chuāndòu 穿鬥


  • chuandou (Pinyin without tones)
  • 穿鬥 (Traditional Chinese)1
  • 穿斗 (Simplified Chinese)
  • chuāndòu (Pinyin)
  • ch'uan-tou (Wade-Giles)
  • penetrating and interlocking (lit.) (English)3
  • column-and-tie-beam frameworks (English)2
  • post-and-tie constructions (English)4


    The “penetrating and interlocking framework” (chuandou 穿鬥) is one of the two main categories of Chinese timber-frame structures, the other being “interlocking and lifting beams” (擡梁 táiliáng). In the chuandou structural system, several layers of tie-beams are tenoned through the pillars to join them together and the pillars support the purlins directly without the use of a bracketing layer. Chuandou has a verbal connotation, referring to a particular procedure of construction. First, pillars of the truss-like framework perpendicular to the roof ridge are connected by the tenoning work of chuan, and then multiple frames of different bays are interlocked parallel to the roof ridge by the work of dou to form the whole timber-frame structure. The earliest known textual use of the term chuandou was in the work of architectural historians in the 1940s, who were learning the terminology of craftsmen in southwestern China. The term came to be used to describe the structural system of timber-frame domestic architecture in southern China. Other terms for this structural system include chuandou 穿逗, litie 立貼, and chuandou 串斗.

    穿鬥是中國傳統建築最主要的構架類型術語之一(與之相對應的術語是擡梁)。這一命名最早在1940年代由建築史學者根據中國西南地區的工匠術語總結而來,後被用來描述南方民間建築的木構架形式。 穿鬥式木構架,又稱穿逗式、串斗式等,是指以檁下立柱,柱由多層穿枋串起來為基本特征的構架形式。從字面意思來解釋,這一術語包含了這一構架特定的施工過程的意思,即先通過“穿”將各榀屋架組合起來,再通過“鬥”用檁條等構件將各榀屋架連接為整體。

Related concepts

Works Cited

Any information without attribution has been created following the editorial guidelines.

  • 1 刘. 2000. 中國建築類型及結構, 56.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 刘. 1980. 中国古代建筑史, 4.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 2 FU. 2017. Traditional Chinese Architecture: Twelve Essays, 351.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 3 2018. ATTCAT 2018Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 4 GUO. 2002. A Visual Dictionary of Chinese Architecture, 25.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record

Broad Match: building frame

How to Cite This Entry

BAI Ying 白穎, “ 穿鬥 chuāndòu” in Architectura Sinica last modified August 31, 2020,


BAI Ying 白穎, “ 穿鬥 chuāndòu.” In Architectura Sinica, edited by Tracy Miller. Entry published May 17, 2019.

About this Entry

Entry Title: 穿鬥 chuāndòu

Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:

  • Tracy Miller, editor, Architectura Sinica
  • ZHUGE Jing 諸葛凈, associate editor, Architectural Terminology
  • BAI Ying 白穎, entry contributor, “ 穿鬥 chuāndòu

Additional Credit:

  • Website coordination by Yuh-Fen Benda
  • Initial research and revision by BAI Ying 白穎
  • Peer review by ATTCAT 2018
  • Data entry, editing, revision and proofreading by Tracy Miller
  • English editing and proofreading by Aurelia Campbell
  • Chinese editing and proofreading by Zhuge Jing 諸葛凈
  • Adding citations by Melanie Lu
  • Revising title statement by SUN Zheng 孫正

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