10 June 1904|
Hangzhou, Qing Dynasty
|Died||1 April 1955
Tongren Hospital, Beijing, People's Republic of China
|Cause of death||Tuberculosis|
|Resting place||Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery|
|Alma mater||University of Pennsylvania|
|Spouse(s)||Liang Sicheng, m. 21 March 1928, wid. 1 April 1955|
|Relatives||Lin Xiaoxun (林孝恂) (died 1914) (paternal grandfather)
Lady You (遊氏) (paternal grandmother)
Liang Qichao (father-in-law)
Lin Huiyin (Chinese: 林徽因, born 林徽音; pinyin: Lín Huīyīn; known as Phyllis Lin or Lin Whei-yin when in the United States; 10 June 1904 – 1 April 1955) was a noted 20th century Chinese architect and writer. She is said to be the first female architect in China. Her niece is Maya Lin.
Lin was born in Hangzhou though her family was from Minhou, Fujian. She was the daughter of Lin Changmin (林長民) (16 September 1876 - Xinmin, Liaoning, 24 December 1925) and He Xueyuan (何雪媛) (1882–1972). Raised in a wealthy family, she received the best education a woman could obtain at the time. She pursued her degrees both in England and the United States. She attended St Mary's College in London, where she became acquainted with the well known Chinese poet Xu Zhimo. Their relationship is commonly referred to in a romantic anecdote. However, according to Lin, she had never fallen in love with Xu. Her husband, Liang Sicheng, whom she had known since childhood, was the son of the influential reformer, Liang Qichao.
In April 1924, the sixty-four-year old Indian poet Tagore visited China, Lin Huiyin and Xu Zhimo worked together to do the interpretation work for Tagore, during which Lin Huiyin distinguished herself with her fluent English and also won the admiration of the great poet.
Lin studied art at University of Pennsylvania as an undergraduate, where she also worked as a part-time assistant in the architectural department. Later, she enrolled in stage design programs in Yale University as a graduate student, pursuing her longtime interest in drama.
Upon her return to China, she helped to establish the Architectural Department in Northeastern University in Shenyang, where she then taught architecture briefly. Meanwhile, in 1928, she designed a railway station in Jilin. This was one of the few buildings Lin designed.
Throughout the 1930s, Lin and her husband lived in Peiping, as Beijing was then called, near both of their families. Close friends at the time were the Americans Wilma and John K. Fairbank, who admired her sense of living on a “kind of double cultural frontier,” and facing the problem of “the necessity to winnow the past and discriminate among things foreign, what to preserve and what to borrow.” They and the Fairbanks traveled in Shanxi, Shaanxi, Shandong, Hebei, Jiangsu, and other Chinese provinces to study and record architectural relics scattered throughout these provinces. In 1937, She discovered the main hall of Foguang Temple near Doucun, Shanxi. The hall was the only remaining Tang dynasty timber structure known at the time.  In 1936, in order to do the measurement work of the Chinese ancient architecture, Lin Huiyin and her husband climbed the quiet solemn roof of the Temple of Heaven. She is considered the first woman in the history of China to set foot on the emperor worship palace roof.
After 1949, Lin and Liang Sicheng were involved in the design of the National Emblem of the People's Republic of China and the Monument to the People's Heroes located in the Tiananmen Square. Lin designed the floral wreath patterns at the base of the Monument to the People's Heroes.
Lin Huiyin wrote poems, essays, short stories and plays. Many of her works were praised for their subtlety, beauty, and creativity. With her husband she wrote a book named History of Chinese architecture. She also translated English works into Chinese.
The jade disc design of the National Emblem of the People's Republic of China proposed by Lin Huiyin
- Andrew Jacobs, In Beijing’s Building Frenzy, Even an ‘Immovable Cultural Relic’ Is Not Safe, New York Times, New York edition, February 5, 2012, page A6
- Peter G. Rowe, Seng Kuan, Architectural Encounters With Essence and Form in Modern China, MIT Press, 2002, p.219, ISBN 0-262-68151-X
- John King Fairbank. Chinabound: A Fifty-Year Memoir. New York: Harper & Row, 1982. ISBN 0060390050), p. 106-108.
- Amy D. Dooling, Kristina M. Torgeson, Writing Women in Modern China: An Anthology of Women's Literature from the Early Twentieth Century, Columbia University Press, 1998, p.301, ISBN 0-231-10701-3
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lin Huiyin.|
- Fairbank, Wilma. Liang and Lin: Partners in Exploring China's Architectural Past. University of Pennsylvania Press. 1994. ISBN 0-8122-3278-X
- Ch 9, “Chinese Friends,” John King Fairbank. Chinabound: A Fifty-Year Memoir. New York: Harper & Row, 1982. ISBN 0060390050), pp. 104-113.
- Wong, Sidney (黄振翔). "Lin Huiyin (林徽因) and Liang Sicheng (梁思成) as Architectural Students at the University of Pennsylvania (1924-27)" Planning and Development Volume 23, No. 1, page 75-93, 2008.