píngzhù 平柱



  • pingzhu (Pinyin without tones)
  • 平柱 (Traditional Chinese)2
  • 平柱 (Simplified Chinese)
  • píngzhù (Pinyin)
  • p'ing-chu (Wade-Giles)
  • level pillars (lit.) (English)
  • leveling pillars (preferred) (English)1
  • central bay columns (English)3


    In traditional Chinese timber-frame architecture, leveling pillars are the two eaves pillars framing the central bay on the sides of the building parallel to the roof ridge. Leveling pillars are used as a standard height for calculating the height of other pillars across the façade, as they increase in height from the center towards the corners of the building, allowing for an upward curvature of the eaves (生起 shengqi). The term appears in the Yingzao fashi (1103) and in other official documents written by officials during the Song Dynasty (960-1279) to describe the architecture of mausolea. Modern architectural historians use this term to describe central-bay pillars on all sides of a building dating from the Tang (618-907) to early Ming (1368-1644) dynasties.


Related concepts

Works Cited

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

  • 1 ATTCAT 2018
  • 2 李. 2009. 營造法式 (1103; 故宫藏抄本), 4b.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 陳. 2010. 《營造法式》辭解, 111.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 王. 2007. 中国古建筑术语辞典, 88.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 3 GUO. 2002. A Visual Dictionary of Chinese Architecture, 63.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record

Broad Match: building frame

How to Cite This Entry

ZHUGE Jing 諸葛净, “ 平柱 píngzhù” in Architectura Sinica last modified September 5, 2020, https://architecturasinica.org/keyword/k000064.


ZHUGE Jing 諸葛净, “ 平柱 píngzhù.” In Architectura Sinica, edited by Tracy Miller. Entry published March 21, 2018. https://architecturasinica.org/keyword/k000064.

About this Entry

Entry Title: 平柱 píngzhù

Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:

  • Tracy Miller, editor, Architectura Sinica
  • ZHUGE Jing 諸葛净, associate editor, Architectural Terminology
  • ZHUGE Jing 諸葛净, entry contributor, “ 平柱 píngzhù

Additional Credit:

  • Website coordination by Yuh-Fen Benda
  • Initial research, data entry and revision by ZHUGE Jing 諸葛净
  • Peer review by ATTCAT 2018
  • Proofreading and revision by Tracy Miller
  • English proofreading by Aurelia Campbell
  • Chinese proofreading by ZHUGE Jing 諸葛净
  • Revising title statement by SUN Zheng 孫正

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