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Architectural Constructions of Chinese Garden

Architectural Constructions

Architectural constructions in gardens differ from common buildings since they must fit in with the garden's natural scenery while maintaining their practical uses. Halls, pavilions, pleasure boats, corridors, bridges and walls are the various types of buildings found in gardens.

Halls are where visitors are served and meetings are held and are often the central structure of a garden. The location of the hall influences the disposition of the overall scenery. The hall must be allocated sufficient space as it's usually fairly large and according to Chinese customs, its entrance should face south. Outside the hall lies the main scenery of the garden.

The highest structure in the garden should provide the visitor a panoramic view from all four-window walls. This building can also be used as a storage for books and paintings.

The four sides of a pavilion are open with a single roof. Pavilions are used as a rest stop or a scenic point. Pavilions vary in shape from three, six and eight sided structures to square or circular. They're usually built next to a scene, next to a pathway, corridor, adjacent to a wall or edge of a cliff. Famous pavilions include the Surging Waves Pavilion and the Songfeng Pavilion in the Humble Administrator's Garden.

Pleasure Boats
These artificial boats are placed along the shore. A good example is the marble boat in the Summer Palace.

Corridors are more than passageways; they're also vantage points for sightseeing. Corridors are some of the most creative structures in Chinese gardens; they link the different structures allowing easy movement within the garden and provide shelter from the elements. The Long Corridor in the Summer Place is 728m long and has more than 14,000 colourful paintings.

Bridges provide vantage points on both sides of the bridge and in the waterscape itself. Garden bridges can be straight or twisty, arched or flat and made from stone, bamboo or wood.