July 7, 2022
Why did ancient China like wooden buildings?
Some people say that ancient China was not capable of building western architecture, especially domes. For example, the famous Pantheon in the West, the Cathedral of our Lady of the Flowers, St. Peter's Cathedral and so on. One of the features of these buildings is that they have a big dome, which, when viewed from the inside, is spectacular and oppressive. Because of the mechanics and technology required to build such domes.
From the perspective of ancient Chinese architecture, this kind of architecture is relatively few, so many people think that ancient China did not have mechanics, so it could not build such a big domed building. Is the answer really so? Let's first understand why ancient Chinese people were not keen on stone architecture.
The first is the time to build. In terms of construction, wood buildings are easier to build than stone ones. Large stone buildings often take hundreds of years to build, and ancient Chinese dynasties did not have that much time to build such a palace. From the collection of stone, and then processing and transportation, the cost of manpower and material resources will only be more. Therefore, stone structures are generally used on walls, such as various grottoes and wall reliefs. And stone architecture is very hard on carvers, so carvers are very hard to find. But wood building engravers are easier to produce.
The second is ventilation and heat dissipation. Western stone buildings are defensive, so they are relatively closed. From the perspective of ventilation, the ventilation capacity of wooden buildings is stronger and the heat dissipation is faster. In addition to these, wooden buildings are more highly sculpted and more complex. Coupled with the unique structure, Chinese wooden buildings are even more brilliant in the history of world architecture.
The last is to resist the damage of earthquakes. Stone buildings are relatively hard buildings. When defending against earthquakes, cracks or collapses often appear, making it more difficult to repair. Wooden buildings have certain seismic performance. The ancients have long understood that, whether it is repair or earthquake resistance, as well as adaptability, wooden buildings have certain advantages. Of course, if the earthquake level is not enough, stone buildings also have advantages.
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