Traditional Houses of Zhouzhuang

May 11, 2015

Zhouzhuang 周庄 is a water town in Jiangsu Province about 80 Km west of Shanghai, it is well-known as the “Venice of the Orient”. The town is located and divided by lakes and rivers; all in all it has 14 bridges with the “Twin Bridge” being the symbol of the town. Because of the limited arable land and dense population surrounded by water, the traditional houses of Zhouzhunag have a much tighter spatial arrangement and smaller courtyards than the traditional houses north of the Yangtze River. The smaller courtyards are more like light wells than a garden courtyard, and since all the water flows down into the courtyard in the middle of the house complex, the layout of the Jiangnan (south of the Yangtze River) houses, like the ones in Zhouzhuang, are often called “Double Water Entering the Mingtang” 两水入明堂 in Feng Shui terms and is considered very auspicious. “Double water” refers to water from the front and back, left and right of the house. After the water is collect in the middle of the courtyard it is often channeled to the outside according to a particular compass direction, so not only the form and configuration of a house is auspicious and but the compass calculation is also considered desirable to “hasten the luck” for the occupants. Pictures below showed the Twin Bridge in Zhouzhuang and also the layout of a typical Jiangnan traditional courtyard house like the one shown in the site plan indicating the location of the two bridges in town. We will visit this water town in the forth-coming Feng Shui Study Tour of China, from 17 – 30 October 2015, and will stay there for a few days to study and enjoy the Feng Shui of a traditional water town. There is still a few vacancy left for the trip, if you are interested you can find out more information about the study tour by clicking onto the pdf Flyer for the tour. We hope you can join us in China this year. Flyer for Feng Shui Study Tour of China 2015 The water town of Zhouzhuang showing location of the Twin Bridge

The Twin Bridge in Zhouzhuang

The Twin Bridge in Zhouzhuang

Site Plan of the Twin Bridge showing a typical single courtyard house between the two bridges.

Site Plan of the Twin Bridge showing a typical single courtyard house between the two bridges.

Plans of Lower and Upper Floor of a typical Jiangnan Courtyard House with its Front Elevation and Section.

Plans of Lower and Upper Floor of a typical Jiangnan Courtyard House with its Front Elevation and Section.

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