King Yin Lei Case Study

1574 Words 7 Pages
This essay will answer the question of whether the design and appearance of King Yin Lei residential complex in Hong Kong draws more heavily from Chinese or Western architectural influences. The introduction examines its history, the origins of Chinese Renaissance architecture, and some of the key characteristics of both Traditional Chinese and Western architectural culture, establishing a basis upon which to evaluate the influences that acted upon the design and appearance of King Yin Lei.

Using evidence gathered first hand from site visits to King Yin Lei itself as well as secondary sources such as site plans provided by the Hong Kong Government, the investigation is divided into three sections: an analysis of the materials and techniques
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Designed by British architect A.R. Fenton-Rayen at 17,000 sq. ft, it was built in 1937 for Mrs. Shum Li Po-Lun, the wife of notable Guangdong merchant Mr. Shum Yat-chor. It was originally named “Hei Lo”, until it was sold in 1978 to Mr. Yeo Chei-man and his son Mr. Yeo Mok-Shing, who renamed the building to “King Yin Lei”. It is currently considered an irreplaceable historical monument that possesses significant commemorative value, having witnessed the political development of Hong Kong, from colonization by the British (1841-1997) to the subsequent handover into a Special Administrative Region of China in 1997. The building has also been featured in several world-renowned films and television series throughout the years, such as Clark Gable’s Soldier of Fortune (1955) and Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon …show more content…
When describing the traits of Western architecture, several architectural developments from the late nineteenth century must be considered. For instance, the birth of the first skyscraper in Chicago in 1885, the Home Insurance Building (Figure 4), introduced the loadbearing steel frame, a structural technique that allowed buildings to expand upwards, igniting a spark that would soon become prominent in all of urban architecture – strong vertical lines and recessed horizontals. Furthermore, the British Industrial Revolution brought about the development of new, sturdier materials such as steel, iron and concrete, which were able to add stability to future structures. A prominent structural element that was created in 1853 using these materials is reinforced concrete, which is still used today to resist tensile stresses in particular regions of the concrete that might cause structural

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