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Building understanding

Updated: 2017-01-18 07:57:40

( China Daily )

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Yaodong cave houses in Shaanxi province. [Photo provided to China Daily]

"When I went to high school in an old hutong area, I saw the sign chai (slated for demolition) on the walls of many courtyards," Pu says.

"It made me very upset."

Pu enrolled in McGill University in Montreal, Canada, in 2008.

She admires the conservation of the city's historic district, where some buildings date to the 17th century.

Pu once worked as an intern in the office of renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma and recalls that Kuma told her that architects should seek roots from their own traditions to guide design.

After graduating from McGill, Pu was admitted to the Yale School of Architecture in 2013.

Her proposal for the project to study Chinese vernacular architecture was supported by her adviser, professor James von Klemperer, who's also the president and design principal of one of the world's largest architecture firms, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates.

"Such scholarship is especially meaningful at this time in the development of Chinese urban centers," Klemperer writes in a recommendation of Pu's book.

"We are reminded for the value of the past both as encouragement to preserve its heritage but also (as) a guide to inform the patterns of future growth."

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