Best Traditional Chinese Architecture Books That May Be Of Interest to Architects
#1. “Yingzao Fashi: Twelfth-century Chinese Building Manual” by Li Jie, translated by Liang Sicheng and Wilma Fairbank
“Yingzao Fashi”, also known as “Treatise on Architectural Methods or State Building Standards,” is a classic Chinese architectural manual from the Song Dynasty (960-1279AD). It was written by Li Jie, a government official and architect, in the late 12th century. The book provides detailed information on architectural design, construction techniques, and materials. And these were used in Chinese architecture during the Song Dynasty. The book has been translated into English by Liang Sicheng and Wilma Fairbank. They are prominent scholars of Chinese architecture, making it accessible to architects and scholars around the world. It is a valuable resource for architects seeking to gain a deeper understanding of the construction techniques used in traditional Chinese architecture.
The best thing about this book is that it covers a wide range of topics related to architecture and construction. To be specific, it includes the use of various building materials such as wood, brick, stone, and tile, as well as the design and construction of different types of buildings such as palaces, temples, and houses. It also discusses topics such as carpentry, masonry, and the use of decorative arts in architecture. One of the most important contributions of “Yingzao Fashi” was its standardization of construction methods and techniques. The book established a set of guidelines for construction that helped to ensure consistency and quality in building projects.
#2. “Chinese Architecture: A Pictorial History” by Liang Sicheng and Wilma Fairbank
Written by two prominent scholars of Chinese architecture, “Chinese Architecture: A Pictorial History” is a comprehensive reference guide to Chinese architectural history. The book is filled with beautiful illustrations and photographs that bring the architectural masterpieces to life. It covers the development of Chinese architecture from ancient times to the present day. Moreover, it provides valuable insights into the evolution of different architectural styles and techniques.
The book is an excellent resource for architects seeking to gain a deeper understanding of the design principles and construction techniques used in traditional Chinese architecture. It covers a wide range of buildings, from temples and pagodas to gardens and palaces. The authors also provide valuable insights into the cultural and historical context of each building, giving readers a deeper appreciation of their significance.
#3. “The Four Books of Architecture” by Andrea Palladio
“The Four Books of Architecture” is a classic architectural treatise written by the Italian architect Andrea Palladio in the 16th century. While the book is not specifically about Chinese architecture, it provides valuable insights into the design principles and construction techniques used in classical architecture. It also has influenced many architectural traditions around the world, including Chinese architecture.
The book is segmented into four parts, with each part covering different topics. These topics include the basics of architectural design, the utilization of materials, and the construction of different types of structures. It serves as a valuable resource for architects who seek to deepen their understanding of the fundamentals of architectural design and construction.
#4. “Chinese Gardens: Symbolism and Design” by Bianca Maria Rinaldi
Chinese gardens are an important aspect of traditional Chinese architecture. As they reflect the country’s love for nature and its philosophy of harmony between man and nature. “Chinese Gardens: Symbolism and Design” is an insightful book that explores the history, design principles, and symbolism of Chinese gardens.
This fansinating book is filled with beautiful photographs and illustrations that showcase the beauty of Chinese gardens. It covers various design principles, including the use of symmetry, balance, and symbolism. The writer also examines the use of natural elements, such as water, rocks, and plants, in Chinese garden design. It provides valuable insights into the cultural and philosophical context of traditional Chinese architecture and its relationship with nature.
#5. “Chinese Architecture: A History” by Nancy S. Steinhardt
“Chinese Architecture: A History” explores the evolution of Chinese architecture from its origins to contemporary times. It’s a valuable resource for architects, historians, and those interested in Chinese culture and architectural heritage. The author analyzes various architectural styles and structures in China, including temples, pagodas, and gardens. The book also examines the cultural, social, and political contexts that shaped Chinese architecture throughout history.
There are six parts with beautiful images in this book, covering a range of topics. It includes the early origins of Chinese architecture, regional styles, foreign influence, and architectural features like roof forms, courtyards, and decorative elements. The writing style is engaging and accessible, making it easy for readers to understand complex architectural concepts.
“Chinese Architecture: A History” is a valuable resource for gaining a deeper understanding of the rich history and cultural significance of Chinese architecture. It provides information and insights into the design principles, construction techniques, and aesthetics of Chinese architecture. It can inspire new ideas and approaches to architecture and is an essential addition to any architect’s library. If you’re interested in the history and culture of China, this book is a must-read.
#6. “Through Walls and Across Boundaries” by Qianlang Li
“Through Walls and Across Boundaries: A Sectional View of Classic Ancient Chinese Architecture” is a book by Li Qianlang. In this book, you’ll discover a wonderland of traditional Chinese architecture including temples, palaces, gardens, and tombs. It presents a sectional view of these structures. At the same time, the author provides detailed architectural drawings, plans, and photographs that showcase the intricate details.
One of the unique features of the book is its focus on the technical aspects of architectural design. It provides insights into the construction techniques, materials, and structural systems used in ancient Chinese architecture. The book also explores the cultural and historical contexts in which these structures were built.
The author’s expertise in architectural design and history makes this book a valuable resource for architects, designers, and people who are interested in Chinese architectural heritage. The detailed analysis of the technical aspects of design and construction provides a unique perspective that can inspire new ideas and approaches to architecture.
In conclusion, reading the right books is an excellent way for architects to expand their knowledge and gain a deeper understanding of traditional Chinese architecture. The books mentioned in this article provide valuable insights into the design principles, construction techniques, and cultural and historical context of traditional Chinese architecture. By studying these books, we hope you can gain inspiration and new perspectives that can inform their own work and contribute to the preservation of this important cultural heritage.