Tsinghua Garden is architecturally unique. It preserves original architectural features over three centuries old. The garden retains a traditional Qing private garden design and style with painted corridors connecting every room. It has functioned as the university's head office for many years. Due to its distinctive characteristics, it has become a major attraction on campus.
The more popular name of the garden is Gong Zi Ting -- which in Chinese means H-Shaped House. Viewed from above, the central part of the house resembles the letter "H", with its two halls in the front and back connected by a short corridor in the middle.
The garden started out as the residence of a Qing emperor's brother's family. In the early days of Tsinghua School, founded in 1911, the garden was used as the school's first head office building. Student enrollment lists were posted on the wall at the front gate. For some years in its history, the east room in the front section was used as the Music Center, the west room as the teacher's reading room and the back section to accommodate distinguished foreign guests. The great Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore stayed there when he visited China in 1924.
Located at the heart of the oldest area on Tsinghua campus is the imposing auditorium. Mixing Greek and Roman architectural styles, the 1,200-seat auditorium has a rounded roof, a brass gate, and four large white marble columns. It possesses few design embellishments; its magnificence is evident in its simplicity.
Construction on what is now one of the favorite buildings on campus began in September 1917 and concluded in March 1920. The auditorium was one of the four major building projects carried out by Tsinghua School, together with Tsinghua Xuetang, the old library, and the gymnasium.
In its day, it was the largest auditorium of its kind at a university in China, and could seat the entire faculty, staff and student body for school assemblies.
Tsinghua School, a two floor German style building, was one of the main buildings of the school at it's early stage. It was a student dormitory building.
The west wing was built during 1909-1911. The east wing was built in 1916. The total construction area was 4650 m².
The four Chinese characters painted above the main entrance read "Tsinghua School", the first name of the institution when it was founded. The inscription was by Na Tong, a Great Scholar and Grand Minister in late Qing Dynasty.
In the last few decades, it was used as teaching building and classrooms. Now it is the offices of some main administration departments: the Graduate School, the undergraduate academic department and the R&D department.
The Old Gate
The Old Gate was built in 1909. In May of that year, the Qing dynasty government approved the application from the Department of Foreign Affairs to establish a school in the suburbs of Beijing. Tsinghua Garden was chosen as the site for the school. The Gate was the main entrance to the school campus at that time.
At that time, the Gate was not only stately and graceful, but also heavily guarded. In those years, underclassmen were not allowed to go beyond the gate without permission from school authorities. In addition, for the sake of preserving the sanctity of the learning environment, people not on official school business were forbidden to pass through the gate.
In 1933, after the expansion of the residential area, the former enclosing wall was moved to further out. A new gate, now Tsinghua's West Gate, became the new main entrance. Ever since, the original gate has been called Er Xiao Men (means "the second school gate").
The Old Gate was demolished in 1960's. Donated by Tsinghua University Alumni, it was rebuilt in 1991, following the original design.
Shui Mu Tsinghua
Shui Mu Tsinghua, which means "clear water and trees surrounding Tsinghua," is one of the most captivating spots in Tsinghua Yuan. Located near the rear gate of the H-shaped Hall, Shui Mu Tsinghua is often compared by Tsinghua students to the Garden of Harmonious Interests in Beijing's famed Summer Palace. It is a "garden within a garden."
Shui Mu Tsinghua has many charms. Unusual rock formations abound, and a variety of trees, which change color from season to season, encircle an expanse of calm, clear water. On the northern bank are two ancient, graceful pavilions. The four Chinese characters "Shui Mu Tsing Hua" painted on the top of the main gate, were copied from an inscription by Emperor Kang Xi.
The Main Building
The Main Building, located in the eastern area of campus, is composed of three sections covering a total area of 76,871 square meters. It was jointly designed by the Tsinghua students and teachers from different departments after the liberation of China.
For more than 30 years since it was set up, the Main Building held many departments, including those of Architecture, Automation, Computer Science, Mathematics, and Foreign Languages, making significant contributions to both teaching and scientific research.
Today, the central and east sections are the home of the departments of Automation, Computer Science and Technology, and Electronic Engineering. The west section mainly houses the department of Electrical Engineering and Applied Electrical Technology.
School of Science
The building that houses the School of Science was built and put into use just before Tsinghua's 50th anniversary in 1961. It was designed in the Western Classical style by professors from the School of Architecture and Guan Zhaoye, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
The School of Science has a long and brilliant history. It was established in 1929. The first president was renowned physicist Ye Qisun, one of the founders of modern science education in China. Since it opened, it has produced a number of outstanding scholars. By the end of 1940, the department of Physics alone had produced many academicians for the Chinese Academy of Science, including Wang Jinchang, Zhou Tongqing, Gong Zutong, Zhao Jiuzhang, Fu Chengyi, Wang Zhuxi, Weng Wenbo, Zhang Zongsui, Qian Weichang, Peng Huanwu, Qian Sanqiang, He Zehui, Wang Daheng, Yu Zhongzheng, Ge Tingsui, Qin Xinling, Lin Jiaqiao, Zhang Enqiu, Hu Ning, Chen Fangyun, Li Zhengwu, and Lu Xueshan.
Graduating from other departments were noted scholars Xu Baolu, Ke Zhao, Duan Xuefu, Chen Xingshen, Yuan Hanqing, Hua Luogeng, Zhang Dayi, Wang Dexi, Cao Benxi, Zhang Qinglian, Feng Xinde, Chen Xinmin, Huang Peiyun, Sun Dehe, Zhu Yajie, Shen Panwen, Tang Aoqing, Yan Dongsheng, Xiao Lun, Shi Jun, Chen Guanrong, Wu Chi, Gao Zhenheng, Wang Shizhen, Wang Fuxiong, Wu Zhengyi, Wang Zhijun, Lou Chenghou,Xu Ren, Huang Shaoxian, Cheng Chunshu, Xie Yibing, Wang Hongzhen, Cheng Yuqi, Dong Shenbao, Wu Heng, Zhang Bingxi, Ye Duzheng, Guan Shicong, Yang Zunyi, Song Shuhe.
Palace of the Ancient Moon
Near the H-Shaped Hall, the Palace of the Ancient Moon stands alone as a secluded courtyard. Being 670 square meters large, it was constructed in the second year of Emperor Dao Guang's reign. Originally it was the private study chamber of the host. When the school was founded, it became a living quarters for the school staff, and noted scholars such as Prof. Liang Qichao and Prof. Zhu Ziqing also lived there. In 1928, it was designated as a dormitory for the school's first group of female students. Since the founding of the People's Republic of China, it has housed the school's administrative offices.
The gymnasium, distinguished for its historic and cultural value, has been one of the most beloved spots on campus for generations of Tsinghua graduates. It has been a gathering place for the most outstanding people in the field of physical education, bringing up thousands of talented athletes to represent China. Pioneers of physical education such as John Ma and Hao Gengshen taught there for decades.
The gym was constructed in two stages. The front hall, with its Western Classic architectural style, was built from 1916 to1919. The back hall was built from 1931 to 1932, and followed the same design style.
When it was founded, the gym was one of the most advanced of its kind in the country. It housed a basketball court, an suspension athletic track, and various kinds of athletic equipment. It now has an indoor swimming pool, which was used by former Chairman Mao Zedong after the liberation of China.