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Classical Chinese Roofs

Most Chinese roofs had large overhangs that were not just for an artistic effect but also functioned as guard from the rain and sunlight.

The quintessentially Chinese gable-and-hip roof with pronounced dragon-spine ridges and upturned flying eaves first appeared during the Han (BCE 206 – CE 220) Dynasty.

 Wikipedia: Chinese Architectrue
(Online Dec. 2013)

Classical Chinese buildings, especially those of the wealthy are built with an emphasis on breadth and less on height, with close heavy platform and a large roof that floats over this base, with the vertical walls not well emphasized.

Structural beams: Use of large structural timbers for primary support of the roof of a building. Wooden timber, usually large trimmed logs, are used as load-bearing columns and lateral beams for framing buildings and supporting the roofs. These beams are connected to each other directly or in larger and higher class structures, tied indirectly together through the use of brackets [dougong].

Sweeping [roofs]: Roofs with a sweeping curvature that rises at the corners of the roof [flying eaves]. The types of roof construction are usually reserved for temples and palaces although it may also be found in the homes of the wealthy. In the former cases, the ridges of the roof are usually highly decorated with ceramic figurines.

Roof apex: The roof apex of a large hall is usually topped with a ridge of tiles and statues for both decorative purposes but also to weight down the layers of roofing tiles for stability. These ridges are often well decorated, especially for religious or palatial structures.

Chinese roof decoration / roof charms / roof-figures:


Photos and their arrangement 2013 Chuck LaChiusa
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