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[31 May 2009 | Comments Off on Qiang Village: Mysterious Oriental Castle that Survived 2008 Earthquake | 4,133 views]
Qiang Village: Mysterious Oriental Castle that Survived 2008 Earthquake

One of the major differences between Chinese architecture and western architecture is the usage of material. Chinese buildings mainly use wood while westerners use stones because of availability of these construction materials. For this reason, Europe has lots of ancient castles preserved through centuries while most Chinese buildings cannot survive the turmoil of hard times.

However, it does not mean that we don’t have good stone buildings in China.

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[9 May 2009 | 8 Comments | 13,704 views]
Siheyuan: the Chinese Housing Dream

Owning a house is now symbolized as an essential part of so-called “American Dream”. You might want to ask what the Chinese version of housing dream looks like? The answer is siheyuan (四合院,Si-he-yuan)

Siheyuan is a common style of Han Chinese housing, dated to Zhou Dynasty (1,100 – 256B.C.). It generally composes of enclosed square yard surrounded with houses on four or three sides.

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[30 Mar 2009 | Comments Off on Mongolian Yurt: “EASY” Portable House of Nomads | 7,549 views]
Mongolian Yurt: “EASY” Portable House of Nomads

On the vast plateau of Mongolian Highland, cold wind from Siberia blows across the Gobi desert and grasslands, while many big white tents are standing in the harsh winter. They are the Mongolian yurts.

Mongolian yurts are a type of portable, felt-covered, wood lattice-framed dwelling structures in which the Mongolian nomads (and many other ethnic nomads) live. The advantage of yurt can be summed up as one word: “easy”.

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[14 Mar 2009 | Comments Off on DiaoJiaoLou – Stilted Building in Southwestern China | 7,363 views]
DiaoJiaoLou – Stilted Building in Southwestern China

Diaojiaolou (literally means hanging attic) is a residential house with a dense architectural flavor of the ethnic minority (Miao, Zhuang, Buyi, Dong, Shui, Tujia Ethnics) in the southwestern provinces (Yunnan, Guangxi, Hunan, Guizhou, Hubei, Sichuan provinces). The wooden building is built close to the mountain or above the water (creek or river) with an extended floor space. These houses are usually built on slopes with only supporting wood pillars and no foundation and are 100% made of wood without iron.

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[27 Feb 2009 | 3 Comments | 20,983 views]
Yaodong – Cave Dwellings on Loess Plateau

In the prehistoric era our ancestors live in natural caves, during the long history of civilization, we learned how to build beautiful houses and buildings for us to live in. The designs are really diversified around the world according to people’s need, culture difference, local environment, and availability of material.

In the loess plateau of Shaanxi province in northwestern China, people are still living in caves, not natural caves. People built these cave dwellings – Yaodong.