The palaces are the embodiment of the feudal systems of patriarchal clans and tithes, and symbolise supreme imperial power. The most outstanding and prominent examples of this architectural type are the Forbidden City in Beijing and Shenyang Imperial Palace. The former is also the largest and best-preserved timber construction in the world. The principles underlying the planning and design of ancient Chinese palaces are elaborated in detail using these two fine examples as a source of reference.
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Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Chinese
The Chinese have spent the last 4000 years developing and perfecting a unique architectural style. Highly centralized and extensively documented in building manuals and construction texts, the apex of Chinese building skills were the great imperial palaces of China's six ancient capitals. Two of these palace complexes have survived, and this volume, first of a planned series of ten on Chinese architecture and gardens, presents the Forbidden City of Beijing and the Manchu palace of Shenyang in 127 color photos with accompanying text. Clearly translated from the Chinese, the slightly dry text presents a wealth of detail on the design and construction of Chinese palaces and how they reflect Chinese cosmology. Extensive appendixes show line drawings, overviews, and technical diagrams along with maps and a chronology of Chinese architecture. Well bound and well printed (although some photos are enlarged to the point of graininess), this is a valuable addition to architecture or Asian studies collections.?David McClelland, Philadelphia
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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