Academic journal article Cross - Cultural Communication

Application of Traditional Chinese Gardening Elements in Modern Garden Design

Academic journal article Cross - Cultural Communication

Application of Traditional Chinese Gardening Elements in Modern Garden Design

Article excerpt


With the deepening of China urbanization, continuing expansion of the urban area and increase of population density, people cling more to the natural environment and landscape, pursue harmony with nature and hope to beautify and improve their living environment by landscape planning and design. Culture and leisure needs and individual pursuit of gardens have become an important part of urban life. Traditional Chinese garden is the epitome and precipitation of traditional culture, and its functions and beauty are implemented and demonstrated through the flexible use of various elements of gardening. In modem garden design, how to use high-tech tools and new artistic handling of these elements of the traditional Chinese garden to achieve the harmony of the natural landscape and cultural landscape has become the focus of the Chinese government at all levels and the public's concern. This paper outlines the gardening features of traditional Chinese garden and analyses the characteristics of four basic gardening elements of traditional Chinese garden: architecture, waterscape, plants and rocks. Based on the analysis, it discusses how to use the traditional elements in modem garden design to design modem garden scenery which conforms to city culture and scenery characteristics, which not only embody the cultural heritage but also interpret the modem scenery garden design concept that gets rids of the stale and brings forth the fresh.

Key words: Chinese gardens; Gardening elements; Garden landscape; Modem design; Landscape design; Culture


Traditional Chinese garden is not only a product of history and culture, but also a microcosm precipitated through the Chinese tradition and culture. As people's pursuit for living environmental quality continues to improve, use of traditional garden design ideas in the modem garden design is just one example of such pursuit. Having experienced a wave of post-modem architecture of the West, the traditional garden design has returned to its original state. People begin to abandon the so-called architectural form and function and chase compounds/ mansion once owned only by tycoons in southeast China in the past. Now, traditional garden courtyards have become the true reflector of the entire housing quality there.

The classical Chinese garden was a landscape garden style created during the Shang Dynasty more than three thousand years ago. It includes the royal gardens owned by the emperors or the imperial family, and the private gardens created by government officials, scholars, poets, merchants, etc.. The traditional Chinese garden is one of the masterpieces of Chinese culture, which integrated art, nature, and ideas perfectly to create ensembles of beauty and harmony. Not only its design and construction techniques, but also its artistic effect has made great influence on the development of landscaping in China.

Traditional Chinese garden usually integrates houses and gardens, combining leisure, recreation and residence together. The reason for this kind of residential building landscape lies in lack of natural landscape for people living in densely populated cities. They are unable to enjoy the pleasure in admiring natural scenery and inaccessible in relaxed living environment and visual experience.

China attaches great importance to cultural atmosphere construction in the traditional courtyard, such as nomination and plaques (horizontal inscribed board hanging on the hall, indicating its function or character of its owner) of the hall of a building. Such cultural atmosphere construction means to serve as an important way to add fun to garden culture, as well as to retain history and culture, house design and gardening fun, which has a significant impact on cultural life, material life and spiritual pursuit today.

Due to the influence of philosophical thoughts, culture and art, and landscaping techniques at different times, traditional Chinese garden design is endowed with a distinctive time feature, among which the most representative one is private gardens of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. …

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