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Chinese Architecture

Yin Yu Tang Style

5. Carved Decorations Although the Hui style of construction was particular to the Hui Zhou area, the carving skills of the craftsmen there were well known and admired throughout China.  The quality of their work became the benchmark against which other architectural schools evaluated their productions and of course, emulated. In the Yin Yu Tang house, […]

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d) “Hall on the second floor” and “Horserace” house Long ago, only persons of the Yue nationality lived in the Hui Zhou area.  In order to adapt to the inhospitable climate and natural environment in that region, the Yue lived in houses that employed the “stem column” construction.  (See picture) In this kind of construction, […]

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c) The main hall The Main Hall of the house consists of three rooms that face the Sky Well.  The center one of these three rooms is called the “Ming Jian” (Opening Hall).  It is used as a reception hall.  In the case of the Ying Yu Tang, this room has no doors in order […]

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b) The Sky Well The Sky Well in Hui Style architecture is the most important feature of the house.  It is a variation on the courtyard of the Central-Courtyard Houses found in northern China.  Unlike the courtyard in the Central-Courtyard houses, the courtyard or “Sky Well”, in the Hui Zhou area is very small, similar […]

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The Horse-Head Wall What is the Horse-Head Wall? If you visit the Yin Yu Tang you will see some decorated protruding portions on the tops of both side walls which are higher than the rooftop.  This extended portion of the wall is yet another Hui Style form, called the “Horse Head Wall” since its protruding […]

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(ii) Shape The roof style of classical Chinese architecture can be divided into five basic forms. In this article, I am only introducing three forms: Hard Hill (please see picture above); (ii) Hanging Hill; (iii) Veranda Temple. Please see slideshows. Hard Hill and Hanging Hill were used for residences of the lowest rank. The two roof […]

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Traditional Chinese buildings are organized by their three main parts: (i) the roof; (ii) the base (foundation); and (iii) the body/walls (see the picture).  According to Chinese philosophy, these three parts symbolize the three powers – Heaven, Earth and Man.  For example, the roof represents heaven and is the most important part in classical Chinese […]

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Recently, in an article published in the Salem Gazette, I described how Chinese Feng Shui was used as a guide to the construction of Yin Yu Tang house, the ancient Chinese House exhibited at Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts. (The articled can be read online – http://www.wickedlocal.com/salem/fun/entertainment/arts/x1526284304/The-house-that-feng-shui-built-Yin-Yu-Tang-is-a-window-to-the-ancient-practice). The museum has done a truly wonderful […]

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2. Feng shui Principles of the Front Door Now I am going to introduce some major Feng Shu principles and taboos for the front door. Principle 1: The front door is better located at the front left side so that the active energy (Yang Qi) controls it. This principle reveals the principle of Yin and […]

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In Feng Shui, the concept of Yin and Yang is very important.  The best Feng Shui living environment is an environment that has a perfect balance between Yin energy and Yang energy.  But do not think it is easy to achieve this balance.  Sometimes, Yin and Yang are even not easy to be defined.  For […]

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