cǎojià 草架



  • caojia (Pinyin without tones)
  • 草架 (Traditional Chinese)
  • 草架 (Simplified Chinese)
  • cǎojià (Pinyin)1
  • ts'ao-chia (Wade-Giles)
  • rough structural frame (English)2
  • draft frame (lit.) (English)3


    As an architectural term, caojia (literally "draft frame," Kroll 2015, 34, 194), primarily appears in technical manuals such as Yingzao fashi (1103), Yuanye 園冶 (1631), and Yingzao fayuan 營造法原 (1959). It refers to the roof frame between the interior ceiling (pingqi 平棊 or caojing 藻井 in Yingzao Fashi and xuan 軒 or juan 卷 in mansion-hall (tingtang 廳堂) style architecture of the Jiangnan area during the Ming and Qing dynasties) and the roof, which is left rough (hence the term "draft") because it is not visible to the viewer (Chen 2010, 259; Yao 1986, 116).4

    In addition, the term caojia zhuzi 草架柱子 in Qing dynasty documents has a similar meaning of a "rough pillar" because, like a draft, it was not meant to exposed (Gongbu 1734, 2.21a; Guan 1644-1911, 29; Li 1795, 17.6a).4

    草架作為建築術語,主要出現在《營造法式》(1103)、《園冶》(1631)及《營造法原》(1959)中。指室內天花(即《營造法式》中的平棊藻井代江南廳堂中的軒(卷))與屋面之間的屋架(陳 2010,259;姚 1986,116),因不露明而加工簡略。3

    此外,代文獻中也有類似用法,以“草架柱子”表明其為不露明構件而做工簡略(工部 1734, 2.21a; 官 1644-1911, 29; 李 1795, 17.6a)。3

Works Cited

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

  • 1 漢語大詞典編纂処. 2011. 漢語大詞典Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 2 GUO. 2002. A Visual Dictionary of Chinese Architecture, 21.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; FU. 2017. Traditional Chinese Architecture: Twelve Essays, 350.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 3 KROLL. 2015. A Student's Dictionary of Classical and Medieval Chinese, 34, 194.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 4 陳. 2010. 《營造法式》辭解, 259.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 姚. 1986. 营造法原, 116.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 清工部. 1734. 工程做法則例, 2.21a.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 1644-1911. 圓明園內工則例, 29.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 李. 1795. 揚州畫舫錄, 17.6a.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record

Broad Match: building frame

How to Cite This Entry

BAI Ying 白穎 et al., “ 草架 cǎojià” in Architectura Sinica last modified June 25, 2024, https://architecturasinica.org/keyword/k000183.


BAI Ying 白穎 et al., “ 草架 cǎojià.” In Architectura Sinica, edited by Tracy Miller. Entry published April 8, 2021. https://architecturasinica.org/keyword/k000183.

About this Entry

Entry Title: 草架 cǎojià

Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:

  • Tracy Miller, editor, Architectura Sinica
  • ZHUGE Jing 諸葛净, associate editor, Architectural Terminology
  • BAI Ying 白穎 and MIAO Tongxi 繆彤茜, entry contributors, “ 草架 cǎojià

Additional Credit:

  • 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
  • Data entry and adding notes and citations by MIAO Tongxi 繆彤茜

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