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Department of Landscape Architecture

Date:2015-05-11

Chair: Prof. Cao Lei

Associate Chair: Prof. Zhang Chunyan 

Introduction

 I. Development History

  Since the architecture discipline of Tianjin University was established in 1937, traditional landscape architecture and gardens have always been one of the key teaching and research directions. Many distinguished professors including Prof. Xu Zhong, Prof. Lu Sheng, Prof. Feng Jiankui, Prof. Peng Yigang, Prof. Hu Dejun, and Prof. Wang Qiheng have made great contributions and laid a firm foundation for this field. The landscape architecture division began to enroll her postgraduates and undergraduates respectively in 1977 and 1999. Then in 2003, the PhD program of architecture environment art on landscape architecture was set up under the architecture discipline. The PhD program in landscape architecture of Tianjin University was approved by Academic Degrees Committee of the State Council as a first-level academic discipline in 2011. It also became a the key first-level academic discipline of Tianjin in the same year. One year later, in the Ministry of Education’s discipline assessment, landscape architecture of Tianjin University was ranked as the No. 5 (actually in the third place along with two other universities) among all China Mainland universities. Department of Landscape Architecture was inaugurated also in 2012 based on the Institute of Landscape Architecture previously directly under the School of Architecture.

 II. Faculties of the Department

  There are several subdivisions under the Department, including Landscape Architecture Research Institute, Tianjin Research and Engineering Center for Ecological Landscape Technologies, Feng Jicai Cultural Heritage Protection Center and Wang Xuezhong Art Research Institute. Altogether 24 professional and competent faculty members are working in the Department, including 11 full professors, 10 associate professors and 3 lecturers. 

 III. Research Directions

  Since 1950s, School of Architecture of Tianjin University has begun to study traditional gardens, in which including many World Heritage Sites such as the Mountain Resort in Chengde, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, and other prestigious royal gardens and landscapes, like the current Beihai Park. As outputs of this long-term academic research tradition, a series of publications have secured the School’s national leading role in the research fields of traditional gardens, domestic gardens, as well as cultural heritage conservation. The long list of books includes Mountain Resort in Chengde (1980), Gardens in the Forbidden City (1986), Analysis of the Traditional Chinese Gardens (1986), The Best Garden-in-the-Gardens in the Imperial Gardens of the Qing Dynasty (1990), Analysis of Traditional Town and Village Settlement Landscapes (1992), Research of Fengshui Theories (1992), Learning Garden Design (2000), Gardens in South Guangdong series (2003), and Comparison on Chinese and Japanese Traditional Gardens (2003), and other influential monographs by our faculties.

  In recent ten years, Department of Landscape Architecture cooperates with related disciplines like architecture, urban planning, environmental design, agriculture, hydraulic engineering, etc. in the multidisciplinary framework established within the University. The Department is developing her new research focus on ecological concerns on mountain surface restoration of North China (particularly around Bohai Sea), the comprehensive saline-alkali soil treatment in Binhai New Area of Tianjin, and water-efficiency landscape design for North China. In 2013, Tianjin Research and Engineering Center for Ecological Landscape Technologies was established under the approval of Tianjin Science and Technology Committee. Together with the Laboratory of Architectural Physics and Environmental Technology and the Digital Fabrication Laboratory, the Center serves as part of the integrated technical platform which creates key research strength in ecology and technology topics.

  Integration of academic research with innovative design and planning practices is another important characteristic of the Department. It is also a tradition of the School of Architecture which considering design as the foundation of this discipline. Besides more than ten national and provincial pure research funding projects, the Department has also led or engaged in dozens of significant landscape architecture projects, such as ecological restoration of Tianjin Ancient Coast and Wetlands National Park, landscape architecture and engineering of the new campus Tianjin University, and so on. These projects have earned national and provincial design prizes. The Department also have excellent performance on instructing students in key local and international landscape architecture design and planning competitions, in which many awards have been granted to the School of Architecture. 

IV. Major Achievements

  From 2011, faculties of Department of Landscape Architecture has gotten 34 pure scientific funding projects from varies research funding programs like China National Science Foundation, National Major Science and Technology Development Project, and other provincial or ministry scientific research programs. At the same time, the Department has also been supported by national university academic funding from Project 211 and 985 on hardware and international cooperation on heritage conservation. For example, the Department participated in the surveying and mapping program for Angkor ancient temples conservation comprehensive study which is one of the most important national foreign assistance program launched by China Government in 2007. Base on Tianjin University Architecture Design and Planning Research Institution which performs as a professional practice platform, faculties introduce academic output into over 200 landscape design/planning consultation and practical projects funded by about RMB 60 millions.

  The Department has made great contributions on either academic research or professional practices in traditional garden, landscape culture and heritage conservation through survey/mapping, documentation, conservation planning and heritage nominations of many national treasures such as Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, Summer Palace, Beihai, and the Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan), among which many assets have already been inscribed in the World Heritage List successfully. Another distinguished professor of the Department, Prof. Feng Jicai promoted nation-wide traditional village surveying and conservation in China and published documentation and research books like Ancient Houses in Tianjin. There are tremendous traditional urban blocks and villages are protected by his efforts. Furthermore, in national strategy-making and legislation organizations, e.g. NPC and CPPCC, Prof. Feng has made many advices on China’s traditional cultural heritage, which have been highly considered by leaders of the State Council. Many proposals from Prof. Feng, such as the China Intangible Cultural Heritage Day, and legislating traditional Chinese festivals, e.g. Dragon Boat Festival, Qingming Festival, Mid-autumn Festival as national public holiday, have been implemented. All of these social activities made significant impact on the publics. Assisted by UED Magazine, the Department has organized 4 international and national academic conferences, which also have important influences in both academic and professional fields.