From Tradition to Tourist Attraction – Prefabrication in the Timber Construction of the Dong People
Author: Frank Kaltenbach, D–München
Prefabrication and serial construction are not modern inventions, as classical Chinese timber architecture demonstrates. Perhaps the most splendid example of this is the Forbidden City in Beijing, erected between 1406 and 1420. For its pavilion at the Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China not surprisingly chose a cantilevered beam construction, 63 m high and supported on four columns. This distillation of 2,000 years of Dougong timber building technology, however, is made of steel, not of wood; for knowledge of timber construction has almost disappeared in China.