Chinese Garden/Home Complexes
MCP 02 - 14 - 2010

The many formal garden/home complexes we visited throughout China shared many common elements. Well -defined programs were given to each specific room in the complex and each of these rooms were surrounded by courtyard gardens, breezeways, covered walks, and designed water features, rock formations, and pavilions. These complexes truly unified the living space of the architecture and landscape, creating rooms within rooms (some of the garden variety mixed with traditional structures). This gave the residents an extended place to socialize, relax, and live. For those interested in sustainability, these principles could be carried through to today as this intrinsic connection to nature provides opportunities for microclimates (natural cooling, shading, etc), storm water management through the use of wetlands, and natural ventilation provided through the large louvered doors and windows found throughout the various rooms. Sketches are of the Lingering Garden, Shanghai, China, Pavilion on Water. And a site plan of a traditional Chinese house/garden complex. Notice the layout of living spaces and their connection to the garden/plaza spaces that link them together.

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