燕南园 The Yannan Garden



·燕南园 Yan Nan Yuan


Yan Nan Yuan, named for its location in the south of Yan Yuan, covers an area of 48 mu (3.2 hectares) and was built in the 1920s. There now are 17 small buildings in the area, including self-contained western-style buildings and Chinese-style courtyards surrounded by low walls. In 2019, when Beijing released the first batch of historical buildings, Buildings No.50-66 in Yan Nan Yuan were among them.


Among those who once lived here were historians Hong Ye and Jian Bozan, the mathematician Jiang Zehan, physicists Zhou Peiyuan, Rao Yutai and Chu Shenglin, economists Ma Yinchu and Chen Daisun, philosophers Feng Youlan, Tang Yongtong and Fengding, chemists Zhang Longxiang and Huang Ziqing, linguists Wang Li and Lin Tao, the aesthetician Zhu Guangqian, the biologist Shen Tong; the litterateur Lin Geng, the historical geographer Hou Renzhi, the sociologist Wu Wenzao and his wife, the litterateur Bing Xin (Xie Wanying).


·燕南园50号:Building No. 50 in Yan Nan Yuan


The building was added to Yan Nan Yuan when PKU campus was expanded in the 1950s, and therefore features a significantly different style from other buildings. It was once the home of Xiang Da, former director of Peking University Library and professor of the Department of History, PKU. Here, Prof. Xiang completed his research on the history of communication between China and the West, the history of communication through the South China Sea, Dunhuang Studies, etc., and published The Annotated Book of Mán (蛮), to which he devoted many years of efforts. Besides, Prof. Xiang made great contributions to the establishment of Peking University’s specialized subjects including Library Science, Museology and Archaeology.


·燕南园51号: Building No. 51 in Yan Nan Yuan


This is a two-story western-style building, on the west side of which stands a stone tablet of a Flower God Temple dating back to Qianlong’s reign. In the 1950s and 1960s, Rao Yutai, a physicist and one of the pioneers of modern physics in China, lived in the eastern part of this house. After leaving the position as the head of the Department of Physics, Prof. Rao went on to compile handouts and offer lectures on up-to-date optics for faculties. During the same period, a mathematician named Jiang Zehan dwelled in t the western part of this house. He spared no efforts there in completing his academic monograph The Fixed Point Class Theory.


·燕南园52号:Building No. 52 in Yan Nan Yuan


The two-story building is located on a small upward slope in the northeast corner of Yan Nan Yuan. After 1952, the economist, Luo Zhiru, and the physical chemist, Huang Ziqing, who made enormous contributions to the development of Economics Science and Physical Chemistry respectively, moved here one after another. In 1967, Lin Tao, a linguist, lived in Building No. 58 for a temporary stay, and in November of the same year, he moved into this building for long-term residence. During this residency, Prof. Lin was in charge of restoring and presiding over the work of the phonetics lab of the Department of Chinese Language, PKU, and completed a number of significant academic articles and monographs concerning the history of Chinese modern phonetics. It is worth noting that it was one of Prof. Lin’s wishes to put up these information boards in Yan Nan Yuan.


·燕南园53号: Building No. 53 in Yan Nan Yuan


Located in the northeast corner, this is a two-story building in typical western-style. After 1952, Shen Tong, a biologist, and Qi Sihe, a historian, moved respectively into the first and second floor of the house. Shen Tong was the one who founded the biochemistry speciality firstly in a comprehensive university of China, and he attained world-leading accomplishments in studies including animal hibernation, nutrition and vitamins, nucleic acid biochemistry and genetic engineering. The college textbook Biochemistry compiled by Shen Tong is still a classic. With a thorough knowledge of both China and the West, Qi Sihe made pioneering contributions to the research on pre-Qin history, modern history, world history and Sino-foreign relations.


·燕南园54号: Building No. 54 in Yan Nan Yuan


This is a two-story western-style building with sloping roof and gray brick walls. Some windows in the building are arched, while others are rectangular. The earliest resident here was a historian called Hong Ye. He possessed a rich collection of books, and this building was thus referred to as “Jian Zhai”, or also as “No Rare Book House”. Hong Ye compiled a large number of reference books of Chinese ancient publications, and rallied the Harvard-Yenching Institute to compile and publish indices for classical documents consisting of Confucian classics, historical records, philosophical writings and miscellaneous works. In 1952, Feng Youlan, a philosopher, moved into Building No. 54. Jiang Longji, former Party Secretary of Peking University, and Lu Ping, former Party Secretary and President of Peking University, also lived here.


·燕南园55号: Building No. 55 in Yan Nan Yuan


This is a Chinese-style building. Jiang Yin’en, a pioneer in journalism, used to live here. In 1957, with the nomination of Chairman Mao, a Marxist philosopher named Feng Ding started his long-term residence here after being transferred to Peking University. Prof. Feng was a committee member of the Department of Philosophy and Social Sciences of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In the 1990s, the economist Chen Daisun relocated himself into the building. Despite his great age, he insisted on teaching undergraduate students and mentoring doctoral candidates. In front of the house can be found a bronze sculpture of Prof. Chen. In the early 21st century, here has become the dwelling for the Nobel Laureate in Physics, Li Zhengdao.


·燕南园56号:Building No. 56 in Yan Nan Yuan


This building is similar in shape and symmetrical in position with Building No. 55 of Yan Nan Yuan. It was once the home of Zhou Peiyuan, a theoretical physicist, scholar of hydromechanics and former president of Peking University. As the founder of the Turbulent Model Theory, Prof.  Zhou made great achievements in the fields of the most advanced theoretical physics, including gravity theory, general relativity and turbulence theory. Prof. Zhou maintained also close relationships with his students, with the door of his home always open to welcome students visiting at any time. More than half of the scientists who contributed to the “Two Bombs, One Satellite” were his students. Prof. Zhou liked flowers very much. In front of the house he used to plant cherry trees, the blossom on which dazzled like snow in Spring breezes. And therefore people called the place the “Flower Garden of the Zhou Family”.


·燕南园57号: Building No. 57 in Yan Nan Yuan


This is a Chinese-style courtyard located in the southeast nook of the area. In 1957, the philosopher Feng Youlan moved from Building No. 54 and lived here till the end of his life. Prof. Feng named this courtyard “Three Pines Hall (San Song Tang)” after the three pines here. In his late years, Feng Youlan reorganized all of his works and collected them into the book The Complete Works at Three Pines Hall. Feng was a standing Committee member of the Department of Philosophy and Social Sciences of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. His daughter, the famous writer Feng Zhongpu (with a pen name as Zong Pu) also lived here for a time.


·燕南园58号:Building No. 58 in Yan Nan Yuan


Located in the southeast corner of Yan Nan Yuan, Building No. 58 has the same structure as No. 57 and they are symmetrical to each other. The philosopher Tang Yongtong once lived here. He completed works such as Metaphysics in Wei and Jin Dynasties here, and served as a member of the editorial committee of Research on Philosophy and Research on History, while earnestly tutoring his students. Prof. Tang was a committee member of the Department of Philosophy and Social Sciences of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. His family members who lived together with him also attained extraordinary achievements. His son, Prof. Tang Yijie, was also a philosopher and once worked as the director and chief expert for the Editorial and Research Center of Confucian canon, PKU. Tang Yijie’s wife, Prof. Yue Daiyun, a literary theorist, is a pioneer in comparative literature in China.


·燕南园59号:Building No. 59 in Yan Nan Yuan



This courtyard resembles No. 55 and No. 56 in style. Howard S. Galt used to reside here. He was one of the founders of Yenching University and contributed greatly to the establishment and development of Yan Nan Yuan and to the University as a whole. Howard Galt’s focused on traditional Chinese education studies and compiled the book China’s History of Education System. After the end of War of Chinese People's Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, Yenching University moved back to Yan Yuan, and the physicist Chu Shenglin came here and later worked as the head of the Department of Physics, PKU. He insisted on participating in teaching fundamental courses, and his textbook, Atomic Physics, was adopted by numerous universities and colleges.

·燕南园60号:Building No. 60 in Yan Nan Yuan


Here in the center of Yan Nan Yuan stands a two-story western-style building with exquisite structure. Randolph C. Sailer, a psychology professor, used to live here. He was an ardent supporter of students’ patriotic activities including the December 9th Movement in 1935, and had made vigorous efforts in protecting students ever since. By the side of the Weiming Lake, there is a stone tablet engraved with his name as well as his birth and death dates. In the 1950s, the linguist Wang Li moved in and completed most of his works on Chinese linguistics here. His ancient Chinese textbooks and ancient Chinese dictionaries are still in wide use. Wang Li was a committee member of the Department of Philosophy and Social Sciences of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.


·燕南园61号:Building No. 61 in Yan Nan Yuan



This is a two-story masonry building in western-style. Hou Renzhi, the founder and pioneer of China’s historical geography, lived here for over half a century. Prof. Hou was the first to distinguish between “evolutional geography” and “historical geography” and made a systematic exposition of the “four arguments” of the development of historical geography. The book An Historical Geography of Peiping he wrote and The Historical Atlas of Beijing he edited were exemplary in the research of urban historical geography. He broke new ground in the field of historical geography of deserts, and promoted China’s acceding to the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. The inscriptions “Wei Ming Hu” (Weiming Lake) and “Wen Shui Po” (Wenshui Hillside) on the two stones standing by the Weiming Lake were written by Hou Renzhi.


·燕南园62号:Building No. 62 in Yan Nan Yuan



The U-shaped Chinese bungalow, located in the south of Yan Nan Yuan, was once the dwelling place of the sociology and social activist Lei Jieqiong. Prof. Lei was the principal founder and prominent leader of the China Association for Promoting Democracy. After 1952, Lin Geng, a modern poet and scholar of literature and history, moved here, where he completed a number of academic books including A Brief History of Chinese Literature and A Comprehensive Study of Tang Poetry, while bringing up an array of outstanding researchers on Chinese language and culture.


·燕南园63号:Building No. 63 in Yan Nan Yuan



This Chinese courtyard has five bays in width with a hipped roof. Up on the ridges there are delicately carved animals. Since Peking University moved in Yan Yuan in 1952, Ma Yinchu, an economist and demographic scholar, as well as the president of PKU at the time, settled in No. 63 Yan Nan Yuan. His well-known book, New Population Theory, was completed while he was here. In 1975, the linguist Wei Jiangong also moved in. He was in charge of compiling Xinhua Dictionary and played a part in the simplification of Chinese characters. Both of these masters were committee members of the Department of Philosophy and Social Sciences of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.


·燕南园64号:Building No. 64 in Yan Nan Yuan


Here is a row of east-west bungalows with the simplest structure among the seventeen buildings in Yan Nan Yuan. During the days of Yenching University, it was used as a dormitory for the faculty and staff. In 1960s to 70s, it served the same purpose. Here once lived Jian Bozan, one of the significant founders of China’s Marxist historiography.


·燕南园65号:Building No. 65 in Yan Nan Yuan


This is a western-style single-story building. Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Zheng Xin, the former head of the Department of Philosophy of PKU, and Ma Jian, the translator of the Koran, made a short stay here. Later, jurist Rui Mu lived here for a long time. Rui Mu became a professor of Peking University since 1947, and most of his life's achievements were accomplished in this building. He set up the discipline of Chinese Economic Law and International Economic Law, taught courses using textbooks written by himself, and established the Institute of Economic Law and International Economic Law of Peking University.


·燕南园66号:Building No. 66 in Yan Nan Yuan


This elegant two-story building in western-style, close to the Second Gymnasium, was once the residence of the sociologist Wu Wenzao and the litterateur Bing Xin (Xie Wanying), who were husband and wife. They placed many newspapers and academic publications in their living room on the first floor, which was well-known as the "Periodical Reading Room" of Yenching University and which attracted lots of teachers and students to come for reading. In the late 1970s, the aesthetician Zhu Guangqian moved into the building, where he published works including his Letters on Beauty. Prof. Zhu was a committee member of the Department of Philosophy and Social Sciences of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.




The well cover is a historical remain of Yenching University.


喷泉 Fountain



Based on the idea of a “sponge city”, the fountain engineering project collects and processes rainwater through ground-surface infiltration, rain gardens and rainwater collection tanks, and recycles the water by greenbelt irrigation and surge flows.


燕南园道路 Yan Nan Yuan Road




The cement road was part of the campus renovation project of Yenching University after the end of the War of Chinese People's Resistance Against Japanese Aggression. As alumni recalled, it was the Yenching University staff who transported sand and gravel from a dry river near Xijiao Airport, and built the road using a special concrete technology. In 2022, an environmental improvement project has been implemented by Peking University in Yan Nan Yuan, aiming to protect and repair, according to the original process, 180 meters of cement road that is in relatively good condition.


The other main roads of Yan Nan Yuan are paved with environment-friendly ecological permeable bricks, which are independently developed and produced by the team of Professor Wang Xidong from the School of Materials Science and Engineering of Peking University. Using bulk industrial solid waste as the main raw materials, permeable bricks have high strength, high water permeability, and freeze-thaw resistance; the rainwater can quickly penetrate into the ground and continuously improve the ecological environment of the surface soil.