tīngtáng 廳堂



  • tingtang (Pinyin without tones)1
  • 廳堂 (Traditional Chinese)
  • 厅堂 (Simplified Chinese)
  • tīngtáng (Pinyin)1
  • t'ing-t'ang (Wade-Giles)
  • mansion hall (ATTCAT preferred) (English)4
  • tingtang construction (English)2
  • mansion type (English)3
  • tingtang frameworks (English)8
  • audience-hall or reception-hall (English)5


    Tingtang is a building type of lower rank than diantang 殿堂 (dian 殿 or diange 殿閣) in the traditional Chinese building hierarchy. Ting itself can refer to a reception hall in government and domestic building compounds (Kroll 2015, 454). Tingtang is a combination of, or general term for, ting and tang and is one of the most important terms in the Song Dynasty Yingzao fashi. Tingtang was also widely used for main buildings and could describe buildings in houses and gardens as well as ancestral shrines.5

    We first see the term tingtang in the Northern and Southern Dynasties textual sources and it has been commonly used since the Song Dynasty, although not as frequently as ting 廳, tang 堂 or tingshi 廳事. Before the Yuan and Ming dynasties the word tingtang constituted two distinct building types. Ting and tang were used on different occasions; ting was a more formal building, while tang was a more casual building. In domestic spaces, tang served as the core area for family members and was where family rituals, such as weddings and funerals, were conducted. In terms of layout, tang were always positioned behind ting.

    After the Ming dynasty, the distinctions between ting and tang became blurred, and “tingtang” became a general term for both ting and tang buildings. In many cases the terms ting and tang are interchangeable.

    Modern scholars are primarily interested in the term tingtang because of the Yingzao fashi. Chen Mingda 陳明達 and Pan Guxi 潘谷西 have argued that tingtang is one of the main structural types in the Tang and Song dynasties, the other being diantang 殿堂.6

    Regarding tingtang as a structural type, in most recent scholarship on Chinese architectural history, the tingtang is also described as the most important building in houses and gardens. Therefore, in modern scholarship on Chinese architectural history, tingtang can either refer to a structural type or to a building type(諸葛,2021). 7




Related concepts

Works Cited

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  • 1 陳. 2010. 《營造法式》辭解, 479.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 2 FU. 2017. Traditional Chinese Architecture: Twelve Essays, 258.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 3 GUO. 1999. The structure of Chinese timber architectureLink to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 4 2019. ATTCAT 2019Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; FU. 2017. Traditional Chinese Architecture: Twelve EssaysLink to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 5 KROLL. 2015. A Student's Dictionary of Classical and Medieval Chinese, 454.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 6 陈. 1966. 应县木塔Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 潘. 2005. 《营造法式》解读Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 7 诸葛. 2021. “厅堂”与“厅堂(式构架)”:一个词语的分裂史Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 8 FU. 2017. Traditional Chinese Architecture: Twelve Essays, 259.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record

How to Cite This Entry

Tracy Miller et al., “ 廳堂 tīngtáng” in Architectura Sinica last modified July 14, 2022, https://architecturasinica.org/keyword/k000129.


Tracy Miller et al., “ 廳堂 tīngtáng.” In Architectura Sinica, edited by Tracy Miller. Entry published May 18, 2020. https://architecturasinica.org/keyword/k000129.

About this Entry

Entry Title: 廳堂 tīngtáng

Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:

  • Tracy Miller, editor, Architectura Sinica
  • ZHUGE Jing 諸葛凈, associate editor, Architectural Terminology
  • ZHUGE Jing 諸葛凈 and Xue Jinbo 薛景勃, entry contributors, “ 廳堂 tīngtáng
  • Tracy Miller, entry contributor, “ 廳堂 tīngtáng

Additional Credit:

  • Website coordination by Yuh-Fen Benda
  • Editing, proofreading, data entry and revision by Tracy Miller
  • Peer review by ATTCAT 2019
  • English proofreading by Aurelia Campbell Tracy Miller
  • Chinese proofreading by ZHUGE Jing 諸葛净 ZUO Lala 左拉拉
  • Data entry, adding citations by SUN Zheng
  • Data entry, adding citations by CHEN Baolong
  • Adding notes, bibliography, photo LI Zhixian 李知賢

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