Book Chapter

Methods and Applications: Determining Directions in Chinese Architecture

Qinghua Guo

Architectural History | China Building Industry Press | Published : 2019


Orientations of extant historical buildings and cities are often deviated from the four cardinal directions, which has arisen various speculations among scholars as well as the public. On the base of experiments and calculations, and comparisons of historical documents and buildings, this paper critically reviews three traditional methods of direction determination, their applications and errors. The paper investigates the directions of ancient buildings whose construction data are known, with a focus on architectures in Beijing and Gongyi, Henan, to reconstruct the methods used. Fengshui lucky directions and their possible applications with the use of magnetic compass are also discussed. A ..

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