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Chinese traditional architectural craftsmanship for timber-framed structures

Updated: Aug 02, 2018 Print

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Timber-framed watch tower [Photo/naic.org.cn]

Chinese traditional architectural craftsmanship for timber-framed structures involves time-honored traditional carpentry. Some of its representative buildings are Suzhou gardens, Bejing quadrangles, Xidi and Hongcun villages, and Cai-Clan traditional residential buildings.

The traditional buildings of China feature wooden frames, with wood, soil, brick, tile and stone as the main building materials. Traditional craftsmanship ensures that these wooden components can be connected by tenon joints in a flexible, earthquake-resistant way.

Chinese craftsmen have accumulated rich experience during the past thousands of years. They mastered unique and systematic methods and techniques for selecting materials, determining procedures, measuring and calculating modules and dimensions, and manufacturing and installing components such as joints and nodes.

There are also related taboos and rituals in the traditional craftsmanship, which have been passed on from generation to generation. They are part of a heritage of wisdom and craftsmanship and reflect an inherited understanding of nature and interpersonal relationships in traditional Chinese society.


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