Skip To Content


Font size:
Small Font size
Medium Font size
Large Font size

Factors for Composition、Buildings in the Garden、Artificial Mountain、Pond、Flower and Tree

Factors for Composition 
The four elements for constructing the garden include buildings, artificial mountains, ponds, and plants.
  Buildings in the Garden 
The building in the garden has the same functions as other types of buildings. The building is used for reading, receiving the guests, visiting, and so on. However, the setting of the building in the garden also has to take the view into consideration. It should integrate the neighboring mountain, water, and plant together as a scene. So, people can command good views inside the building. It means that the building along with the surroundings must become an intergtated scene and people can get a sketch map of the scene at the same time.
There are various architectural types in the garden such as what we call Ting, Tai, Lou, Ke, Tang, Wu, Xuen, Xie, Jai in Chinese or bridge, corridor and so on. Each has its distinctive function and appearance.

In the Ben-Yuan Lin’s Family Abode and Garden, there are various kinds of architectural types.

Ting/ Tang 
 The building, called Ting or Tang in Chinese, refers to the hall of the house. It is square in structure with a high and wide roof. It has delicate decoration with gardens in the front and the back yards. It is mainly used to receive the guests, worship ancestors, and hold group activities. Usually it is located in the important place in the garden and with good views as well. Ding-jing Hall is the typical example in the Ben-Yuan Lin’s Family Abode and Garden and it covers the largest amount of space in Ben-Yuan Lin’s Family Abode and Garden. Moreover, the Xuen and Guan in Chinese is another kind of Ting or Tang; however, their dimension is smaller. Their location is less important, but is used for viewing as well.  

Jai, Shi, Fang, Wu 
 The building, called Jai, Shi, Fang, or Wu in Chinese, is a subsidiary space clining to the main building.With its irregular forms, it’s the most common and changeable in the garden. The Jai is a place for fast, meditation and self- cultivation. A study can also be called as Jai such as Ji-Gu Library and Fan-jien Study in the Ben-Yuan Lin’s Family Abode and Garden.

Lou, Ke 
 The building called Lou or Ke refers to the tall building in the garden from which one can enjoy the view. It’s an important spot in the garden with luxurious and delicate decorations and various forms. The difference between Lou and Ke is the base. The base of Lou is made of heavy and thick brick in closed space, while the one of Ke is made of wood with ventilated corridors around.

 This kind of building is called “Xie” in Chinese.  “Xie” means to lean against. In general, a building like “Xie” is constructed next to some places in the garden. Therefore, any architectural space built next to the water bank, flowers, or trees can be regarded as “Xie.” For example, the “Yue-Po-Shui- Hsieh” in the Ben-Yuan Lin’s Family Abode and Garden is built next to and above the water. Furthermore, the function of the “Xie” is quite similar to “Ting,” “Xuen,” or “Fang,” but with a more leisured and flexible architectural style.

 The building called “Ting” is the most common one in the Chinese architecture. It is composed of three parts: a ceiling, a column, and a base. “Ting” in Chinese also means “stop.” Therefore, it’s a place to stay, to take a break, to enjoy the gentle breeze, to escape the rain, or to enjoy the view far away. Such building is very common in the Ben-Yuan Lin’s Family Abode and Garden. Because of its mini-space and changeful form, it becomes a scenic spot or an excellent place to enjoy the view.

Wall of the Garden 
 The wall in the Chinese architecture is served as a barrier to assure security and privacy. What’s more, it is used to divide the space in the construction in order to increase the gradation of the scenes in the garden and to lead the visitors on to enjoy the garden. The wall of the garden is not tall. Besides the hole-shaped doors, there are plenty of ventilated windows carved with flowers on them. With these facilities, each spot of the garden is separated but united.

Bridge and Corridor 
 Paths are used to connect each spot of the garden and to facilitate the visit for the host and the guests. To create distinctive views, crooked paths are used instead of straight ones. Some walking paths are built along the walls or the artificial mountains. Different facilities are set along these curved corridors, and paths. Such facilities can create different scenes at the same stance. Illusively, they also extend the time and space for people to enjoy the view.

Artificial Mountain 
An old Chinese saying goes, “Where there is a mountain, there is spirit. Where there is water, there is life”. No doubt, mountain and water are the core of natural scenery. From the popularity of Chinese landscape paintings and the setting of the artificial mountains in the traditional Chinese gardens, we can realize the strong desire and high value of the mankind toward Nature. To create the beauty of mountains and waters in the limited gardens, each mountain is built on its own style and each stone has its own story. Only by the talent of the gardening designer and by the techniques of the craftsmen can this masterpiece be done.

Artificial Mountain 
 In the Ben-Yuan Lin’s Family Abode and Garden, the stone of the Tai-hu is rarely used. The way to construct the artificial mountain is also different from the one used in the traditional Chinese garden in the north of Mainland China. The main artificial mountain in the Ben-Yuan Lin’s Family Abode and Garden is the imitation of the mountain scenes of the Lin Family’s homeland, Zhang-zhou. The mountain is made of brick and stone and then painted with plaster outside. It makes a good combination with the exterior wall. The wall is used not just for protecting but also for offering a magnificent view of Chinese landscape paintings.

 The setting of artificial mountains and ponds in the traditional Chinese garden not only reveals humans’ affection toward nature but also has some mythological effects. Take Qin Emperor the First for example. In order to be immortal, he sent boys and girls to the fairy mountain, Pong-lai, in the East Sea to get fairy fruit but in vain. So, all he could do was build an artificial Pong-lai island, where the fairies asked for their blessings in Hsien-yang. The idea that the artificial mountain represents the fairy island is used till the later generations.