Ancient Chinese architecture is a miniature of the long-standing history and culture of China. It is obviously characterized by the region, nationality and times. Ancient Chinese architecture, which has distinctive features in single building, building complex and architectural art, is an outstanding example of the ancient oriental architectures.
History of Ancient Chinese Architecture
From Primitive Society to the Han Dynasty, the technique on timber structure buildings were gradually improved and perfected. Builders had mastered earth ramming skills. They also knew how to fire tiles and build with stones. Architecture technology developped significantly during the Wei, Jin, Southern and Northern Dynasties. The output and quality of the bricks and tiles are improved, as well as the techniques on timber structure. Many Buddhist architectures are built then.
Features of Ancient Chinese Architecture
Ancient Chinese architecture feasures flexible structure, wonderful and elegant appearance, regular layout and gorgeous ornaments. Ancient Chinese built many mausoleums, temples, pagodas, city walls and magnificent imperial palaces and residences, which are considered rich heritages.
Modern Chinese Architecture
During the period from the broke out of Opium War in 1840 to establishment of People’s Republic of China in 1949, Chinese architecture witnessed a blend in Chinese style and western style. Although the traditional Chinese architectural system still took the dominant role, buildings serving for entertainment industry, such as theaters, restaurants, and hotels, as well as the business buildings, such as department stores, food market and so on, all made breakthrough in the traditional architecture style and succeeded in building up business sites in a combination of Chinese and Western elements.
Examples of Famous Modern Architecture
With the rapid development of China’s economy, many skyscapers were built. Some of them are regarded as masterpieces and became landmarks of the city.
National Center for the Performaing Arts, Beijing
The main construction is the unique shell shape with 46.68 meters high and the only one of its shape in Asia. The exterior of the theater is a titanium accented glass dome that is completely surrounded by a man-made lake, it consists of 18398 pieces of titanium plates and 1226 pieces of super white glass. It looks like an egg floating on water from the air. It was designed as an iconic feature, something that would be immediately recognizable, like the Sydney Opera House.
Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai
Shanghai World Financial Center is the highest building in Shanghai, it creates Shanghai new landmark with Oriental Pearl TV Tower and Jinmao Tower. It takes about 1 minute from first floor to 95th by the elevator with a speed of 10 meters per second. In the 100th viewing pavilion, visitors can see the peak of Oriental Pearl TV Tower and Jinmao Tower. In the 55 meters long viewing gallery, visitors can see the moving cars and passerby clearly through 3 transparent glass floors. The observation bridge atop the building will be the highest outdoor observation deck in the world.
Chinese Landscape Gardens
Chinese Gardens are a special aspect of traditional Chinese culture and art. It is not an expanse of green with accompanying buildings, but more of an area harmoniously mixing man-made landscape with natural scenery, architecture, painting, calligraphy and horticulture. The entire compound is enclosed by walls, which mark the property off as a special place for the owner’s private enjoyment.
History of Chinese Gardens
The ancient Chinese gardens, also known as traditional Chinese gardens or classical Chinese gardens have centuries-old history, rich culture and unique features. Rich in various types and full of artistic charm, ancient Chinese gardens are considered to be the best among three systems of garden building in the world. In the history of nearly 5,000 years, the gardens found their places and also add a lustrous and brilliant oriental pearl to the world heritage treasure-house.
Features of Chinese Gardens
Following the principle of integrating buildings with nature, a typical Chinese garden consists of rockery, water, plants and buildings.
Famous Chinese Gardens
Ancient Chinese gardens can be categorized into royal gardens and private gardens. Landscape gardens in south China, especially around the Yangtze River Delta are considered to be the most beautiful and typical of Chinese landscape gardens. Gardens in Suzhou were listed as one of the World Cultural heritages by UNESCO.