Cover image for Chinese architecture
Chinese architecture
Steinhardt, Nancy Shatzman.
Publication Information:
New Haven : Yale University Press ; Beijing : New World Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
366 pages : illustrations (some color), color maps ; 32 cm.
The origins of Chinese architecture / Liu Xujie -- The Qin and Han dynasties / Liu Xujie -- The three kingdoms, western and eastern Jin, and northern and southern dynasties / Fu Xinian -- The Sui, Tang, and five dynasties / Fu Xinian -- The Liao, Song, Xi Xia, and Jin dynasties / Guo Daiheng -- The Yuan and Ming dynasties / Pan Guxi -- The Qing dynasty / Sun Dazhang.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
NA1540 .H574 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order



A comprehensive and authoritative study of Chinese architecture from Neolithic times to the late-19th century. Six of China's greatest architectural historians have joined with a leading Western scholar to write this text, a collaborative history of Chinese architecture.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

This 10-year project, the third in a planned 75-volume tour of Chinese culture, is a formidable survey of 7,000 years of China's architectural heritage. Six Chinese scholars contribute learned perspectives on how the historic cycles of empire and culture, as well as regional, ethnic, religious, and natural diversity, helped to shape the built environment before the twentieth century. Timber framing, innovative joinery, upturned rooflines, bold color, and ornament are among the legacies of Chinese builders. And, yes, fengshui has historical roots, especially in the Ming Dynasty (1368^-1644), when virtually no house or city was structured without careful consideration of the siting and potential for qi, or positive energy. Along with such well-known icons as the Great Wall and the Forbidden City, this volume offers the fascination of many rarely seen structures: elegant pagodas, elaborate gardens, and such surprising sights as the strikingly rococo array of relief sculptures in a Buddhist cave at Yungang. Though rather bloodless for casual readers and mostly uninterested in modern trends, this is a fine foundation for understanding Chinese building traditions and achievements. --Steve Paul

Library Journal Review

Yale University has cooperated with scholars in China to produce this volume, one of a series titled "Culture and Civilization of China" that appears in both English and Chinese. The English-language version has been expanded to provide a more general background for readers who are not familiar with Chinese architectural history. Lavishly illustrated with color photographs and line drawings, the well-printed book proceeds step by step through 4000 years of Chinese architecture, with an emphasis on temples, palaces, and grand public works rather than dwellings. Clearly translated and edited, the text will appeal to academics, while the visuals will be accessible to the general reader. A helpful bibliography provides a starting point for academic research in Chinese sources. Recommended for academic libraries.-David McClelland, Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

In recent years there has been a spate of interest in Chinese architecture. Difficulty of access and many other factors discouraged studies, but some of these factors have now been mitigated. This is demonstrated in the volume under review; but, in the end, it is more a tantalizing sampler than an in-depth study since it tries to cover the whole history of Chinese architecture from prehistoric times to the end of dynastic China. On the plus side are excellent color illustrations, maps, drawings of elevations and architectural details, and brief though sound scholarly assessments. Although any library with some Chinese holdings will desire this, serious students would be better served by the ten-volume project of publisher Springer-Verlag treating ancient Chinese architecture, each volume of which is devoted to a distinct category of architecture. The first volume, Palace Architecture (CH, Feb'99), by Ru Jinghua and Peng Hualiang, focuses largely on the Forbidden City in Beijing; in brief, this set simply contains more of everything mentioned above. The result, then, is specialist libraries should have the Springer-Verlag set, the less engaged library should have the volume under review, and the well-endowed library should have both. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers; lower-division undergraduates through graduate students. J. O. Caswell University of British Columbia