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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Environmental features of Chinese architectural heritage: The standardization of form in the pursuit of equilibrium with nature

  • Author(s): Almodovar-Melendo, JM
  • Cabeza-Lainez, JM
  • et al.

© 2018 by the authors. We present a scientific discussion about Chinese historical architecture and cultural paradigms in order to analyze the formation of building patterns objectively connected to environmental features. In this regard, we will demonstrate the process of standardization from architectural modules related in different levels of composition around "voids", onto cosmological urban tissues in harmony with nature. The conclusions show that we can only understand Chinese architectural patterns in relation to Dào or nature, and in turn, they possess profound social and environmental values from which we receive useful lessons to advance towards sustainability in architecture and urban planning. The authors believe that it is critical for China and the world to find a new approach to the building construction industry with an ecological and philosophical background recognizable as "Chinese" and based in its own past. In order to support the information provided in the first part of the article, the authors have conducted an environmental analysis of the traditional Chinese urban layout whose results greatly confirm the initial hypotheses, i.e. the historical fashion of constructing neighborhoods improves conditions of the town in terms of comfort and is able to save energy, thus reducing pernicious change effects.

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