Week 11, we went to Xitang, an ancient scenic river town in Jiashan County.

As the buildings are located along both sides of canals, transportation by boat is a common practice and this tradition lives up to today. Following which, stone bridges were constructed to provide dry passage within the town.

If you went to Xitang, you would see temples, ancient residences, colourful streets, beautiful scenery and its share of talented artists and architects (not referring to us by the way haha).

A piece recovered from an ancient chinese roof
An uncanny resemblance
Architectural Drawings before CAD came about
An incense burner inside one of the many temples in Xitang

Xitang also has some interesting architecture. There are narrow alleys, really narrow alleys, small bridges, ancient drains. Intricate entablatures tell a story of the residence or the space that it encompasses. Apart from that, there are also more commonly found features of Chinese architecture such as separating walls adjacent to neighbouring houses to prevent household fires from spreading outward and tiled roofs that are angled to direct rain off the roof.

Much effort was taken to conceal the AC unit
These holes house long wooden beams that barred the doors at night, preventing any intruders from entering the residence.
Houses were built in close proximity and neighbours would sit by their windows and chat. They would also transport snacks across to share using poles.
Timothy crossing the smallest bridge in Xitang
The drainage system used by the Chinese in the past.

We had an excellent guide who showed us around the place and shared with us his knowledge of the culture and architecture. In fact, he was so good that other locals started to follow us around.

However, Xitang has also adapted to the rising influx of tourists. There are many shops, eateries, shops and inns with inflated prices.

One thing that I really liked was the variety of materials present in the town. Some were old, some were new, but they all managed to preserve the aged look of the town.

In the ten weeks that I have spent in China, these beef noodles that I had for lunch were the tastiest that I have had, and I do not know why.

As the weeks pass, the intensity on our theme project increases, as does our theme mentor’s expectations, which has enforced in us the constant desire to keep questioning and improve.  Vitruvius theorised on architecture that there is a necessity for firmitas, utilitas and venustas in a well-designed building.  We, in the architectural and landscape design theme, continue to strive towards understanding how buildings work and venture further into the mysterious and magical universe of architecture.

Five more weeks to go


Click to rate this post!
[Total: 0 Average: 0]


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here