Up Menu
MAIN
Training
Discussion
Analysis
Korean Culture
Network
MAIN
Analysis
Training
Korean Culture
Discussion
Network
World Cultural Alliance of TAEKWONDO
World Cultural Alliance of TAEKWONDO

Taekwondo Bibles Menu

 

...

 

 

 

Palace Architecture of Ch'cagdok-kung

-Yoon, Chang Sup (Member,National Academy of Sciences)



-Cultural Background
-Characteristics of Korean Architecture
-Site Palanning and Rear Garden
-
Architecture of Injong-jon
-References



2.Characteristics of Korean Architecture



l. Architectural Design

Throughout her long history, Korean architecture has reflected the human scale, imparting a feeling of intimacy to its viewers. Few traditional Korean buildings are grand in size, Rather, they give an impression of coziness and tidiness, and are fer from being overpowering. In architectural design, Korean architects took full notice of the surrounding terrain in their efforts to create harmony with nature. No Korean building was designed to reflect confrontation with the natural environment, Both in design and engineering, artificial contrivances were subdued in favor of highlighting the beauty of nature. Care was taken to keep natural qualities intact in building materials. Korean artisans relied more on the workings of nature than on their own craft, exerting less personal ingenuity in favour of allowing greater room for the nature of the material to express itself. As a result, Korean architecture gives an impression of liberal and carefree simplicity.

In order to create visual stability and elegance of form several means were contrived. Columns were designed with entasis. The Columns on the periphery slanted slightly inward. The tops of the corner posts extended slightly higher in relation to others. And the delicate eave lines made massive roof acquire an elegant shape. A variety of decorations and colors were also used in Korean traditional architecture.

In China, decorations tended to be extremely elaborate, sometimes to the extent of superfluity or grotesqueness. To the contrary, Japanese decorations were more simple. The characteristics of decoration in Korean architecture might be considered to lie between the two, maintaining the beauty of moderation in use of color and ornament.

The primary aesthetic characteristics of traditional Korean architecrure may be defined by elegant, moderate decoration and hunlble openness in design. The moderate use of color might have decived from the country's serene landscape. The quality of humble openness must have grown out of the traditional tendency of Korean people to adapt themselves to narure.

Korean master architects must have developed these characteristics from ancient times. Their Chinese counterparts were excessively preoccupied with strict symmetry while the Japanese were extremely concerned with minute details. Korean architects hoped to present a more comprehensive order and harmony with nature for both interior and exterior space.

2. Building Construction

The basic characteristics of traditional building construction were indebted to Chinese architecrure. The main parts of a building consisted of a raised platform made of stone, a timber post-and-lintel skeleton and a heavy pitched roof with overhung eaves. All of the building matefials were utilized with an appreciative eye to respect the natural qualities of each material. The constrcuction method which permits freedom fo walling and fenestration by a simple adjustment of the proportion between the wall and the openings, renders a building practical and comfortable in any climate.

The speciaI features of this bulilding construction are the bracket sets which consist of a number of small supporting blocks calleds the 'so-ro'(toufuChinese) and bracket anns calleds the 'po' (kung in Chinese). The function of the bracket sets is to transfer the loads from the horizontal members above to the vertical members of the columns below. There are two kinds of bracket sets, namely columnar bracket sets and intercolumnar bracket sets.

The columnar bracket set system, called 'Chusimpo-sik', provides bracket sets only on the top of the columns. The intercolumnar bracket set system called 'Tapo-sik', provides one or more intercolumnar bracket sets above the lintel between two colunuls as wel as on the top of each column. The former is the older system. Since the fourteenth century, the intercolurnnar bracket system was widely used for important main buildings of the royal palaces, Buddist temples, and Confucian shrines in Korea.

In the intercolumnar bracket set system, a plate calleds the 'pyung-bang' which rests on the lintel and forms a T-shaped cross section was provided to support the intercolumnar bracket sets between columns. The number of 'chul-moti' (t'iao in Chinese), the upward projection or tier of bracket sets facing outward, was increased usually up to three tiers according to the size of building. Larger buildings had more tiers inside than out (Fig. 5).

The capital or principal bearing blocks called 'chu-du' (zuo-tou in Chinese) and the small bearing blocks, so-ro, had slanting surfaces on the lower half of each side. The bracket arms, parallel to the lintels, were cut vertically at fue upper parts of the ends, while the lower parts were convex fu shape. The bracket arms extruding at right angles to the facade of fue building were piled up to two or three tiers. The top arm, cllaed 'ik-kong', had an wing-shaped end. The other two or three arms, below the top arm, caled 'chae-kong', had slanted bracket arms with the end turned upward slighdy.

In palaces and temples, the main buildings were built according to such intercolumnar bracket sets, while secondary buildings were built with the ik-kong system with simplified bracket arnls and support!ing blocks, Thus, a MerarcMcal order of the arcMtecrural space in the complex was hept. All buildings in the in rler quarters ofpalaces were built accordblg to tfle fe-hong system.

With regard to the woodworking of colugms, beams and rafters, aarpenters always respected the natural quality and shape of the original wood and attempted to ut ilize the most natural features of the materal. They never placed the wood tt7El nh upside dow l. The methotl of suface finishing in all building matefials prorr linently rendered the qualit!y of rLlsticitK and hunlbleness.


| A Brief History of Korean Architecture. |Palace Architecture of Ch'angdok-kung |Korea contemporary architecture|