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The Layout of Beijng Siheyuan

Every siheyuan faces south. The yards are deep and spacious. The main rooms have back windows that brighten the rooms. People can not be observed upon entering a large siheyuan, because there are more covered corridors than houses. During summer time, green clothes are pasted on windows. Folding windows are installed inside which are folded in day time and unfolded during night. The house owners will set up sheds in their spacious yards. Whenever there is a celebration, guests are invited to sit under the shed. All the main rooms are suite room. The side rooms are for the host to rest or for storage of things. The rooms are cool in summer and worm in winter.

Beijing’s siheyuan differs from residences in South China. A southerner in Qing Dynasty praised siheyuan as follows: “The houses are high and large; the courtyards are spacious; the buildings are simple and elegant; the plants are luxuriant but well- spaced; there are stoves providing heat in winter, there are sheds offering shades in summer; the structure can be various; the formation are symmetric and harmonious; it is very convenient to live in; inside the siheyuan it is very. quiet.”

Siheyuan provides people quietness in the noisy world. “Sit alone in a late night, I open the window to let in the moon light. A clear air comes front afar that bridges ray heart and carry away my worries. Suddenly I feel so refreshed.”

“I have lived in many of the metropolis of China during the early half of my life. When recalling about them, I feel that the liveliness of shanghai, the vastness of Nanjing, the foul atmosphere of Guangzhou, the disorder of Hanko and Wuchang, the quitness of Qingdao, the elegance of Fuzhou, and the calmness of Hangzhou–all can not match Beijing ‘s classical grandiosity, and sereneness and wonderfulness.”( The Four Seasons in Beijing by Yu Dafu) and the sereneness and wonderfulness mainly come from the special charm of siheyuan.

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