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Ancient building knowledge

Chinese ancient architecture term

AddDate:2015/3/14

[Da wen]

It is also known as Long wen or Zheng wen. It belongs to a kind of water-proof component which is placed at the intersection part of the two ends of main ridge and the two slopes front and back of the roof. Meanwhile, it is also the decoration element of house and palace.

When the volume of Dawen is relatively huge, it is composed by multiple Wen pieces. When the number is above 6, it contains 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13 pieces. The evolution process is as follows: Chi tail-Chi wen-Long wen. In Tang Dynasty, people commonly use Chi tail, while in Ming and Qing Dynasty, Chi wen and Long wen begin to prevail. Functions of these two components are the same. The whole body of colored glaze wen is usually in glazing color.


[Da dang gou]

Since Song Dynasty, people make tile as the component name. It’s also a kind of water proof component which is placed at the intersection part of the two slopes (front and back) under the eaves and the top of the tile grooves. Composed by the round tile and plate tile at the top of two slopes, it is equipped with the function of keeping out rain water.


[Giant angle girder]

It is the component name of construction timber, and also called as “old angel girder” in the construction of Qing Dynasty. In the architecture with hip roof, gable and hip roof, or Lu roof, the roof-ridge angel tilts along 45 degree inside to locate itself between the hearts of the corner columns in order to bear the inclined girder. The head of the giant angel girder bears the weight of Zaijiao girder, while its tail connects Xujiao girder with its two sides adjacent to eave rafter. Since Song and Yuan Dynasties, the giant angel girder begins to present rich and colorful art form.


[Dalian eave]

It is the component name of Qing-timber, locating in the top of the eave with its fracture surface presenting irregular triangle. It rises along with the tilted eave corner. The method to raise it is to saw it off into three or four saw bites and soak them in water, thus making it to present relevant curves.

[Wan arch]

It is the name of one bracket set. Fashi (a book) in Song Dynasty also name it as “Man arch”. It is located at the second horizontal layer of the two sided columns, being called as “orthocore wan arch”. People in Song dynasty give it another name which is “Nidao man arch”. The one, which locates at the head of Qiaotou, or the second layer of Angtou, is “Dancai wan arch” or internal (external) arch. People in Song call it “Guazi man arch”. The longest one can reach as long as 9 mouths of the buckets. The entasis of the arch head is divided into three parts. (Qing style)


[Mountain flower]


It is the name of the part of gable and hip roof. It locates above the girder and between the two columns. Its material is generally the lime. First, use lime for bottoming, and then draw paintings. Finally, polish these paintings. Therefore, such kind of construction component is usually carved with flower patterns or adding it with colorful painting. Under this circumstance, people name it as mountain flower.


[Squatting beast]

It is the name of construction ornament which is placed at the end of roof ridge in animal shape. Number and size are according to the type and level of the construction.