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The Transformation of Shanghai Lilong Housing

(Journal of the Architectural Institute of Korea, Vol.14 No.4, April 1998)


Shanghai Lilong, a modern type of urban multi-family housing, was developed from the regional traditional house and Western influences in the middle of 19th century and continually reconfigured up to the middle of the 20th century. The objective of this study is to trace the transformation process and to clarify its direction. Listed below, the study found three processes of transformation that allowed the housing type to remain viable for more than a century.

 1. A trend toward greater density (floor area) and spatial differentiation.
 2. A move toward diversification and flexibility of spatial organization along with the adoption of new materials and structural systems.
 3. An effort to improve environmental conditions by means of a 'rear-Tianjing', and an opening system with a balcony replacing the Tianjing.