yìngshān 硬山



  • yingshan (Pinyin without tones)
  • 硬山 (Traditional Chinese)
  • 硬山 (Simplified Chinese)
  • yìngshān (Pinyin)
  • ying-shan (Wade-Giles)
  • a firm or rigid mountain (lit.) (English)1
  • flush gable roof (English)2

Note (full)

    Literally meaning “solid” or “rigid” mountain peak, yingshan is a technical term used to describe a traditional Chinese gable roof in which the eaves of the gable are flush with the surface of the wall, in contrast to one where the eaves extend past the wall plane on the gable end (see xuanshan 懸山). The term yingshan first appeared in the literature of the Qing dynasty. In the narrowest sense, yingshan refers to a roof that has front and rear slopes, in which the purlins are sealed within the walls of the gable ends (Liang 2006, 84; Yao 1986, 40). More broadly, yingshan is regularly used to refer to a gable roof in which the top of the gable ends extend to the eaves tiles or, in some cases, can even extend above the level of the roof.3

    We cannot confirm the earliest appearance of yingshan style roofs, however, we do know that they were widely used in the Ming dynasty. The spread of this roof style was likely related to new brick-making techniques and the popularization of brick during this period (Zhongguo kexueyuan ziranshi yanjiusuo 1985, 265). Although not explicitly documented in textual sources, extant examples suggest that yingshan roofs were primarily used in vernacular architecture. When used in official building complexes, yingshan roofs were usually employed in subsidiary structures, especially those abutting palace halls.4

    硬山是中國傳統建築的一種屋頂形式。“硬山”一詞最早出現在清代文獻中。狹義指前後兩坡,檁木屋架封砌於山牆之內,屋面不挑出山牆,且兩側山牆同屋面齊平的屋頂形式(梁 2006,84;姚 1986,40);廣義可指屋面不挑出山牆,兩側山牆直上與屋面平齊或高於屋面的兩坡屋頂。3

    硬山建築最早何時出現,目前並無定論,但可以確定至遲明代硬山已經出現並廣泛使用,應與燒磚技術的進步以及磚材料的普及相關(中國科學院自然科學史研究所 1985,265)。硬山建築的等級不高,雖然文獻中沒有明確記載,但從現存建築實例看,硬山多用於民間建築,在官式建築中硬山一般用於宮殿建築群中的附屬建築。4

Related concepts

Works Cited

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

  • 1 KROLL. 2015. A Student's Dictionary of Classical and Medieval Chinese, 560.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 2 LIANG. 2005. Chinese architecture: a pictorial history, 11.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 3 梁. 1981. 清式營造則例, 84.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 40., 40.
  • 4 2016. 中国古代建筑技术史, 265.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record

Broad Match: roof types

How to Cite This Entry

JIA Tingli 賈亭立, “ 硬山 yìngshān” in Architectura Sinica last modified November 10, 2021, https://architecturasinica.org/keyword/k000147.


JIA Tingli 賈亭立, “ 硬山 yìngshān.” In Architectura Sinica, edited by Tracy Miller. Entry published March 12, 2021. https://architecturasinica.org/keyword/k000147.

About this Entry

Entry Title: 硬山 yìngshān

Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:

  • Tracy Miller, editor, Architectura Sinica
  • ZHUGE Jing 諸葛净, associate editor, Architectural Terminology
  • JIA Tingli 賈亭立, entry contributor, “ 硬山 yìngshān

Additional Credit:

  • Website coordination by Yuh-Fen Benda
  • Preliminary research CMW 2021
  • Data entry, adding citations 2021 by MIAO Tongxi 繆彤茜
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  • 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

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