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Ancient Chinese Architecture

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Paige Ross

on 9 October 2012

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Transcript of Ancient Chinese Architecture

By Paige Ross Ancient Chinese Architecture What were the major concepts to Ancient Chinese Architecture?

When the Ancient Chinese were devising how they wanted Chinese Architecture to be deciphered, they applied two main concepts:
The first concept acknowledged in Chinese Architecture was that buildings should be long and low. Buildings were to be supported by columns instead of walls and roofs should appear to be floating on a cloud or hovering over the ground.
The second concept contemplated was symmetry, which resembled balance in ancient Chinese architecture. Balance was strongly emphasized by Taoism. How did a common ancient Chinese house differ
from a house, palace or temple for the wealthy?

When most people contemplate ancient Chinese architecture they visualize elegant buildings with curved rooftops and red and gold walls. This widely recognized style of ancient Chinese architecture is associated with wealthy families who could afford such buildings.
However, a common ancient Chinese house was built from mud brick, contained one room and had a dirt floor. This was a common house for the ancient Chinese nation because most people living in ancient China could not afford an elaborate house. The common ancient Chinese house was similar to a house in ancient Rome, West Asia or Africa.
The wealthy aspired to live in an elegant house, palace or temple. These structures were built under the strict guidelines of Taoism or other Chinese philosophies. The guidelines that defined Chinese structures have become widely recognized as ancient Chinese architecture. Why are the roofs in Chinese architecture presented in such a way?

Roofs in ancient Chinese architecture protect and shield the residents from the elements (fire, earth, metal, wood and water). A significant factor to ancient Chinese architecture is the curved rooftops. The curved rooftops are important to the ancient Chinese civilization for they emphasize defense against evil spirits. Buddhists believed the curved rooftops would protect them from evil spirits for evil spirits were straight lines. Temple’s roofs were made of glazed ceramic tiles. The roofs in ancient Chinese buildings would curve in different directions due to the location and weather. For example, in dry and barren areas of China the roofs would be plain, to capture and sustain the water that dropped down. However, in the south of China, there is a common and heavy rain fall, therefore, the roofs curve slantwise so the water can easily flow away. The arc at which the Chinese roof turns originates from the complex fit of supporting materials. The use of rods from short rafters would melt together to uphold he weight of the
structure. The roofs in ancient Chinese architecture can also symbolize
the ranking of social status. If the roof has been carefully
decorated then it is clear the structure is the property
of a wealthy family. Yellow Crane Tower Dr. Karen Carr, (1998-2012) Assoc. Professor Emerita of History, Portland State University. Most recent update Tuesday, Sep 4, 2012. http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/china/architecture/
(1980).China travel Depot.com. http://www.chinatraveldepot.com/C187-Chinese-Architecture
Great Wall of China. http://www.greatwall-of-china.com/42-91/construction-of-the-great-wall-of-china.html
Top China Travel guide.http://www.topchinatravel.com/china-attractions/ancient-architecture/ Bibliography What are significant, ancient buildings that have
brought ancient Chinese architecture to life? The Forbidden City is also called the Imperial Palace Museum. The Forbidden City was built in the Ming Dynasty, (1406 - 1420 AD). The building is located in the heart of Beijing. It is a structure containing one great city, which has all of the wonder and splendor of old China. The Forbidden City is a unique building, the time and effort put into its ancient Chinese architectural design is myriad. The palace complex exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture. Its brilliance has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and all over the world. What we intake today is its main form and layout of the building; however, certain areas of the palace have been repaired or rebuilt. The Forbidden City is an astonishing structure appreciated throughout many different cultures. Forbidden City Great Wall Hanging Temple The Yellow Crane Tower is a popular and historic tower, first built in 223 AD. The building was rebuilt in 1981 one kilometre distance from the original site. The tower stands on Sheshan (Snake Hill), at the bank of Yangtze River in Wuchang District. The original site of the tower is on the Yellow Crane Jetty, west of Xiakou In the Ming and Qing dynasties the tower was destroyed 7 times, and was then rebuilt and repaired 10 times. The building is an inimitable and breathtaking structure visibly demonstrating its incorporation of ancient Chinese architectural guidelines. Yellow Crane Tower Guilin Yao Mountain The Hanging temple or Hanging monastery is best defined as a significant structure built into a cliff (75 m, 246 ft above the ground). The temple is clearly a unique structure for its sense of pride in being above ground. The temple is an extremely popular tourist attraction and historical site. The temple resembles how daring and confident ancient Chinese Architecture really is. The temple was built over 1,500 years ago and is notable for its location and incorporation of the three elements Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucius. The structure is kept in place with oak crossbeams fitted into holes chiselled into the cliffs. The main supportive structure was hidden inside the bedrock. It is clearly a complex and creative structure bringing great pride to its culture. The Great Wall of China was built in the Chin Dynasty from 221 B.C. to 206 B. C. The Wall was built by Emperors to protect various dynasties from the Mongolians. The Wall is made from stone, brick, tamped earth, wood, and other materials. The Wall is the most commonly known ancient Chinese structure. Therefore, it is also the most popular ancient Chinese structure symbolizing ancient Chinese Architecture. The wall generally lines up to an east-to-west line across the historical northern borders of China. This huge wall stretches over 1,500 miles and extends from Kansu in the west to the Yellow sea in the east. The wall stands with great pride as it projects the beauty in ancient Chinese Architecture. What are significant, ancient buildings that have brought ancient Chinese architecture to life? •Ancient Chinese architecture is an important component to the system of world architecture. Following the concepts of ancient architecture has gained the world many astonishing and unique structures still celebrated amongst the world today. The most widely known structure resembling ancient Chinese architecture is the Great Wall of China. From Palaces to houses Ancient Chinese architecture is breathtaking and extravagant. Four significant ancient structures that carry forward ancient Chinese architecture are: The Forbidden city, The Great Wall, The Yellow Crane Tower and The Hanging temple.
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