architecture -Jianfu Palace Garden lives happily ever after

The Jianfu Palace Garden,a magnificent compound in the northwest corner of the Forbidden City in Beijing was built in 1740 for Qianlong, a Qing Dynasty Emporer. In 1923 it burned to the ground with no hope of being resurrected under the reign of Sun Yatsen. Then, in the mid-1990s, the China Heritage Fund, a nonprofit organization founded by the chairman of the Hong Kong development company, Hang Lung Group, proposed to rebuild it.

Don't you love these rescue stories?!

Under the guidance of Happy Huron the project director, an arduous restoration began, replicating and restoring all that was lost. Then in 2004 the interior began to take shape thanks to the expertise of Architect firms Tsao & McKown from NY and Pei Partnership Architects of Beijing.

The Palace is comprised of nine pavilions and other structures organized around courts and connected by walkways and gardens in a 178 acre setting. Of that the firms mission was to devote their efforts mainly to four buildings. In all, 18,000 square feet of intense design and restoration was accomplished, including heating and cooling, lighting, and plumbing systems. The project was completed at the end of 2005. And just in time for the upcoming Olympics.

The "new" palace will be reserved for holding special functions, exhibitions, and receptions. The Jianfu Palace Garden (Garden of the Palace of Established Happiness) is happy once again.

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