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External Features of Chinese Architecture


Configurations and functions of ancient Chinese architecture, if necessary, can be easily changed, and rooms within them are easy to be dismantled, rebuilt, or shifted for other uses. China's architecture focus particularly on the beauty of group combination, and often adopts a central-axis, symmetric compact composition method. But some types, such as gardens, certain mountain forest Taoist temples and certain residences adopt the method of free combination. The focus is paid to the pursuit of neutral, easy, reserved and deep esthetic characters, giving expressions to the esthetic habits of the Chinese nation.

Unique Structure

Chinese architecture constitutes the only system based mainly on wooden structures of unique charming appearance which differs from all other architectural systems in the world which are based mainly on brick and stone structures. A structure not only has its engineering and technical significance, but the structural and decorative beauty manifested in its resourceful and ingenious combination are themselves part of the architectural beauty.

Chinese acient architecture

In the case of a wooden structural system, in particular, its complexity and delicacy are unmatched by brick and stone structures, and therefore demonstrate the wisdom of the Chinese. Further processing of the frame members of organic structures and other affiliated frame units forms unique Chinese constructional decoration, including interior and exterior decoration, color painting, wooden, brick and stone sculptures and color glaze, all of which contain very rich techniques and a vivid development process.

Symbolized Decoration

Chinese architecture prefers to use the symbolized decoration on the surface of the building. The most frequent used standards are dragon and phoenix. The dragon and the phoenix are the principal motifs for decorative designs on buildings, clothing and articles of daily use in the imperial palace. The throne hall is supported by columns entwined by gilded dragons, the central ramps on marble steps were paved with huge slabs carved in relief with the dragon and phoenix, and the screen walls display dragons in brilliant colors.