Traditional Chinese Residence
|A Courtyard of Wang's Compound, Pingyao |
Wang's Compound Pictures
Courtyards in Beijing (Siheyuan) or compounds with courtyards in northern China
Farmers' Caves (Yaodong) in Northern Shaanxi Province
Earthen Buildings of Hakkas (Tulou) in southeast China's Fujian Province
Seal-like Compound (Yikeyin) in Yunnan province
Stilt Houses (Diaojiaolou) on steep inclines or projecting over water in southern China
As well as their respective features, traditional residences tend to conform to their environment and to become integrated with it. They are expected to blend with the surrounding rivers and mountains, thus complimenting but never spoiling the natural beauty. Our ancestors made use of local materials and took the natural factors into consideration whenever they built a house.
The Si he yuan in northern China features a thick roof and walls and a wide courtyard to draw in maximum sunlight while ventilation is a prime feature of the diao jiao lou in the much warmer tropical climate of southern China.
In calligraphy, the Chinese characters with a roof-like component relate to various houses. For example, with a pig, it is a home; with a cow, it is a prison; with a combination of two mouths it means 'many houses' - it is palace. Such characters combined with that for ' woman' imply peace and safety. The logic behind this is based on two layers of meaning. Firstly, when a woman sits peacefully at home, it means there is no war. Secondly, when they lived in simple caves in open air, our ancestors faced the hazards of bad weather, wild animals and hostile tribes. By building houses, they were better protected, thus there was safety.
Are those only in northern China, or will we be able to see this near where we are planning to go?