Traditional Chinese architecture is not only as old as Chinese civilization with 5, years of history but unique in the world, particularly when the roof system is concerned, both in terms of its multi-layered dougong structure — a set of interlocking wooden brackets that supports the massive roofs — and its visual style in shape, size and colour. Below is a brief introduction to some commonly used classic Chinese roofs in residential dwellings, public buildings and garden structures. The overhanging gable roof is the most common residential roof type in south of Yangtze River where the climate is humid and warm. The wide eaves are designed to keep the upper parts of the timber structure from the rain.
Traditional Chinese Roofs - China’s Roof Architecture
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Ancient Chinese architecture was designed to be attractive, especially the distinctive roofs. Traditional Chinese roofs had different forms at different stages of history. There were various roof styles with functional features, a hierarchy of designs, and exquisite details. Joints were favored over metal fixings.
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The style is Chinese in origin, and has spread across much of Asia. It also influenced the style of the bahay na bato of the Philippines. In China, the hip-and-gable roof style, also known as the xieshan roof style, originated in the Eastern Han dynasty as an adaptation of the hip roof.