyond that stereotype, as many are undeniably dramatic, even majestic and daring. Chinese Bridges illustrates in detail 20 well-preserved ancient bridges along with descriptions and essays on the distinctive architectural elements shared by the various designs. For the first time in an English-language book, Chinese Bridges records scores of newly discovered bridges across China's vast landscape, illustrated with over 400 color photographs, as well as woodblock prints, historic images, paintings and line drawings.
Across countries and centuries, this book explores a fundamental social and demographic change: the emergence of a planet of towns and cities. But it looks at this densification of human and economic relations through a specific lens, the increased connectivity triggered by strategic urban bridges. Bridges can be seen as founding milestones, buttonholes and laces of the urban fabric, as well as signatures of the built environment. As architectural objects and engineering feats, they directly reflect the technical achievements and aesthetical values of their time, as well as the socio-cultural context of their construction. The Bridge and the City tells and illustrates a universal love story, over space and time, from Rome and its Ponte Sant’Angelo (134 CE) and Paris and its Pont-Neuf (1607) to New York and its Brooklyn Bridge (1883) and Shanghai and its Nanpu Da Qiao (1991). An ode to the world’s most beautiful bridges, apprehended in their diverse historical settings, The Bridge and the City is an analytical and visual treasure that will delight bridge and city lovers on every continent. As places of encounters and exchanges, bridges have played a major role in the urbanization of our planet. Through the history of twenty-four cities, The Bridge and the City explains how these monuments have influenced urban development over all continents. The most fascinating cities in Europe—Paris, Rome, Istanbul, Saint Petersburg, London—all possess fantastic bridges. The same could be said about North American cities—New York, San Francisco—and cities in other regions of the world. Besides, the most famous bridges have almost always been erected at a critical juncture in the history of their host cities. It could be argued that “the bridge makes the city” because, in history, the city reaches a new dimension when its grand bridge is inaugurated. This was the case in Prague and Florence in the fourteenth century, in Mostar and Venice in the sixteenth century, in Paris and Isfahan in the seventeenth century, in New York and London in the nineteenth century, and in San Francisco and Shanghai in the twentieth century.
As many as 15,000 covered bridges were built in North America over the past 200 years. Fewer than 1,000 remain. In America's Covered Bridges, authors Terry E. Miller and Ronald G. Knapp tell the fascinating story of these bridges, how they were built, the technological breakthroughs required to construct them and above all the dedication and skill of their builders. Each wooden bridge, whether still standing or long gone, has a story to tell about the nature of America at the time—not only about its transportational needs, but the availability of materials and the technological prowess of the people who built it. Illustrated with some 550 historical and contemporary photos, paintings, and technical drawings of nearly 400 different covered bridges, America's Covered Bridges offers five readable chapters on the history, design and fate of America's covered bridges, plus related bridges in Canada. Most of the contemporary photography is by master photographer A. Chester Ong of Hong Kong. 55 photo essays on the most iconic bridges including: Cornish-Windsor Bridge between Vermont and New Hampshire Porter-Parsonsfield Bridge, Maine East Paden and West Paden (Twin Bridges), Pennsylvania Philippi Bridge, West Virginia Hortons Mill Bridge, Alabama Medora Bridge, Indiana Rock Mill Bridge, Ohio Knight's Ferry Bridge, California Perrault Bridge, Quebec, Canada Hartland Bridge, New Brunswick, Canada Over time, wooden bridges eventually gave way to ones made of iron, steel and concrete. An American icon, many covered bridges became obsolete and were replaced—others simply decayed and collapsed. Many more were swept away by natural disasters and fires. America's Covered Bridges is absolutely packed with fascinating stories and information passionately told by two leading experts on this subject. The book will be of tremendous interest to anyone interested in American history, carpentry and technological change.
Over a period of several years, noted Chinese cultural historian Ronald G. Knapp traveled throughout Southeast Asia, searching out homes built by the first generations of successful Chinese settlers during the late eighteenth to the early twentieth century. In Chinese Houses of Southeast Asia, Knapp presents an eye-opening account of how Chinese migration into Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam spawned a unique hybrid architectural style that combined Chinese, European, and local influences. Many of these overseas Chinese heritage homes are disappearing, but Knapp—along with renowned photographer A. Chester Ong—visited a number of the shophouses, bungalows, villas, and mansions that remain. More than three dozen of these elegant residences form the core of this book, and through essays, historic photographs, paintings, and line drawings, Knapp draws an illuminating portrait of each residence along with background information about the families who built and lived in them. These profiles reveal the entrepreneurial spirit of the Chinese as well as their social and economic circumstances. A stunning marriage of scholarship and photography, Chinese Houses of Southeast Asia explores a little known branch of Chinese architecture and provides a new perspective on Chinese migration, settlement, and identity in Southeast Asia.
Offers an architectural analysis of built forms and building types of the minority groups in southern China and of the Dong nationality in particular.
25 Tropical Houses of the Philippines features top Filipino architects and designers with ideas that are stylish, contemporary, and show twenty-first century savvy. The Philippines has long been known for creative designs and furniture and for the sill of its artisans in crafting modern products from traditional materials. This book takes a giant step forward—into the realm of modern architecture and interior design. Twenty-five stunning homes showcase the best of residential design by a number of outstanding Filipino architects and designers. It offers a tour of stunning structures ranging from gracious pavilion-houses in elite subdivisions of Manila to elegant vacation homes of Batangas and Mindoro. Blending the graceful proportions of Asian design forms with the rigorous discipline and modernization of Western architecture, the houses retain an affinity with natural materials—warm hardwoods, rustic stone and slate, earthy clay and tile—at the same time introducing innovative use of glass, concrete, steel, and aluminum. Water elements and lush tropical gardens complete the transition from traditional conventions to Asian architectural fusion and international modernist trends.

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