Item Details

Urban Elite Houses in the Song Dynasty

Zhang, Ding
Thesis/Dissertation; Online
Zhang, Ding
Huang, Yunsheng
The Song dynasty was highly evaluated for its achievement in ideology, philosophy, culture, literature, art and technology. The Song city witnessed a flourishing economics and the breakdown of the ward-wall system. Dwellings were no longer isolated in walled wards, and more involved in the public social life than ever before. This thesis analyses house descriptions in literary materials and paintings to demonstrate how urban elite houses changed in this transformative dynasty. To win over scholar-officials, the Song emperors offered privilege for them including loose house regulations. Urban elite houses carried the daily routine which advocated by the elite group to symbolize the elites’ social status. As the ward-wall system collapse, elite houses blended with common people’s houses and commercial buildings in the city. To adjust themselves to the new urban life, the elites designed homes which isolate themselves from the bustling city and political strife. These houses were endowed with owners’ political ambition or frustration, and spiritual pursuits by giving meaningful names and inscriptions for structures and creating gardens. For the elites, houses bore the images of their minds.
University of Virginia, Department of Architectural History, MARH (Master of Architectural History), 2017
Published Date
MARH (Master of Architectural History)
Libra ETD Repository
Logo for Creative Commons Attribution LicenseCreative Commons Attribution License


Read Online