Timber Construction Of Vernacular Buildings In Hong Kong
Free (open access)
P. P. Ho
Located along the southern coast of China, Hong Kong possesses a large number of buildings erected between the 17th and early 20th centuries in the style of Pearl River Delta vernacular architecture. These buildings come in different scales and of different building types. In a village, it is common to see large ancestral halls with a complicated timber structural system at one end of the scale as well as common houses with simple construction at the other end of the scale. There are also temples erected in locations away from the villages serving the fishing and merchant communities. Monumental architecture in traditional China followed a well defined modular system in determining sizing of structural members, spatial composition and constructional method. Was there a similar modular system adopted in vernacular buildings in Hong Kong? This paper seeks a structural understanding of the construction of vernacular architecture in Hong Kong by comparing between the building types, sites, and scales. It will suggest a system for analyzing the timber structural system and the construction of vernacular architecture in Hong Kong. Keywords: Hong Kong vernacular architecture, ancestral hall, structural system, timber construction, modular structural system. 1 Introduction Hundreds of villages are scattered across the undulating terrain of what is now known as the New Territories, Hong Kong. When these villages were established by migrants from north China, between the 10th and 20th centuries, this coastal region was very remote from cosmopolitan China. Migrants came to settle here to escape from the turmoil that embroiled Central China around Nanjing and Beijing, and founded villages that were by and large self sufficient. Villages in this part of China are very compact settlements, usually occupied by a clan of a
Hong Kong vernacular architecture, ancestral hall, structural system, timber construction, modular structural system.