T H E ‘ B O U N DL E S S H ALL S ’ OF B U ILD E R MO N K MIAOF E N G ( 1 5 4 0 – 1 6 1 3 ) – TAASA Review June 2014


This article was originally found in the June 2014 edition of TAASA Review (Volume 23, Issue 2, Page 17).

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John Millbank F or millennia, traditional Chinese architecture relied on a single indigenous system of construction for palaces, temple halls and larger private houses, based on a timber skeleton of columns and cross beams, topped by a tiled roof with wide overhanging eaves.

Over time this system gave rise to many elegant and sophisticated architectural solutions.

A new architectural innovation emerged during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), halls built entirely of brick, with thick loadbearing walls supporting arches and vaulted ceilings (only otherwise employed in tombs or pagodas)...