Sunday, September 7, 2008

Yingzao Fashi

The ''Yingzao Fashi'' is a technical treatise on architecture and craftsmanship written by the author Li Jie , the Directorate of Buildings and Construction during the mid Song Dynasty of 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. 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 craftsmen as well as for the engineering agencies of the central government.

With his book becoming a noted success, Li Jie was promoted by Huizong as the Director of Palace Buildings. Thereafter Li became well-known for the oversight in construction of administrative offices, palace apartments, gates and gate-towers, the of the Song Dynasty, along with numerous Buddhist temples. 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. Li's book provides a glossary of technical terms that includes mathematical formulae. He incorporated topography in his estimations for buildings on various types of sites. The 34 chapters in the book specify in detail the units of measurement, the construction of moats and fortifications, and standards for as well as directions for wood carving, brickwork


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