Wang Chiu-Hwa (Chinese: 王秋華; 8 August 1925 – 14 June 2021) was a Taiwanese architect noted for her work with libraries in Taiwan.[1][2] Due to the many libraries she designed and the fact she pioneered the earliest modern university library in Taiwan, Wang was given the unofficial title of "Taiwan’s 'Mother of Libraries'".[3]

Wang Chiu-Hwa
Born(1925-08-08)8 August 1925
Died14 June 2021(2021-06-14) (aged 95)
NationalityRepublic of China
Alma materNational Central University (BS)
University of Washington (BA)
Columbia University (MArch)
AwardsOutstanding Architect of Taiwan ROC
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese王秋華
Simplified Chinese王秋华

Biography edit

Studies and work in the United States: 1940s–1979 edit

Wang was born in Beiping on 8 August 1925.[4][5] Her father was Wang Shijie, a scholar and politician who moved to Taiwan during the Chinese Civil War, her mother, Xiao Dehua, was a painter, and the musician Xiao Youmei was her maternal uncle.[2][6] After earning her bachelor's degree in architecture at the National Central University in Chongqing, China, which was China’s first university programme for architecture.[3] Wang Chiu-Hwa moved to Seattle to continue her studies at the University of Washington in 1946.[7] She then studied at Columbia University in New York City and obtained her Master's degree in architecture in 1949.[8] She was one of the first Asian women to study architecture at University of Washington and the Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.[9] Wang earned her architecture licence in 1960.[3]

From 1953 to 1979, Wang worked with American architect Percival Goodman in New York City.[10][11] She began working for him part-time as a designer while being his student, and then worked for him full-time for almost thirty years, starting as an associate in 1960 and then becoming a partner.[10] Wang's first project with Goodman was designing the Fairmount Temple in Beachwood Village, Ohio (1953). [3] Goodman exerted great influence on her architectural ideas; like Goodman, she strongly believed in the notion of the architect as having a social responsibility through their work.[12] She is quoted as saying “as a designer, you must concern yourself first and foremost with the well-being of the majority, not just the interests of a few wealthy people.”[8]

One of Wang's nicknames was the "architect in a qipao" due to the fact she often wore one to construction sites.[3] Wang spoke out against the practice of prioritising private cars over public transport. One such example is when Wang and Goodman, in collaboration with their students at Columbia University, designed an unsolicited proposal for Manhattanville-on-Hudson that was intended to counter urban planner Robert Moses’ proposal to focus on building highways in mid-twentieth century New York.[3]

Return to Taiwan: 1979–2021 edit

Wang Chiu-Hwa returned to Taiwan in 1979.[12] She began teaching at the Taipei Institute of Technology and Tamkang University, and served as architectural consultant to a number of public institutions.[10] In 1983, after collaborating with architect Joshua J. Pan on the Chung Yuan Christian University library, she started her own practice and has since been working in joint venture with J. J. Pan and Partners, Architects and Planners, on a number of projects.[10] Wang was named Outstanding Architect of Taiwan ROC in 2003.[10] She won the 2020 National Award for the Arts [zh] in architecture, and was the first woman recipient of the prize since an award for architecture was established in 1997.[4]

Wang Chiu-Hwa died of heart failure at Taipei City Renai Hospital at around 2 p.m. on 14 June 2021, less than two months before her 96th birthday.[2]

Work edit

Wang Chiu-Hwa's architectural designs are modernistic, with emphasis on environmental totality and scale.[12]

Between 1983 and 1985, she designed the main library of Chung Yuan Christian University, which exemplifies her sense of spatial planning. It has a holding capacity of 700,000 volumes, a conference room with room for 150 people, and a study room with room for 800 people. Its multiple-entry plazas and sunken gardens were designed to encourage socialising.[13] A special feature of the library is the attention given to energy conservation. Natural lighting and ventilation were made possible through the use of double-height spaces, also providing visual fluidity and transparency. This was her first major project after returning to Taiwan, and it won her the Taiwan Provincial Building Design Award and the National Building Design Award for Passive Energy Efficiency.[14]

Over the next three decades, she designed a number of large and award-winning buildings in Taiwan,[14] including but not limited to:

  • 1986: Precision Instruments Development Center for the National Science Council[15]
  • 1988: Medical Research Building & Conference Center for Veterans General Hospital in Taichung[16]
  • 1989: Gymnasium at Chung Yuan Christian University[17]
  • 1989: Main Library of National Chang Hwa Normal University[13]
  • 1991–97: Doctors' Dormitory of Taichung Veterans General Hospital[13]
  • 1993: Main Library and Information Sciences Center at the National Chung Cheng University[18]
  • 1998: Founder's Memorial Library at the Chinese Culture University in Taipei[19]
  • 1997–2004: Holistic Education Village at Chung Yung Christian University[20]
  • 2000–2005: Gymnasium at Chinese Culture University[21]

Noted for her work on libraries in Taiwan, Wang Chiu-Hwa was affectionately known as the "Mother of Taiwanese libraries".[1]

In 2015, Wang Chiu-Hwa donated a large part of her archive to the M+ Collection Archives[22] in Hong Kong.[23]

References edit

  1. ^ a b Chen Ping-hung; Teng Pei-ju (15 June 2021). "'Mother of Taiwanese libraries' architect Wang Chiu-hwa dies at 96". Focus Taiwan. Central News Agency. Retrieved 20 June 2021.
  2. ^ a b c 陳秉弘 (14 June 2021). "台灣圖書館之母 建築師王秋華辭世享壽96歲". (in Chinese). Central News Agency. Retrieved 20 June 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Collections, 21 November 2019 Filed under; Exhibitions/Programmes. "7 Facts About Taiwan's 'Mother of Libraries' - M+ Stories". Retrieved 21 June 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ a b Cheng, Sabine; Hsu, Elizabeth (4 December 2019). "94-year-old architect among recipients of 2020 National Award for Arts". Focus Taiwan. Central News Agency. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  5. ^ "國家文藝獎第21屆獲獎藝術家 王秋華". 國家文化藝術基金會. Retrieved 15 June 2021. 八月八日出生的王秋華建築師(以下簡稱王秋華),同年,孫中山逝世於北京、省港十萬人大罷工、希特勒《我的奮鬥》出版發行、國民革命軍正式組建、中國國民黨廖仲愷遇刺身亡。
  6. ^ Han Cheung (8 May 2021). "Taiwan in Time: The 'mother of Taiwanese libraries'". Taipei Times. Retrieved 8 August 2021.
  7. ^ "穿旗袍的建築師 注" (PDF). Architectural Institute of Taiwan.
  8. ^ a b "In Memoriam: Wang Chiu Hwa". Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. 17 June 2021. Retrieved 20 June 2021.
  9. ^ "In Memoriam Wang Chiu Hwa". Columbia GSAPP. Retrieved 22 June 2021.
  10. ^ a b c d e Pan, Joshua Jih; Group, The Images Publishing (2012). J. J. Pan & Partners: Sustainability, Professionalism, Discourse. Images Publishing. ISBN 9781864704303.
  11. ^ Goodman, Percival (2001). Percival Goodman: Architect – Planner – Teacher – Painter. Princeton Architectural Press. ISBN 9781884919091.
  12. ^ a b c 林均郁 (1 January 2008). 王秋華建築師在台建築之研究. 淡江大學建築學系碩士班學位論文 (Master's thesis). doi:10.6846/TKU.2008.00372.
  13. ^ a b c Pan, Joshua Jih; Group, The Images Publishing (1999). J.J. Pan and Partners: Selected and Current Works. Images Publishing. ISBN 9781864700589.
  14. ^ a b "Chiu-Hwa Wang - J.J.Pan and Partners, Architects and Planners - 潘冀聯合建築師事務所". (in Chinese (Taiwan)). Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  15. ^ "Precision Instrument Development Center for the National Science Council". Archived from the original on 29 March 2020. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  16. ^ "Medical Research Building and Conference Center for Veterans General Hospital Taichung". Archived from the original on 29 March 2020. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  17. ^ "Gymnasium & Indoor Swimming Pool, Chung-Yuan Christian University". Archived from the original on 29 March 2020. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  18. ^ "中正大學圖書資訊中心" (in Chinese (Taiwan)). Archived from the original on 2 April 2020. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  19. ^ "Founder's Memorial Library, Chinese Culture University, Taipei". Archived from the original on 29 March 2020. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  20. ^ "Holistic Education Village, Chung Yuan Christian University". Archived from the original on 29 March 2020. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  21. ^ "Gymnasium, Chinese Culture University". Archived from the original on 29 March 2020. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  22. ^ M+ Collection Archives
  23. ^ "7 Facts About Taiwan's 'Mother of Libraries'". M+. Retrieved 30 June 2020.