Monday, May 07, 2007

Yes, but Why?

Drat. It seemed so simple. Go back to the UK, meet up with family and friends and show them a few photos. And then, when we were looking at pictures of some Chinese buildings, the question.

"Just why do Chinese buildings have curved roofs?"

Seems simple doesn't it. Some research on the web confirms (!) that they do indeed have curved roofs (e.g. "The roof of a typical Chinese building is curved") but no-one seems fit to put forward a theory as to why that actually would be.

It's annoying because it's a simple question and apart from a vague attempt at "something to ward off evil spirits" I had to admit defeat.

Any ideas out there?

4 comments:

NewsElephant said...

There are vague references to feng shui and the flow of qi on various sites but you have to ask yourself whether the design came first and the explanation afterwards?

I'm sure the Romans adopted Greek architecture because they thought it looked nice and made them look civilised.

DB said...

I'm told that it's because evil spirits come in straight lines. See here.

I did think that was why many ornemental bridges zigzag but didn't think that evil spirits would enter a house via the ridge...

HistoryElephant said...

I thought the plank of wood that you trip over at the door was meant to stop those evil spirits (who presumably use wheelchairs) ...or daleks.

DB said...

I believe Daleks, unlikely disabled people in China, have created a solution to the problem.