‘Liyuan'(Chinese-Western quadrangle)– a production of Colonal Period

6 01 2011

The urban design of Chinese acient cities is a road-court system which

constructed by the different sizes units ranging from Royal squares to

the residence of quadrangle) and the hierachical street system—

‘wide main roads-streets-Hutong (Beijing narrow lane)’. These form

 a precise urban texture and traditional chara-cters. But in the recent

years, the rampant urbanism and the population explosion have exerted

 the negative effect on the urban tissue. The establishment of moden urban

zone, especialy the settlement districts, resulted in the fragmentations of

the traditional culture, living environ-ment and the accustomed way of life.

Nowadays, a lot of urban designers planning the projects, especially the

projects locate in historical regions by the organic update theory and

attampts to establish a similar settlement system to the traditional style,

making the historical region achieve an improvement on the physical

environments and maintain the original neighbourhood community.


There are four basic forms for the inner courts which are square,

one square with the other one on top, three squares in a triangular

 form, and square in square.They look like four chinses words:

口       日       凸      回

The four basic forms of ‘Liyuan’

constitute several more complex forms.

Chinese people enjoy sharing of the yard with the neighbors.

Because the time of constrction is not unification, and the old districts did

not have better plan in the past, most of the ‘Liyuan’ buildings do not use

the forms of the row house but the free forms.It has some advantges, such as

more shared open space and close neighborhhod relationship. On the other

hand, it is always poor lighting and ventilation because of the very high

building density.




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