The Unique Beauty of Ancient Chinese Architecture

  • offcial website of Beijing Expo 2019  2017-Sep-14 14:19:26

1.Decorations in ancient Chinese architecture are rich and colorful

Colored paintings and carvings. Colored paintings serve as decoration, sign, protection, symbol, etc. The color in the paint contains copper, which can not only prevent moisture, efflorescence and erosion, but also protect objects from harmful insects. There were standards concerning the use of the colors. In Ming and Qing dynasties, red and yellow were considered the noblest colors. Colored paintings often appears in crossbeams with internal and external eaves, brackets, internal ceilings, caissons and column heads. The composition of the painting is consistent with the shape of the object, and it is made with exquisite painting skills and rich colors. The colored paintings on crossbeams from Ming and Qing dynasties are the most attractive ones. Colored paintings from Qing Dynasty can be divided into three categories: palace colored paintings, circling colored paintings and Suzhou-style colored paintings.

Carvings are an integral part of the art of ancient Chinese architecture. There are carvings on the brick of the wall, on the stone rails on the architectural basis, and on architectural decorations made of gold, silver, copper, iron, etc. There are various themes for carvings, such as patterns of animals and plants, dramatic scenes, legends and historical stories, etc. The basis of Baohe Palace in the Forbidden City in Beijing contains a 200-ton stair stone that has delicate carving patterns of dragon and phoenix. Many carving artworks exist in and out of the ancient architecture, such as the Buddhist statue in the temple and stone figures and animals before the tomb.

2.Ancient Chinese architecture stresses on the harmony with natural environment

Architecture itself is an environment for people to live, work, have fun and socialize. Therefore, internal coordination of the components and external harmony with the surrounding environment should be considered carefully. Ancient Chinese designers took surrounding environment seriously, and did thorough research on the mountains, geology, climate, vegetation, etc. to make sure the layout, form and color of the architecture are in harmony with the environment and create a large environmental space.

3.Ancient Chinese architecture has beautiful forms

The design of roof is outstanding, including wudian (four slopes and five ridges), xieshan (four slopes and nine ridges), xuanshan (two slopes and five ridges), yingshan (two slopes and one ridge), zanjian (pyramidal roof), juanpeng (two slopes and no apparent ridge) and other forms.

Whether it be wudian or xieshan, it is large roof design that appears stable and coordinative. The slightly upturned eaves combining straight lines and curves perfectly not only improve lighting and drainage of rainwater, but also add to the beauty of the architecture with an ethereal sense.