Wei Qian , pp. 75. DSN/School of Planning and Media Design, 2012.
As a result of economic development and globalization, cities, especially their commercial blocks, are becoming highly similar because their local culture is crashed by foreign ones. As an essential component of a city, commercial blocks represent the image of the city and have a positive value of local culture. Thus, it is necessary to find out how to create both attractive and unique commercial blocks.
This thesis is aiming to explore the feasibility of keeping the spirit of commercial blocks. Genius Loci, a powerful phenomenological theory, is going to be studied, while some deficiency of it will also be pointed out. The importance of culture and society is introduced to supply Genius Loci. It starts with the problem that nowadays historic commercial blocks are losing unique features and indicates the importance of historic commercial blocks. Afterwards, the concepts of local culture and Genius Loci are illustrated, followed by some related theories about the design of commercial blocks. Moreover, it discusses the application of Genius Loci as a useful guideline in commercial block design. After analyzing two cases of commercial blocks (Old Street commercial block in Gaochun and Tianzifang commercial block in Shanghai, both in China), the results and conclusions will be presented and discussed. In the final part, this thesis evaluates Genius Loci and summarizes the critical points of historic commercial blocks.