- Yingzao Fashi
The "Yingzao Fashi" ( _zh. 營造法式; 'Treatise on Architectural Methods' or 'State Building Standards') is a technical treatise on architecture and craftsmanship written by the Chinese author Li Jie (李誡; 1065–1110),Guo, 1-3.] the Directorate of Buildings and Construction during the mid
Song Dynastyof China. A promising architect, he revised many older treatises on architecture from 1097 to 1100. By 1100, he had completed his own architectural work which he presented to Emperor Zhezong of Song.Guo, 4.] Needham, Volume 4, 84.] The emperor's successor, Emperor Huizong of Song, had the book published in 1103 in order to provide a unified set of architectural standards for builders, architects, and literate craftsmenas well as for the engineering agencies of the central government.Guo 6.]
With his book becoming a noted success, Li Jie was promoted by Huizong as the Director of Palace Buildings.Guo, 5.] Thereafter Li became well-known for the oversight in construction of administrative offices, palace apartments, gates and gate-towers, the ancestral temple of the Song Dynasty, along with numerous
Buddhist temples. In 1145 a second edition of Li's book was published by Wang Huan.
Li developed a standard 8-point grading system for different sizes of timber elements. The system was known as the "cai-fen" system of units and could be universally applied to buildings.Guo, 6-7.] Some of the book used material from preexisting architectural writings, but most of the book is documentation of the inherited traditions of craftsmen and architects passed down by word of mouth.Guo, 4.] Li's book provides a
glossaryof technical terms that includes mathematical formulae. He incorporated topographyin his estimations for buildings on various types of sites. He also estimated the monetary costs of hiring laborers of different skill levels and types of expertise in crafts. His estimates are on the basis of a day's work and include the materials needed, taking into account the season in which the work is done.
Li's work incorporates building rules and regulations, accounting information, standards for materials used in construction, and the classification of various crafts.Needham, Volume 4, Part 3, 84-85.] The 34 chapters in the book specify in detail the
units of measurement, the construction of moats and fortifications, and standards for stonework as well as for greater and lesser woodwork.Guo, 1.] Needham, Volume 4, 85] It includes the specifications (and illustrations) for constructing bracketing units with inclined arms and joints for columns and beams,Guo, 2.] as well as directions for wood carving, turning and drilling, sawing, bamboowork, tiling, wall building, painting and decoration, and the formulas for decorative paints, glazes and various coatings. Included are the mixing proportions for mortars in masonry, brickwork and glazed tile. Guo, 5.] The book provides hand-drawn illustrations of all the practices and standards. He outlined structural carpentryin great detail, providing standard dimensional measurements for all the components.
Although others were written and compiled beforehand, Li's book is the oldest existing technical manual on
Chinese architectureto have survived intact and in its entirety.Guo, 1-3.]
Architecture of the Song Dynasty
Technology of the Song Dynasty
*Needham, Joseph (1986). "Science and Civilization in China: Volume 4, Part 3". Taipei: Caves Books, Ltd.
*Guo, Qinghua. "Yingzao Fashi: Twelfth-Century Chinese Building Manual," Architectural History: Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain (Volume 41 1998): 1-13.
* [http://architronic.saed.kent.edu/v5n2/v5n2.04a.html "Structural Carpentry in the Yingzao Fashi" by Andrew I-kang Li & Jin-Yeu Tsou, Chinese University of Hong Kong]
* [http://cat2.mit.edu/arch5-local/4207archive/4207s97/andrewli/www/ Bracket Sets in the Yingzao Fashi]
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