The Urban Fabric of Xiamen Revealed by Atelier Sóo-Tsāi
An ongoing research led by Atelier SÓO-TSĀI (所在) seeks to have a comprehensive approach of the evolution of Xiamen urban fabric and its continuous memory and authentic history. The study area, located in Siming historical District, is an aggregation of diverse architectural typologies, such as Dianwu (shop on ground floor open to street with residence upstairs), Zhutonglou (residence with narrow facade) and Dacuo (courtyard residence of traditional Southern Min style).
The team went through a comparative research on two maps – the Global map of Xiamen (1908) and the detailed planification map of Siming West Road and Shengping Road (1910s). To verify the reliability of the Global map, researchers extracted the sample of Siming District out of the Global map, and compared it to the Detailed map. The decomposition of the Detailed map revealed the situation of the architectural fabric before the 1920s, and allowed them to understand the strategies of arcades’ and new roads’ construction during the Republic of China period (1912-1949). The comparison of the two maps proved that the the Global map is a relatively accurate tool to reproduce graphic data of the city’s old urban fabric.