Laszlo E. Hudec and modern architecture in Shanghai
Abstract of thesis entitled
?aszlo E. Hudec and Modern Architecture in Shanghai,
1918-1937?Submitted by Liu Bingkun
for the degree of Master of Philosophy
at The University of Hong Kong
in July 2005
Laszlo E. Hudec (1893-1958) was a Hungarian architect eminent for his design of the significant buildings in pre-World War II Shanghai. In the study of Shanghai architecture, most of his works were classified as masterpieces. His most significant works are the Park Hotel, which was at the time ?he largest skyscraper from Tokyo to London? and kept its record as the ?allest building in the Far East?for thirty years until the mid-1960s, the Grand Theatre as once ?he first cinema in the Far East? and the D. V. Wood Residence, which was reputed to be ?ne of the largest and richest residences in the whole of the Far East? In the history of Shanghai architecture, he was recognized as ? master of Modernism? ? pioneer of the new styles? or ?n architect avant-garde?
This thesis examines the character of Hudec? practice and his work against a broad context involving five aspects: social, political, architectural and technological, economical, and cultural, and interprets the meaning of the recognitions he registered.
Primary sources were found in the architectural journals published in the 1930s. Second hand materials were collected from the relevant publications and theses. The study concludes that the modernity of his work lies not in the simulation of the Western contemporary architecture, but in his keeping up with the change of the Chinese society in modern times. For his practice and the works he produced in Shanghai identified with the nature of the settings; his innovative design in form and bold employment of advanced technology established a model for modernization that stimulated his Chinese counterparts to ponder and to experiment a new way in defining a new Chinese architecture.
The study of Hudec? career and his work continues to testify today, when the city of Shanghai is to rebuild a complex of economy and culture as it was in Hudec? time, to the mode of modernization of Chinese architecture. A better understanding of Hudec? success offered a key for appreciation the growth of Shanghai in the present day, when large numbers of foreign architects again flock to the city, producing the tallest buildings in the world. ?
School:The University of Hong Kong
School Location:China - Hong Kong SAR
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:hudec laszlo e 1893 1958 criticism and interpretation architecture modern china shanghai 20th century
Date of Publication:01/01/2005