China occupies a vast area. A large extent of its territory from west to east and from north to south creates differences in climate conditions. China is a single multinational state. All these factors are reflected in the architecture of the country. Since ancient times, a lot of types of Chinese traditional houses with their own local flavor are known, among the most famous are Bamboo Huts, Diaojiaolou (hanging attic) – residential houses in the southwestern provinces, Mongolian Yurts, Stone Sheet Houses in the Buyei village and Yaodong (Cave Dwellings).
Chinese houses can be divided according to the building material from which the roof is made. They can be covered with hay or tiles or be clay-coated. Basically, the type of house depends on the geographical position or ethnic group. Since ancient times people built their homes in accordance to local conditions, taking into account the position of rivers, wind strength and direction. They were choosing the location of houses wisely and skillfully, trying to achieve full harmony between men and nature. Chinese houses are considered a wonder of the Eastern architecture. Nowadays, when large cities are packed with skyscrapers and tall buildings, construction of traditional Chinese houses in the villages has survived and continues to improve.
When building traditional houses in China a lot of attention is given to Feng shui – a traditional Chinese practice that ensures prosperity and is used to create harmony between people and their surroundings. The ideal Feng shui space should also balance Yin and Yang. Yin and Yang form together one single unit. For instance, every building in the front should be lower than the back one. The house itself is the Yang, and the courtyard – is the Yin, the space. The balance of Yin and Yang, from a scientific point of view, positively resolves significant living problems, such as solar lighting, natural ventilation, heating, thermal protection, light reflection, sound, which allows to withstand scorching rays of the sun, pouring rains and severe storms. The balance between Yin and Yang symbolizes balance and invites happiness and prosperity into the house. That is why the harmony of heaven and earth, of nature, men and environment is always present in traditional Chinese houses.