Event — Book launch

The Shanghai Alleyway House. A Vanishing Urban Vernacular

Book launch of \"The Shanghai Alleyway House. A Vanishing Urban Vernacular\" by Gregory Bracken

Book launch of "The Shanghai Alleyway House. A Vanishing Urban Vernacular" by Greg Bracken.

Drinks afterwards. Everyone invited, but you are kindly requested to register yourself at: t.van.der.maas@iias.nl

About the book
Based on groundwork research conducted in Shanghai, this book examines the Shanghai alleyway house in light of the complex history of the city, especially during the colonial era, it also looks into the history of urban form (and governance) in China in order to see how the Eastern and Western traditions combined in Shanghai to produce a unique and dynamic housing typology. Construction techniques and different alleyway house sub-genres are also examined, as is the way of life they engendered, including some of the unexpectedly delightful side-effects of alleyway house life, such as the literature it inspired, both foreign and local, as well as the portrayal of life in the laneways as seen in films set in the city. Perhaps the most important part of the book is the posing of the question: what next for the alleyway house? Does it even have a future? and if so, what? Projects such as Xintiandi are examined, as are more ‘natural’ developments like Tianzifang; contrasting approaches which could lead the way to a future rehabilitation and reuse of this rapidly vanishing typology.

About the author
Dr Gregory Bracken is a Research Fellow at the International Institute of Asian Studies (IIAS), Leiden and an architecture studio master at Delft University of Technology. His most recent publication is Aspects of Urbanization in China: Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guangzhou (Amsterdam Univesity Press, 21012), an edited volume.