Nanjing, as a well-known political and consumptive city, is very important in early-modern China. The study for the history of early-modern commercial architecture in Nanjing is meaningful to know the modernization of society, city and architecture. This dissertation is based on the study of historical materials, with the study of architectural theories supplemented. From the perspectives of influence by the West, the development of architectural type as well as the transformation and transition of commercial districts, this dissertation systematically presents the modernization process of early-modern commercial architecture in Nanjing, including presenting the historical context of the development of early-modern commercial architecture in Nanjing, analyzing the evolution of spatial form of commercial architecture, and trying to conclude the regular law of the development of commercial architecture in early-modern China.
This dissertation includes three sections, the first two of which combines the commercial architectural type and historical division and dynamically study the dialectical relationship between the social transition and the development of architectural type. Section I is “the Emergence Period”, from Ming and Qing Dynasties to the early Republic of China, which studies the distribution of traditional commercial districts in Nanjing in Ming and Qing, the commercial spatial prospect from the drawings in Ming and Qing, the opening of Xiaguan Port and well as the Nanyang Industrial Exposition. Section II is “the Development Period”, from the establishment of Nanjing National Government in 1927 to the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, which studies the governmental plan and construction of the commercial districts as well as the modernization of commercial facilities in the period of Nanjing National Government (1927-1937), War of Resistance against Japan (1937-1945) and the National Government “returning to the capital” after the war (1945-1949). Section III is “Discussion”, which studies the relationship between Native Goods Movement in Early-modern China and the modernization of early-modern commercial facilities in Nanjing, and the evolution of spatial forms of early-modern commercial architecture, including the Shophouse, commercial district, store and department store, based on the theoretical framework of typology and the perspective of the evolution of architectural type. After that, it tries to conclude the regular law of the development of commercial architecture, and discusses the social, political and economic reasons behind the phenomena.
This dissertation is an exploration to connect the study for the architectural history and the perspective of the social transformation, on one hand, it presents the historical facts, studies theory through history and conclude the regular law based on the longitudinal clue of the time and historical events, on the other hand, discusses the spatial form based on the latitudinal clue of architectural typology.