Houses were built in a similar fashion. Most dwellings had pounded earth foundations and wooden frames, with brick, earth, or wood walls and flooring. The majority of ancient Chinese dwellings were built around a rectangular courtyard. The wealthy constructed three connected wings or bays, similar to the three sides of a window frame. They called this type of house "three-gated." In smaller towns, however, people usually lived in one large hall that was divided into rooms by paper walls or bamboo scaffolding.
In larger cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Tianjin, houses were often built with stone or brick. These buildings looked like fortresses because they had high walls with only a small opening for doors and windows. The wealthy also used stone when building their castles or villas. Lower-class homes were made of mud bricks or tiles. Sometimes they had wooden beams inside the house instead of pillars.
Chinese houses did not have basements until recently, when builders started using cement floors instead. This is why most Chinese houses have rising floors - some rooms have ceilings while others don't. There are also many apartments in China's big cities that do not have separate kitchens or bathrooms. Instead, they have all of these facilities in one large room which is divided by curtains or paper walls.
In conclusion, Chinese houses were mostly made of wood or brick and had no basements.
Whether it was the house of a wealthy family, a poor family, a temple, or a palace, the plan of an old Chinese structure was identical. It consisted of an outer wall about five feet high and three-fourths of a mile long. Within this wall were rooms for eating, living, and sleeping. The only door to enter each room was through a window. A hallway led from the front door to the back door, which was also the only way out.
The oldest houses in China's major cities were built between 7500 and 5000 B.C. They were mostly simple structures, without any kind of mechanical equipment, such as clocks or toilets. But by 500 B.C., large cities had been founded, mainly along the Yangtze River in southern China. These cities included Beijing, Shanghai, and Nanjing. At their peak, they may have had populations of up to 100,000 people.
In these cities, houses became more complex, containing more rooms. There were now separate living quarters for men and women. By 250 B.C., houses in some cities were being built with interior walls: partition walls within the house itself instead of using windows or doors. By 200 A.D., houses in some cities were being built with exterior walls: partition walls outside the house similar to those used today.
The ancient Chinese built their little private dwellings out of dried mud, rough stones, and wood. The oldest homes are square, rectangular, or oval in shape. They had thatched roofs (often made of straw or reed bundles) supported by wooden poles, the foundation holes for which are often evident. The windows were usually only small openings in the wall, covered with bamboo or wooden shutters.
The people lived inside these simple houses, which sometimes had only one room, but also ashed house temples, government buildings, large warehouses, and even palaces. The greatest architectural achievements of the early Chinese were built with stone, including walls, bridges, roads, and monuments. But most structures were made of wood, especially when you consider that China is known for its magnificent trees.
They used wood, bone, ivory, copper, and bronze for tools and weapons. The Chinese invented many things including paper, printing, gunpowder, the compass, and the electric light.
But what they weren't so good at was agriculture. Most of the land was used for grazing animals or growing crops for trade rather than eating themselves. In fact, during certain periods of history, up to 90% of the population died from starvation or disease. So, you could say that they were pretty dependent on trading partners for food. However, there are regions within China where agriculture is more successful, such as in Qinghai and Tibet.
These Chinese residences were constructed in the Fujian and Guangdong areas between the 12th and 20th centuries. They are big, segmented buildings built on property where multiple families dwell. The family rooms are vertically aligned and all face the huge inner courtyard, which is generally circular or rectangular. This is the main area for gathering with friends and relatives. The walls of the courtyard are made of stone or brick and contain small windows that allow in some light but not much heat in winter time.
The first houses in China may have been simple shelters built of sticks and leaves covered with mud, but they began to be made of wood about 500 years ago. By the 10th century, Chinese architects had developed a new style of building called "fenghuang", which means "birdhouse" in Chinese. These were multistory wooden structures with large windows and balconies that looked like nests for birds. They were used primarily as living quarters but could also function as shops or theaters. By the 15th century, fenghuang had become even more sophisticated with new styles developing in different parts of China.
Fengshui is an ancient art of architecture, town planning, landscaping, and interior decorating practice that has been widely practiced in China since the Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279 AD).