History and Development of Ancient Chinese Architecture

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  • Language: English
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Page: 545
  • Publication Date: 10/1985
  • ISBN: 7030019903
  • Publisher: Science Press
Here, for the first time, is a comprehensive, richly illustrated survey of the history and maiorr achievements of ancient Chinese architecture. Made available throuqh the Institute .of the History of Natural Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, this book reflects the work of more than 200 prominent Chinese scientists, scholars, and other experts in ancient Chinese architecture. They have travelled the length and breadth of China to collect their research.

China is a great country with an ancient civilization, and immense population and a vast territory. Its recorded history dates back as far as 4,000 years, and it boasts a rich cultural heritage. The people of China have made outstanding contributions to the world in many branches of science and technology.
The history of Chinese architecture may be traced back several thousand years. Over the centuries, China's architecture gradually formed a style all its own, characterized by the harmonious unity of highly developed technology and perfect artistic form. Among the outstanding examples of Chinese architecture are the Imperial Palace in Beijing, the Great Wall, the Dunhuang Caves in Gansu, and many others. In addition, there are gardens, domestic dwellings, temples, pagodas, and gallery bridges scattered throughout China. The technological and artistic achievements mirrored by these constructions constitute a most valuable legacy.

The fruit of many years' painstaking research, History and Development of Chinese Architecture touches on many aspects of ancient Chinese architecture- the layout, construction methods, architectural styles, and so on——thus presenting a complete picture of the historical development of Chinese building technology since the beginning of recorded history. It contains an impressive collection of data, 130 full-color photographs, plus more than 1,100 black-and- white illustrations, many of which have never been published before.
History and Development of Ancient Chinese Architecture is an outstanding reference work for art historians, students of the history of architecture, orientalists, and all those interested in the history of science, technology and the culture of China.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Architectural Technology in Primitive Society.
1. The origin of architectural technology in primitive society (before 2100 B.C.)
2. Nest dwellings and lodgings on piles
3. Development of cave buildings in the loess zone—— origin of wood-earth constructions
4. Arrangements in constructions of the middle and later periods of the matriarchal society
5. Architectural planning of matrilineal communes
6. The transformation of the clan commune——the architectural planning and achievements of the patriarchal clan

Chapter 2. Architectural Technology of Slave Society
1. A brief survey of the development of architectural technology in this period
2. Development of the technique of building a rammed earth wall
3. The construction of wood and earth structures.
4. Construction tools and building materials

Chapter 3. A General Survey of the Development of Architectural Technology in Feudal Society

Chapter 4. Techniques of Earth Construction
1. A general survey
2. Earth-ramming technique
3. Adobe construction——its origin and development
4. Earthwork of cave dwellings .
5. Earthwork techniques of domestic houses

Chapter 5. Building Technology of Wood Construction
1. A general survey
2. Building technology of wood constructions-from the Warring States period to the Western Hart Dynasty
3. Wood constructions—— from the Eastern Han Dynasty, to the Southern and Northern Dynasties
4. Wood constructions of the Sui, the Tang and the Five Dynasties
5. Wood constructions of the Liao Dynasty
6. Wood constructions of the Song Dynasty
7. Wood constructions of the Jin Dynasty
8. Wood constructions of the Yuan Dynasty
9. Wood constructions of the Ming and Qing Dynasties
10. Architectural wooden fitt.ings
11. Foundation of the wooden construction
12. Techniques of bamboo construction

Chapter 6. Techniques of Masonry Construction
l. A general survey
2. Technique of wall construction
3. Construction techniques of brick ceilings
4. Brick flooring and brick facing
5. Roof tiling
6. High-rise brickwork—— brick pagodas

Chapter 7. Techniques of Stone Construction
1. A general survey
2. Stone cave constructions
3. Stone constructions
4. Stone bridges
5. The sea-wall
6. Stone members in wood constructions

Chapter 8. The Art of Architectural Decoration :
1. A general survey
2. Architectural decorative paintings of various historical periods
3. Technique of architectural decorative painting in the Ming and the Qing Dynasties
4. Paint in architecture
5. Technique of architectural sculpture
6. Gilding technique in architecture

Chapter 9. Techniques of Constructional Protection
1. A general survey
2. Ventilation and day-lighting in ancient buildings . .
3. Deterioration and termite prevention in ancient buildings
4. Fire prevention for ancient buildings
5. Heating devices in ancient buildings
6. Anti-seismic measures used in ancient buildings...
7. Prevention of dampness and alkali

Chapter 10. Building Technology of Minority Nationalities..
1. Introduction
2. Architecture Of the Zang (Tibetan) nationality (including architecture of the Qiang nationality)
3. Architecture of the Mongolians
4. Architecture of Xinjiang
5. Architecture of the Hui nationality
6. Architecture of the Korean nationality
7. Architecture of minority nationalities in Yunnan..

Chapter 11. City Planning and Construction
1. A brief survey
2. Cities at the early stage of the feudal society
3. Chang'an City and Luoyang City of the Han Dynasty
4. Daxing City (Chang'an) and Luoyang City of the Sui and Tang Dynasties
5. Dongjing and Lin'an of the Song Dynasty
6. Pingjiang and Jingjiang—— the two prefectural capital cities
7. The city of Dadu of the Yuan Dynasty
8. The city of Nanjing of the Ming Dynasty
9. The city of Beijing of the Ming and Qing Dynasties
10. The city at Jiayu Pass
11. The city of Zhengding
12. The water city of Penglai
13. The palace city of the Guge Kingdom

Chapter 12. Garden Technique~ Design and Construction.
1. General survey
2. Arrangement of waters in gardens
3. Construction of artificial hills
4. Garden buildings

Chapter 13. Architectural Design and Construction
1. General survey
2. Procedure of designing
3. Preparation for construction
4. Surveying, orientation and calculations
5. Weight-lifting and transportation
6. Scaffolding
7. Inspection and rectification during construction . .
8. Maintenance and the utilization of waste materials.

Appendix 1. Chronicle of major events in connection with the building technology of ancient China
Appendix 2. Map of the People's Republic of China
Sample Pages Preview
Sample pages of History and Development of Ancient Chinese Architecture (ISBN:7030019903)

Sample pages of History and Development of Ancient Chinese Architecture (ISBN:7030019903)

According to the inscription on the stone stele erected inside the temple in the 16th year of the Dading reign of the Jin Dynasty (1176), this architectural complex was constructed 800 years ago, during the Jin Dynasty, and most of what we see today was rebuilt in the Ming and Qing Dynasties.
As shown by its layout, a flight of stone steps was first built along the north side of the mountain, leading to the cliff, where the construction of the main buildings of the temple commenced, moving higher and higher up the cliff as it spread southward.
Stringed together by a gallery projecting from the cliff, these buildings formed an integrated architectural complex, so high up in the air that they seem to be buildings in a faryland.
There is no groundwork to carry the temple; instead, beams projecting from the cliff were made to support the full load of the houses and galleries. In order to guarantee safety, the projecting beams were in turn supported by struts underneath, wherever necessary craftsmen secured the projecting beams and struts into the cliff by chiselling holes it, and then inserting the beams and struts into the holes. The loose beams were then made fast by wedges. With
wood boards laid on these projecting beams and beam framework erected over, the suspended temple, together with its galleries, all eventually emerged in view.
Bold inventions and creations were introduced both in the design and the construction of the temple. No written record has been found so far which may help to reveal how it was first built, but a lot of records are available about its rebuilding. According to the inscription on a stone stele, when the rebuilding of the temple was under contemplation in the 3rd year of Tongzhi reign of the Qing Dynasty, everyone was at a loss to know how to go about the task, because the temple was too high up for any scaffold to reach. It was then that a carpenter named Zhang Tingyan made a brave proposal for replacing the projecting beams without setting up a scaffold. Zhang and his workmates lowered themselves down the cliff by tying one end of a rope around their waists and fastening the other end to the top of the cliff. Thus they were able to move freely in all directions while working in mid air, and in less than a year's time the rebuilding was completed. From this one can perhaps venture a conjecture that the same measure had been taken when the temple was first constructed

Architecture is an important part of the culture created by a nation. As a certain type of architecture mirrors, in a comprehensive way, the scientific, technological, cultural and artistic level of a nation attained at a given time in history, the study of the development of architecture is bound to be an important aspect of the history of science and culture of the nation.
China is one of the oldest countries in the world. By their joint efforts, the labouring people, scholars and craftsmen of ancient China created a splendid national culture and bequeathed to posterity a rich architectural heritage. The imposing Great Wall, the Imperial Palace, the graceful gardens, the towering ancient pagodas and the domestic houses scattered throughout China have long won the admiration of the people the world over.
The exploration by Chinese scholars of the history of ancient Chinese architecture started long ago. The efforts made in the thirties were particularly significant, when the large amount of inquiry done laid a solid foundation for the research into ancient Chinese architecture. After the founding of New China, work in this respect has seen further developments.
A construction is usually a combination of manpower and social wealth with science and technology. Without this combination, any piece of architecture would be impossible. That is why the exploration of the history of architecture entails a study of the subject from different angles——from the angle of material production, of social economy, and of science and technology. Otherwise, it will be impossible to discover the laws governing the historical development of architecture, nor can an objective appraisal be made of any given construction.
Unfortunately, these concerns are what past studies have overlooked.
For a long time, it has been our wish to compile a book devoted to the study of the building technology of ancient China, which, by sorting out and summing up the technological achievements scored in this field, would help deepen our study and bring about a comprehensive understanding of ancient Chinese architecture.
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