China's Old Dwellings
A comprehensive critical examination of China's folk architectural forms. Together with its companion volume, "China's Living Houses: Folk Beliefs, ... Show synopsis A comprehensive critical examination of China's folk architectural forms. Together with its companion volume, "China's Living Houses: Folk Beliefs, Symbols, and Household Ornamentation", it provides a study of the environmental, historical and social factors that influence housing forms for nearly a quarter of the world's population. Both books draw on the author's 30 years of fieldwork and travel in China, as well as on published and unpublished material in many languages. The work begins by tracing the interest in Chinese vernacular buildings in the 20th century. Early chapters detail common and distinctive spatial components, including the interior and exterior modular spaces that are axiomatic components of most Chinese dwellings as well as conventional structural components and building materials that are common in Chinese construction. Later chapters examine representative housing types in the three broad cultural realms - northern, southern and western - into which China has been divided. Knapp completes his survey with an exploration of China's old dwellings in the context of the rapid economic and social changes that are destroying so many of them.