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(2007-10-23 16:40:37)


  Some Glimpse of Elements of Garden Design

The approach to the interior 曲径通幽

The entrance was specially built for visitors. In the past the owner and his family had living quarters just next door with the garden close behind them and they were connected by interior passages. So this was the guest’s entrance very simply decorated and unattractive. No attempt was made to attract public attention. In those days, even the inhabitants in the neighborhood had no idea of Shangri-la that existed behind the high walls.



What one sees at the entrance is only a small square court behind the front vestibule and the beginning of a narrow dark passage. Now we walk through the passage to get to the interior.



we come to this small court, here the place seems to open up a little with an extra space off the high wall. A few rocks and plants are arranged against the white wall to give it a minor touch of landscaping to break the plain color of the wall.



This technique was in great fashion among the garden builders of old times. A great garden master of the Ming dynasty Joshing use to teach his followers to take the whitewashed wall as a sheet of paper and paint it with rocks. Evidently his advice has been widely accepted, for you can find similar examples in many other spots of Suzhou`s gardens. When there is sunshine, the shadows of the rocks and trees and bamboo will be projected onto the wall. An open court like this is a familiar sight in the Chinese house and is called the well of heaven which suggests that it is a primary source of lighting.



Here we have come to the interior of the garden with things really opening up for us .What we have just passed through is a narrow and zigzag covered walk in dim light and two small confined courts scantily decorated, the whole thing gives us a depressed feeling with little sense of space .That is exactly how the designer wants us to feel. The long and slow approach to the interior is meant to prepare the visitors for something that is going to greet him as a surprise, the confined space is used as a sort of prelude to a second space with real impressive dimensions.




The latticed windows

The six window are showing different designs of latticework they are a very important element of Suzhou`s garden we call them floral windows.



One of the things that’s very special about this garden is the colorful variety of such windows. Each of them is different, no two windows look exactly alike. Their decorative patterns go very well with the white wall. In Suzhou, we have counted more than three hundred patterns from the classical gardens. Their frames appears frequently in square and rectangles, some of them have round,hexagonal and fan shapes. Their lattice work comes in two types of forms geometrical and natural. Understandably the geometrical form is composed of straight lines, curves and circles. The natural form of latticework refers to those depicting flowers, birds, animals and sometimes human figures.

在留园中,与众不同的就是色彩丰富,形状各异花窗。没有一个花窗看上去是一样的。花窗的形状也是多种多样,与白色的墙面相互映衬。在苏州园林中,这样形状各异的花窗多达300种。花窗的形状有方型、长方型、有些是圆形、有些是六角型 或者是扇型的。花窗主要是两种形式 几何形状和自然形状。几何形状主要是直线型的和曲线型的,而自然形状的花窗主要取自花鸟、动物,有时也是有人物形象。


The materials required in making the lattice patterns are mainly bricks, wood and arched roof tiles. But in some complex designs the craftsman has to rely on iron wires and plates shrouded with flax fibers or linen and then covered with plaster. The lattice windows not only function to allow light to pour in, but they furnish the walls with vivid ornamentations. Besides they serve as a kind of interplay between two separate spaces like what we see here. The six windows are like a protective screen that prevents a clear view of the scenery inside, but at the same time they allow us to feel intimately related to the other space because we do have a faint picture of the landscape behind the wall. So while there is a feeling of suspension, there is also the impression of depth.

花窗的制作材料主要取自砖木和瓦等材料。对一些比较复杂的图案,工匠们采用金属铁丝和薄铁皮片与其他织物或衬垫编制成网状物再用泥灰覆盖而成。花窗的作用不仅是为了采光的需要,而且也是作为单调墙面的点缀品和装饰品,除了以上功能以外,花窗还有一个功能,就是他们作用于两个不同的空间之间,很好的分割空间的作用。就像我们在这里所看到的6扇花窗 他们的作用就是像一个保护屏风,将两边的景致分割开来。同时有让游人隐约感觉的花窗对面的景色,这样,让我们一方面感到有一种悬念,另一方面又让我们有一种景深的印象。

Speaking of windows we mustn’t forget those with open frames. In most cases the open window is not just a functional device, it acts as a picture frame by which to capture vistas beyond. Behind each open window there is always something to focus on.


 look at the wall of the pavilion here there are two octagonal windows in the opposite wall there is only one opening an instance of avoiding symmetry if we look through the window of both walls.




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