Architecture design is hard but rewarding, which should respect place and culture to make more progress.
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gooood team interviews creative from all over the world. Your recommendations and suggestions are welcomed!
gooood Interview NO.17 introduces He Jingtang. More: .

出品人:向玲  Producer: Xiang Ling
编辑团队:向玲,陈诺嘉,鹿璐,杨子豪  Editor: Xiang Ling, Chen Nuojia, Lu Lu, Yang Zihao


▼视频 Video (全文深度采访见下方文字。视频为5分钟精华版,建议选择蓝光1080p观看。)



gooood x He Jingtang



Having been very professional in architecture for many years, which projects you think that could be seen as the typical ones.


My team and I have accomplished many types of architectures in decades and I would like to say, in general, my favourite projects would be Chinese Pavillion, The Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders, Phase III and my studio. The three projects represent the important events of China and different status of my life and work.


Three favorate projects of Academician He Jingtang

Chinese Pavillion

The Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders, Phase III

He Jingtang studio



Firstly, the Chinese Pavillion is the symbol of Chinese culture and is also the platform to show the scientific advances and the future development of China. The scale of the Chinese Pavillion is 160,000 sqm, with 33 meters built on stilts, more than 70 metres high in total, and the roof solely is as huge as two football playgrounds. The Chinese Pavillion represents the spirit of Chinese culture and the red color is also the element of Chinese culture. People say Chinese Pavillion looks like bracket set or a barn, or people from Chongqing would say it looks like a hot pot while people from Chengdu may say it looks like the board where we play mahjong. However, it becomes the symbol of Chinese culture that we all familiar with.

▼辉煌的中国馆体现未来发展和科学进步,the glorious Chinese Pavilion showing the scientific advances and the future development of China

▼建筑本身成为中国文化符号,Chinese Pavilion as a symbol of Chinese culture


The second project that I like the most is The Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders, Phase III, which the phase I designed by Qikang in September, 1985 was a masterpiece. The central government decided to extend the old part into 700 meters length and 100 meters width. We set the design theme of this extension project as “From war to peace”, that is to emphasize this incident, to hold people’s heart and finally to bring people back to the civilization. We use a sequence of related volumes in this project. From the war to massacre and introspection, and to the peace, people would experience a sequence of different spaces and feelings. Meanwhile, the The Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders, Phase III and the Chinese Pavillion together represent process of our country through the painfulness and step to the prosperousness.

▼令人震撼的侵华日军南京大屠杀遇难同胞纪念馆扩建工程,view of The Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders, Phase III

▼从战争到和平的空间序列,space sequence from war to peace


▼工作室保留原本建筑外观,the studio maintains the original appearance of the old buildings

The third project I would like to introduce here is our design studio. The site of our studio located 6 villas which were preserved for the professors of Sun Yat-sen University in the 1930s ( South China University of Technology Wushan compus located on the old site of National Sun Yat-sen University). These villas had slope roof and brick wall and with a scale of 100 sqm for each. Due to the water leakage, the wood that of the architecture are decomposed. Still, they are preserved because of the historical value. In the south part, there are other four buildings that were built at the end of the Great Cultural Revolution, which were in low qulity and were with simple decoration. I spent eleven years to transform these buildings gradually into the studio as you have seen now. These buildings maintain the historical style and the roof and surface, but are totally different inside. We intervened some strctural elements between the buildings and enlarged the functional spaces as well as activated the spaces. We reconnected the tiny spaces into a whole larger one space. In such a small studio includeed several courtyards in different sizes, and pools, galleries and greenery. Plus, we included many modern elements and it is a modern Lingnan Garden. The dimension of our studio which is about 4,000 sqm is comfortable and enjoyable. The architectures are in different heights and layers that meet to different needs. The functions that are including design works, project discussions, displays, communications and storage rooms, and we also have a small kitchen. I work with my coleagues and students together in this studio. For us, it is a platform of creations as well as a research place, where we have done many research projects. Besides, our studio is also a incubator of many phd and master students. Recently, the Architectural Society of China assigned us as the Popular Science Base of Architecture where people can visit and communicate with us. The studio speaks about a very important characteristic of my work, that is to develop a integration of production-study-research in my creation work. Last year Prof. Marino, the former principle of the University of Venice, came to visit our studio and was touched by our outcomes. He invited us to present our design works and concepts at their university. With half-a-year’s effort, we successfully made this exhibition of “Place, Time, Culture, Designing in Drastically Changing China”.

▼园林一般的工作室环境,garden like environment of the studio



Usually, what is the entry point of your design works? Did you intervene your philosophy of“two perceptions and three descriptions” in your early works? Could you introduce to us a bit about your design process?



My career of architecture started late. I don’t have projects and articles or even won no prices before my 45-years, but what I have gained was a lot of knowledge. Architecture is different from other engineering and art subjects, it is a combined subject of engineer and art, and a combination of object and spirit, it is an art science and a scientific art. As an architect, you have to be professional as scientist and engineer in logic analysis, however, you have to be aesthetic and culture-related in design works.

There is no perfect architecture in the world. Each aspect, from economic and politic elements to science, culture and technology, would have an effect on the architecture. It would be better if we see an architecture in three dimensions that is place, culture and time. Place including where the architecture locates, the climate, environment and culture and custom. The function of an architecture is the primier thing you have to consider, yet culture plays an important role in making it into a good one. Culture is the highest level of an architecture and the greatest architectures in the world are all related to culture. However, an architecture should speak about time that is to meet to the needs of the current times. For instance, the Palace Museum is a great historical architecture but it would be stupid if you build another same one at this time. So I summerized place, culture and time as three influencing factors which a great architecture should include all these three. And most of my work is relating to such researches.

▼何镜堂院士部分作品一览,遵循地域性、文化性、时代性,several projects of Academician He Jingtang, following the principle of place, culture and time



The first step of a creation work is positioning. My team would not start doing sketches immediately when we received a project, but to think about the positioning, to know better where we should start with and what would be the key point of this project. For example, in the invitation of tender of the Chinese Pavillion was “Chinese Chracteristics and the Spirit of Time”, and only when we set this position we could express better of this theme. The same thing as The Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders, Phase III, which after analysis we set the theme of “from War to Peace”. By visiting this museum, one could feel the cruelness of war while in the end we bring people back to the happiness of civilization. As for the 2008 Sichuan Earthquak Memorial Space, I settled the theme as “ from Memory to Hope”, that is to remind people the disaster and hope people would in harmony with nature. I have a position for each arhitecture, and we start to collect information only when we all agree with the positioning. Such as the “Chinese Chracteristics and the Spirit of Time” I said before, to make this theme clear, we saparately collecting information from many documents and searching for Chinese elements. And then we would discussing which could represent the Chinese culture. Plus, we also research the pavillions of other countries, and the former Chinese pavillions. With the basic knowledge, we went for a tour in Shanghai to know better about the environment, the city,the relationship and the cultual specifics. We got to know the Chinese characteristics the environment and the topography, and we also did research on the similar architecture of other countries before the design process, and we welcome new ideas. By doing analysis and communications and compromises, we started with 10 to 20 projects, then to several projects and end with two projects. So the last one is not the only one but the ideal one.

All the big projects have tenders, and we started to tender since 1990s. Universities or museums, no matter what it is, we would paticipate in the tenders. Whether won or not, we would enjoy this process. I used to talk to my team:“ there is no perfect project, so we should not afraid of the faliure. We will gain more when we gain enough experience after the faliure.” The most important thing for us is the good idea and right philosophy of design and we should work harder and always ready for the chanlleges. We are such a team.

▼何镜堂团队在讨论方案,He Jingtang team discussing



What do you think is the relationship of traditional cultural elements, the modern materials, and the modern architectural structures? And how did you keep the balance between historical culture and modern architectures?


From my point of view, architectures cannot stand alone, and the world’s progress cannot stand alone without history. The much longer history and more valuable a university is, the better spiri it will have. The development of culture needs cultural inheritance and accumulation. This is the main topic of my research. By following the rules and knowing about the local traditions, you can accomplish this project better. For me, the cultural inheritance is a kind of spiritual inheritance. The traditional Chinese architecture are made of wood structure, and I learned a lot from this kind of tradition when I designed the Chinese Pavillion. We are not using wood structure a lot since the development of science, however we still keep the spirit and express it by using materials and technology in an abstract way.

▼中国(泰州)科学发展观展示中心,以石材替代传统建筑中的木材和砖瓦,保留建筑形态的精神,Exhibition Centre of Scientific Outlook in Taizhou, using stone material instead of wood and brick, remaining the spirit of Chinese traditional building


One of my project called Exhibition Centre of Scientific Outlook on Development in Taizhou locates at the border of the old and the new town, where the residential buildings are on one side and the new city is on the other side, thus, it shows the concept of inheritance and progress. In our design, the extension of traditional architectures plays a very important role. The height, fabric, volume and morpholgy that adjacent to the trational parts are all coordinated with traditions, but differs in materials. We learned from the local patterns that drew on the residential buildings and reuse them on the stones. As a result of the large scale of the new town, we change the height into two and a half level at the boundary of the new town. Plus, we reduce one level at the boundary of the old town and take advantage of the height differences, letting in the water which is the character of the locality. This architecture represents the local sentiment by using the new materials. We replaced the wood and black brick with stone and concrete, and learned a lot from the old patterns which were quite local. Leoh Ming Pei is very successful in designing in this way. Such as Suzhou Museum, which he emphasized the relationship of height,volume and traditional residential buildings but by using the new materials. I do believe an important architecture should combined with traditions but not in a way of repetition but to developing and extending.

▼中国(泰州)科学发展观展示中心,项目位于新老城区之间,在高度上与两侧分别呼应,Exhibition Centre of Scientific Outlook in Taizhou,located between the new city and old town, corresponding to each side on height

▼将江南水乡的特点引入建筑之中,put the character of Southeast water town in the design



Dachang Muslim Cultural Center leaves us a deep impression, and we would like to know what is the consideration in culture of this project? And is there anything you would like to share with us during the design and construction?


Dachang county is the autonomous region of Hui nationality. So how to meet the demands of muslim culture as well as the Chinese culture is our basic idea. We want to express a peace and simple architecture like a palace that combines the splendid Muslim culture with the dream of a better life. In this sense, the Dachang Muslim Cultural Center becomes a public space and a spiritual home. In Chinese culture we speak about “round heaven and square earth”, so the layout of architecture is square and is round inside. To show the combination of nations, we surrounded the architecture with 56 arch, which is an important element in muslim architecture. We attach importance to these factors and designed it in a modest, tidy, elegant and orderly. But to make it into a real project, we have to pay attention into much more details.

▼简洁大气的建筑,simple and elegant architecture


When finishing the production drawing, one of my students went to the site and thought about for which materials, stones or metal or GRC, we should use for construction. Thus, we made many models of equal sizes to compare with other materials. We had known that white is the main tone in many muslim architectures, so for the archs we use white marbles to express peace and the pure spirit. We also did researches at the texture of stones and spent a while at site to deal with it. Works cannot be only drawings, but also includes the efforts we spent on site to compare different materials solve many problems. The repeat of the arch shows a rythem which with the water at the front and the water reflections presents a peaceful atmosphere. Considering the volume of water, I reserved the water space at 40 metres width while narrowing the both side into 12 metres. And the outcome is satisfied. And we take another discussion on whether to use handdrails along the edges or not. In my point of view, the water pond is not the real one and is just about twenty centimetres and is accessible by children, so we desided to give up the handrails, instead, we made a bridge where we put lights and show them in a arch way. It looks amazing during the night.

▼水池倒映着连续的拱,宁静而美丽,continuous arches reflected in the pool, tranquil and beautiful


The dome on the roof we made it into a semi-outdoor garden instead of a closed space. And the roof is a semi-hollow body space with the same patterns. The patterns are in a strong rythem which is amazing. Seeing from the inside, because of the pattern is a semi-hollow body, one can view the sky in which is shaped, while during the night, the light go through the architecture and forms a special shape that is fasinating. When snowing, the snow flake fluttering inside seemingly people are staying outside. The architecture is showing in a peaceful, simple, pure and poetic way. The architecture is in square which the middle space is round, besides, there is an empty space in the center that act as a pavillion of light. We used to use many light rings when designing airport, while the use of a main and a secondary component is a failure. We gave up these components this time by using a net which is pure. When in the sunlight, the frame reflects on the floor and changing with the movement of sun. These are all detail designs. There are not much creative works in the project, and what we have done is to use the real muslim elements and make them pure and orderly, that resulted in this holy palace.

▼阳光在室内留下美丽的光影,sunlight creates impressive shadow effects through skylight


▼白色的石拱和镂空拱顶细部,details of the white stone arch and semi-hollowed dome



You are respected as the master of the campus building, so what aspect you considered the most when doing a campus building?



By the end of the last century and the beginning of this century, our country attach a great importance to education, and universities are cooperated in building new campuses and that is when I started to research campus. For each project I will start with a research. I prefer to find a way that combined the design and research.

My main focus is on how the campus plan adapts to the modern talents tranning. But what are the modern talents? In my generation, teachers were teaching on the stage while students were listening. The talent student would be the one who got full marks in exams which means he or she was a good listener but may be weak in creating and practicing. While the modern society needs people to be more interdisciplinary. That is to say, to enhance the ability in creating, we should not only let students focusing during the class but also communicating with other students and from other grades and subjects, and to learn from each other. Thus, I proposed “ people are educated by environment”. The campus design is not only an axon or plaza that composed the public spaces, but many different spaces that can organized communications between students and teachers. Following this concept, I designed many campus plannings which meet to the modern needs. Topography is the primary factor of my consideration. A campus would looks differently when locates in different conditions. Such as Chongqing University of Technology that relys on the topography the most.

▼重庆理工大学,依山傍水,因势随行,Chongqing University of Technology situated between mountain and water, following the topography of the environment


The second consideration is the culture of local space. Jiangnan watertown is a kind of culture where the massif in north Sichuan is another, so as for Lingnan and Northeast China. If we combined the culture and environment, and find out the characteristic in geography, this would become an innovation. I used to settle the relations of the campus and environment before the design work and take the climate influences into control as well as the cultural analysis. We were not sure whether we can win the competitive tender or not, but not far from it.

▼泰州中学新校区,融合气候、环境和人文(点击查看更多),New Campus of Taizhou High School, combining climate, environment and culture (click to view more)



As the representative figure of Lingnan school, what do you think is the space of it? And what do you say about the landmark architecture?

每个地区形成一种建筑风格,都是有依据来源的。因为建筑必须和一个地区发生关系,只有地区的建筑,没有抽象的建筑。岭南这个地方太阳高度角高,很热, 雨水特别多,很潮,几乎没有冬天,所以建筑都要考虑遮阳、隔热、通风、防潮。在这个地方生活的人习惯于室内外结合,因为气候允许室内外结合起来,所以很多建筑都比较通透,玻璃窗比较大。在规划里面,里巷晒不到太阳,但会通风。岭南地方的院子比较小,叫做天井,不希望晒太阳,而是希望凉快,通风,这是气候带来的。


Each formation of typical architectral style has a root. Since the architecture must have a relationship with a region, so there is only regional architecture but no abstract arhitecture. In the place of Lingnan, the solar elevation angle is high, and the weather is hot and wet and there is almost no winter days, thus the architectures here should take serious consideration of sun-shade, heat insulation, ventilation and damp-proof works. Local people used to link their indoor and outdoor lives because of the climate. The arhitectures here are more transparent with big windows. The alleys are void of sunlight but with ventilation. The courtyard in Lingnan space is called Tianjing, and it is in smaller scale without sunlight but only with ventilations.

The second influence of forming an architecture style is culture. Firstly, Lingnan spaces existing the culture of Guangdong and the traditional Chinese culture is also a factor. Besides, Lingnan has a long history in global exchange and many overseas Chinese come back with western materials and technologies thus influence the architectures. Lingnan is a place that organized central plain culture, local culture and overseas culture. The local architecture absorbed the western style which includes western constructions, decorations like italian mosaic. For instance the barbican is constructed in a traditional way but use some new materials in details.

▼澳门大学横琴校区,体现岭南地区的气候和文化特征,Hengqin Campus of Macau University, reflecting the environment and culture of Lingnan district



Lingnan style of architecture focus more on practical and blended innovation, while the Lingnan architecture is not the Lingnan school. The latter is an idealogy which I also embodied in my thought of “two perceptions and three descriptions”. It is a creative idealogy that not only solve the problems in Guangdong but also the environmental and cultural problems. I once communicated with Peter, and he asked me : “ many architects has their own styles but you don’t, each of your project looks different, why?” I said this is an easy question, because I always base my architecture on different places, but I have a thorough idea which connects all my projects, that is “two perceptions and three descriptions”.

For different region and different culture we have different treantments for architecture. The globalization has an effect on the place so the key issue is to combine these two aspects. For example, each cinema has the characteristics and the similarities wherever it is. But if you link the space with the local morphology, the climate and the culture, it would be different. And if you manage to do this, the outcome would be outstanding. If you copy from the others, or just learn to use some components without knowing better what it is, the result would be the same as copy and paste. On the contrary, the situation of Shanghai and Northeneast China are totally different so we must take them saparately and have enough confidence in local culture and learn from it. Qibaishi said: “ people who learn from mine will gain more than the one that looks like mine”. Many of the masters have good idealogies, if I learn from them in the ways of thinking and connect to the local culture and environment, the outcomes would be different.

▼将地域,时代和文化融合在一起 – 侵华日军第731部队罪证陈列馆(点击查看更多)
Combine place, time and culture – The Exhibition Hall of Evidences of Crime committed by Unit 731 of the Japanese Imperial Army (click to view more)

▼将地域,时代和文化融合在一起 – 映秀震中纪念地
Combine place, time and culture – The Epicenter Yingxiu Memorial


A city cannot be distinctive if there isnot any distinctive architectures. If Paris doesn’t have Louvre Museum, the Eiffel Tower or La Defense Area, cities in Europe would looks like the same. So as to the Chinese cities. Whether the characterictic architecture would become a landmark depends on firstly the culture and morphology and the aesthetic appreciation. Secondely, it should be a masterpiece. Thirdly, it should stands the test of time, and should satisfied by people. These are all factors that a landmark should have. However, a landmark shouldn’t be a strange architecture, it should have characteristics as well as in harmony with the city.

▼与城市相和谐 – 侵华日军南京大屠杀遇难同胞纪念馆三期扩容工程(点击查看更多)
In harmony with the city – The Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders, Phase III (click to view more)



What do you thnik is the time of this age? In which way, through urban planning and architecture design, you think we can improve our living conditions and qulity better?


In my oppinion, the time of this age is the progress of science and technology which reflects on the modern architecture is the new types of materials, new relations of neighbourhoods and the new creative ideas that brought to this age. Currently, energy-saving, environmentally-friendly and low-carbon are the tendency of this age, so we emphasize more on the combination of architecture and technology. Another feature I would like to say is human oriented. Architecture should be humanistic and meets to the needs of work, and life that including the technological and environmental. Besides, the aesthetic standards would change by ages. We elderly people should follow the changing of times. In a word, this age calls for the engery-saving, environmentally-friendly, low-carbon, automatic and intelligent architecture. Inaddition, the human oriented is also important in designing livable spaces for living and work. It changes in different ages of architecture, but the long-term trend is in front of us.

▼何镜堂工作室开放,舒适,绿色的办公空间,open, green and comfortable working space of He Jingling Studio



What would be your further plan or goals in architecture design?


The topic I choose for today is “Designing in Drastically Changing China”. In the past thirty years after the reform and opening-up policy, we have a very fast development which lead us architects to find a right way to do architecture design. I hope our country could foster more cultural confidence and more international creative talents. Me myself undertake the teaching, creating and trainning talents, I always say I am a trainer, a referee and an athlete. The trainer is to be a professor of master and phd students; the referee is to hold competitive tender; but most of the time I am an athlete to do design projects. I am a open-minded person and am not afraid of failure. I always encourage my team with “ you will win only when you lose more” to do our projects. Architects needs practice and prove themselves by projects. The way of traninging talents is as the same as working out projects which I always combined with each other. I always send my phd students to do projects, in which they graduated while the project finished. The Chinese Pavillion, and The Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders, Phase III etc. are all designed by me and my phd students. Architecture design is a hard process, but when your work is recognised by people, you will gain also happiness.

▼何镜堂院士在项目现场,Academician He Jingtang in the project site

▼大家一起为何镜堂院士庆祝生日,team celebrating Academician He Jingtang’s Birthday

▼精神矍铄的何镜堂院士,Academician He Jingtang, an energetic architect


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  1. 泰州中学的项目设想的像售楼处····

  2. Profile Photo

    何标王 233

  3. Profile photo of 孙伟宇


  4. 头几天我做梦不晓得为啥进国外馆了,在扶梯上等了良久都不到修建内里。坐电梯都坐出暗影了

  5. 国外馆真是,给故国争光的国际评价啊……那么声张的仍是西方人隐讳的白色,威震四方吓傻洋人。这类姿势逢迎了那几年心里收缩的当权者,可真有想过世博会国外需求的是什么吗

  6. Profile Photo


  7. 新葡京388棋牌


  8. 学者、行者、思者。看完简介让我收获颇丰,期望能看到更多何院士的作品。

  9. Profile photo of 吴渊


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