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                Virtual Imperial Garden


                  Ningshougong Garden, located in the northeastern part of the Palace Museum, was built between 1771 and 1776 for Emperor Qianlong (1711-1799) of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), the longest-living Chinese emperor in history.
                  It is the only imperial garden built for private use of the emperor after his abdication. And its entire design and construction process was completed under Qianlong’s guidance, fully showcasing the emperor’s pursuit of peace of mind and inner tranquility after his abdication. Thus, it was also called Qianlong Garden.
                  Covering 5,920 square meters, Qianlong Garden is 160 meters from north to south and 37 meters from east to west and represents the peak of gardening techniques and art in the Qing Dynasty.
                  According to Shan Jixiang, director of the Palace Museum, Qianlong Garden was built in limited space and conditions. By making optimal use of axis dislocation and space transformation measures, the architects designed more than twenty buildings of diverse styles for the garden. The garden features extraordinary dexterity and novelty in layout, landscaping and decoration.
                  To fully protect the precious ancient architectural heritage and explore and inherit the construction and repair skills of ancient buildings, the Palace Museum cooperated with Beijing Tsinghua Tongheng Urban Planning and Design Institute to jointly launch the Qianlong Garden Research Protection Project.
                  Lasting from 2007 to 2014, the project made extensive use of modern surveying and mapping technology to complete detailed mapping and a three-dimensional virtual reproduction of Qianlong Garden, which was awarded the second prize in science and technology progress by the Chinese Society of Landscape Architecture in 2014.
                  This book is based on the project’s achievements in digital mapping. Shan Jixiang wrote the preface, in which he pointed out that Chinese palace architecture and Chinese garden architecture each represent an ancient Chinese cultural system. The former represents “ritual music culture” characterized by order and standardization, while the latter is a“seclusion culture” advocating nature and non-action. Qianlong Garden is a collection combining both “ritual music culture” and “seclusion culture.”
                  Author Wang Shiwei, also noted in the preface that Qianlong Garden is not only a beautiful private garden, but also stays in harmony with the atmosphere of the imperial palace. The two styles are ingeniously combined. Co-author, Hu Jie, wrote in the book’s postscript that the threedimensional information achievements made with modern surveying and mapping technology not only played an important role in the research on Chinese classical gardens, but also exerted a deep influence on the education system that will guide future garden design.
                  Wang Shiwei, chief engineer and researcher of the ancient architecture department of the Palace Museum and deputy director and secretary-general of the China Heritage Conservation Technology Association, won the Award of Excellence of the UNESCO AsiaPacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation in 2010.
                  Hu Jie is vice president of Beijing Tsinghua Tongheng Urban Planning and Design Institute, senior engineer of Tsinghua University, director of the Chinese Society of Landscape Architecture and lifetime fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects. His research focuses on the sustainable development of Chinese cities.