Why do old Chinese and Japanese buildings have such unusual roofs?
Why do old Chinese and Japanese buildings have such unusual roofs?

In films and photographs, we have all seen Chinese and Japanese buildings, whose roofs have a peculiar shape. Their slopes are curved. Why was this done?

There are various answers to this question, both realistic and fictitious.

Curved roofs did not appear by chance

The most common opinion on this issue is a simple explanation - this is the style of architecture.

But here it is immediately worth noting that in antiquity, masters primarily proceeded from practicality and usefulness, which influenced the design features of structures, buildings, parts, elements and, accordingly, their appearance and aesthetics.

Curved roof construction is much more complex than straight

Naturally, a curved roof is much more difficult to build than a structure made from straight beams. Why, then, was it necessary to make life difficult for yourself?

Tropical showers are not only very strong, but also lingering

On the territory of Japan, as well as in the eastern part of China, tropical showers are frequent occurrences.

In addition to being strong enough, they are also protracted. It can rain like this for months. To protect the building from the flow of water, roofs of this shape were erected.

The beams are curved to allow rainwater to flow away from the façade

So rainwater poured out at a distance from the facade of the house. If you take a good look at the rafter system, you can see that the beams are bent on purpose in this case.

According to legend, a peasant invented the curved roof to protect the house from dragons

As for the legends, it was also not without them.

The Chinese talk about a peasant named Liu Tian, ​​who invented just such a roof to protect the house from dragons. It was assumed that they would roll off the roof like a springboard and take off again into the air.

This form is possible due to the need for the correct circulation of energy flows according to Feng Shui

Perhaps there is a connection with feng shui. This teaching pays a lot of attention to how the circulation of energy flows should be organized.

This form not only pushed the roof away from the walls, but also had a high seismic resistance

Whatever it was, but the construction technology here is very difficult. The rafter system is structurally very complex. It is called dou gun.

The complexity of the post-girder structure had two important goals. The first is to move the roof away from the walls of the building. The second - thanks to the girder system above the supports, the roof had increased seismic resistance.

The curved roof looks very nice, but at the same time, this design is a practical necessity

It should be noted that many Japanese and Chinese areas are seismically active zones.

To prevent destruction, engineers in ancient times used principles to dampen vibrations.

Such constructions could be observed on the territory of Japan and China several millennia ago

If you go deeper into history, then in these territories, similar roofs could be observed several millennia ago. As a result, such a roof is not only an architectural style, but also a practical necessity.

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