Chinese Architecture Essay, Research Paper
February 18, 1998
Chinese Architecture: Striving for Perfection
The great Chinese designers achieved a perfect balance between repose and nature and their architectural milieus. Chinese edifices are beautiful chef-d’oeuvres of art crafted in the finest item. Alternatively of merely constructing a edifice they produced a magnum musical composition that would go on to demo its beauty for centuries to come.
In the yesteryear, designers of China carefully designed their edifices to suit into the scenery that surrounded them ( Wiens 180 ) . They believed that if their edifice disturbed the balance of harmoniousness and nature so the edifice was worthless and should non be used. The interior ornament of a edifice besides attributed to this thought. If the decor of a edifice didn? T flow with the natural milieus of the edifice so the interior designer was forced to either redecorate or give up the undertaking wholly ( Creative Insides ) . From this pattern the thought of Feng Shui was brought into being.
Feng Shui, literally translated is air current and H2O. It is intended to convey a sense of harmoniousness and balance to your life and working infinites. Consequences such as improved wellness, honoring relationships, and an addition in felicity and prosperity are believed to happen ( Bartlett ) . Feng Shui is used to analyse a built and natural environment in order to turn up sites with a favourable circulation of life energy, or ch`i. It is used to do accommodations to better the of course happening ch`i of a topographic point or edifice.
Feng Shui was developed 1000s of old ages ago by the rural people of China whose really survival depended upon their ability to spot between sites where good ch`i accumulated and sites where stagnant or malignant ch`i. These good sites provided land that was safe, fertile, and healthy. The land with malignant ch`i was bare or unsafe. Rivers, air currents, topography, and the compass waies are among the elements analyzed in the hunt for a site with favourable ch`i. Refined over 1000s of old ages, Feng Shui has evolved into a systematized art and scientific discipline. It is organized into several? schools? each with a really specific set of guidelines. A good Feng Shui practician understands these rules but must besides hold a extremely developed intuitive sense, to see and experience how the ch`i behaves in each peculiar state of affairs ( Bartlett ) . In modern times, with the Chinese population herding into metropoliss like Hong Kong and Taipei, Feng Shui rules have been applied to analyse and heighten urban and interior infinites. No major edifice undertaking in these metropoliss would be undertaken without some consideration of the Feng Shui of the site and edifice. For illustration, the proprietors of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank demanded that Feng Shui be applied in the design of their skyscraper central office. This influenced everything from the signifier of the exposed structural system to the arrangement of the anteroom escalators and doors.
When Feng Shui is applied to a place or concern many different characteristics are examined. These include vicinities, streets, sites, waies, forms of edifices, roofs, doors, Windowss, suites, stepss, location of comfortss, chimneys, drains, beams, columns, visible radiations, and many other factors ( Bartlett ) . The ultimate end of a Feng Shui practician is the creative activity and sweetening of a infinite so it uses the natural flow of good ch`i. It is believed that people who live and work in such an environment feel more energetic, originative, and balanced.
Another belief of Feng Shui is that the ch`i of a topographic point can be? tuned? for a specific usage. For illustration if Feng Shui were being applied to a house, the place would profit more with a composure and harmonious ch`i while a shop would necessitate a more simulative ch`i that would advance gross revenues. Industrial sites can be tuned to heighten production and research and a infirmary requires a more calm and life-supporting ch`i. The Chinese believe that each specialisation of ch`i can be achieved with the finding of what sort of edifice would work best in a certain country and how that edifice is to be decorated.
Another quality that Chinese architecture has excelled at is uniting art and architecture together to bring forth the expansive edifices that can be seen today. Peking, more normally known as Beijing, has been the capital of
China about continuously since 1267 AD. Over the centuries, as emperor after emperor added castles and shrines, it became a glorious museum of Chinese art and architecture. The greatest concentration of these hoarded wealths lies within the oldest second of Peking, the Inner City. In the mode of Chinese boxes, the Inner City contains the Imperial City, which in bend surrounds the Forbidden City ( see photos 1 and 2 ) , the castle compound reserved for the tribunal ( Fessler 34 ) .
By merely looking at the admirations of the Forbidden City you can see the great accomplishment and workmanship of ancient Chinese designers. The Forbidden City served as the place of imperial power during the Ming and Qing dynasties from 1368-1911. Members outside the royal household and staff were non allowed to come in the edifices until the 1920s ( Beijing ) . The luxuriant graphics of the edifices that make up the Forbidden City is astonishing. ? When one enters the edifices of the Forbidden City they are instantly transported back in clip to a mysterious epoch of gold and gems. One feels as if they are to run into a emperor from the Ming dynasty scampering about on day-to-day affairs. ? ( McLenighan 75 )
The Chinese took great pride in beautiful edifices. The exterior and interior were intricately decorated with beautiful pictures picturing scenes from conflicts, ordinary life, jubilations, and nature. Paintings of firedrakes were used frequently because the firedrake was thought to bless good luck upon a individual and to protect them from evil liquors. The ceiling of the Temple of Heaven is one of the most intricate illustrations of art and architecture in one. ( See photos 3 and 4 ) Built between 1406 and 1420, the complex edifices of the Temple of Heaven screens over 675 square estates and its pictures depict the great accomplishments of the Ming and Quig dynasties ( Beijing ) .
Chinese architecture differs in two major ways from Western architecture. First, most Chinese edifices were constructed of wood. For this ground, much of China? s early architecture has been lost in fires. Chinese architecture besides differs from the Western architecture in the mode of building. Simple houses were built on platforms of Earth. Palaces and temples like those in Peking were built on platforms of rock. Upright wooden stations were done for and anchored in the rock. Crossbeams were cut in a series of lengths so that the model of the roof resembled a trigon.
Because the weight of the roof was carried wholly by stations and traves, the walls could be really thin. Some walls were, in fact, merely shutters. Interior walls were besides thin, and frequently these walls were movable screens. This allowed the form and size of suites to be changed easy for different occasions. This clever and effectual manner of edifice was copied by the Nipponese people 100s of old ages ago. This Chinese innovation was used throughout the Far East ( Paine 51-54 ) .
Western civilisation designers that combine Chinese manner into their architecture include the celebrated designer Frank Lloyd Wright. ? Wright coaxed Americans out of their boxlike houses and into wide-open life that suited American culture. ? ( Foundation ) Frank Lloyd Wright created what is now known as? organic architecture? – the brotherhood of the construction and the land upon which it is built ( Delmar ) . Some of his creative activities derived from the Chinese belief of architecture and nature as one. One of his most celebrated pieces of work is Fallingwater built in 1935 at Bear Run, Ohiophyl, Pennsylvania ( See photo 5 ) . Wright construct it as a weekend retreat for Edgar J. Kaufmann. The retreat was built over top of a waterfall and the inside is described to intermix seamlessly into its milieus. It is considered one of the best illustrations of the combination of adult male and nature ( Delmar ) .
Chinese architecture has many distinguishable qualities affecting it. The incorporation of Feng Shui to make a balance of nature and their edifices has created edifices that are in sync with? Mother Earth? . The beautiful edifices with olympian graphics, separates Chinese architecture in an sole class all by itself. Now with the hunt of interior peace and harmoniousness going the craze in Western civilisation Chinese architecture is once more going popular. Peoples of all types flock to interior designers who are Masterss in the art of Chinese manner to hopefully equilibrate the life energy in their work and place infinites. So for now it seems, the historic Chinese architecture is one time once more doing history.