• ting (Pinyin without tones)
  • (Traditional Chinese)
  • (Simplified Chinese)
  • tíng (Pinyin)1
  • t`ing (Wade-Giles)
  • pavilion (English)2

Note (full)

    From the pre-Qin to the Ming and Qing dynasties, the form, structure, and function of ting have undergone significant changes. During the Eastern Zhou, ting referred to a three-zhang (roughly 30 ft) high military fort. In the Eastern Han, it functioned as a station house (yizhan 驛站). It could also be a government compound serving both military and registration purposes. In literature relating to the southern part of China in the Six Dynasties period, ting were built in high places and were often recognized as landmarks or gathering spots for literati and aristocrats. During the Tang dynasty, ting were built in fortified palaces (gongcheng 宮城 or "palace-cities"), were used as residences, and were enclosed by walls. They did not have to be high buildings or placed in elevated areas. After the Song dynasty, ting were often found in gardens and used for leisurely activities. In the Yingzao fashi, the ting is considered a non-essential structural form and tingxie 亭榭, referring to this structural form in conjunction with its platform beneath, is an architectural type coined in the Yingzao fashi. Its form and location became even more flexible in Ming private gardens, though it was mainly a simple and open freestanding structure. Regardless of its transformation through time, the ting’s close connection to the appreciation of natural beauty persisted from the Wei, Jin, Northern and Southern Dynasties period through the Qing dynasty. The modern definition that ting is "a building with a roof but without enclosing walls" (He, et al. 2015, 210) is closest to the use of ting in Ming private gardens.3


Works Cited

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

  • 1 陳. 2010. 《營造法式》辭解, 241.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 2 GUO. 2002. A Visual Dictionary of Chinese Architecture, 79.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 3 何. 2018. 辭源, 210.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record

How to Cite This Entry

CHEN Baolong 陈宝龙 et al., “ tíng” in Architectura Sinica last modified November 11, 2021, https://architecturasinica.org/keyword/k000063.


CHEN Baolong 陈宝龙 et al., “ tíng.” In Architectura Sinica, edited by Tracy Miller. Entry published March 21, 2018. https://architecturasinica.org/keyword/k000063.

About this Entry

Entry Title: tíng

Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:

  • Tracy Miller, editor, Architectura Sinica
  • ZHUGE Jing 諸葛净, associate editor, Architectural Terminology
  • CHEN Baolong 陈宝龙 and ZUO Lala 左拉拉, entry contributors, “ tíng

Additional Credit:

  • Editing, proofreading, data entry and revision by Tracy Miller
  • Website coordination by Yuh-Fen Benda
  • Preliminary research CMW 2021
  • Peer review by ATTCAT 2021
  • English proofreading by Aurelia Campbell Tracy Miller
  • Chinese proofreading by ZHUGE Jing 諸葛净 ZUO Lala 左拉拉
  • Adding citations and notes by CHEN Baolong 陈宝龙

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