Friday, May 20, 2011

Đặc trưng Kiến trúc nhà vườn truyền thống Huế - A Study on the Unique Characteristics of Hue Traditional Garden House

A Study on the Unique Characteristics of Hue Traditional Garden House (p. II)

5.3. Plan and Section
The main house of Hue Traditional Garden House is Ruong House, which are style of Vietnam Traditional House and originate in Ruong House in the North of Vietnam. According to (Chu, Q.T, 2003) and (Ngo, H.Q, 2000), Traditional House in Hue and neighboring areas are based on Traditional House in Nghe Tinh province (nowadays this province has divided into Nghe An and Ha Tinh province), an area in the North Vietnam that is contiguous to Thanh Hoa province in the North.
In the plan, Ruong House can be classified based on how many chambers in the middle that the House has: One chamber, three chambers, five chambers and two chambers. From these styles, it can be transformed into different styles such as House with three chambers can be transformed to three chambers, three chambers & two sides, Ruong with chamber ahead, Ruong “vocua” (House has space in front and this space has shell like crab shape) (Fig 16). The common style of Hue Traditional Garden House is Ruong three chambers & two sides (Fig18) and Ruong one chamber & two sides (Fig 17), Ruong five chambers & two sides is used in communal house in the village.

Fig 16: Styles of Ruong House (from left to right, up to down): Ruong 5chambers&2sides (Tran, B.T, 2004); Ruong “Vo cua” (Tran, B.T, 2004); Ruong 3 chambers&2sides; Ruong 3chambers; Ruong with chamber ahead; Ruong 1chamber &2sides


Fig 17: Ruong one chamber & two sides (From Magazine of Hue Friends – No1 in 1937)


Fig 18: Ruong three chambers & two sides (From Magazine of Hue Friends – No1 in 1937)

In the plan, Ruong House can be classified based on how many chambers in the middle that the House has: One chamber, three chambers, five chambers and two chambers. From these styles, it can be transformed into different styles such as House with three chambers can be transformed to three chambers, three chambers & two sides, Ruong with chamber ahead, Ruong “vocua” (House has space in front and this space has shell like crab shape) (Fig 16). The common style of Hue Traditional Garden House is Ruong three chambers & two sides (Fig18) and Ruong one chamber & two sides (Fig 17), Ruong five chambers & two sides is used in communal house in the village.
The important space in the House is middle space. The behind middle space is used for worship; the front middle space is used for guest and important activities. Two sides are used for bedroom or private activities. The space for kitchen, woman and servant-maid is in the Nha Phu.
Column system in Ruong House can be divided into the first row columns, second row columns, third row columns and veranda row columns (Fig 19, 20).
In section, the structure consists of frame system (Ruong system), roof system and the other system.

Fig 18: Plan of Ruong house


Fig 19: Section of Ruong House


Fig 20: Section of Ruong House (Tran, B.T, 2004)

Frame system has column, keo (timber), xa (beam) and tren. Column has the main columns (7) – the first row columns, the second row columns (5), the third row columns (3) and veranda row columns (1). Keo (16, 2, and 4) lies on the columns and sustains dontay (cross-beam). Keo from the first row columns to the second row columns is keo mai (16), keo from the second row columns to the third row columns is keo cu (4); keo from the third row columns to veranda row columns is keo quyet (2). Xa (15, 13) is used to connect the columns of first row follow the transversal point. Tren (8) is used to connect the first row columns follow the vertical point. Roof system has don tay (cross-beam) and Rui. Don tay (12a, 12) lies on Xa (beam) and sustains Rui (21). The shade of Don tay is rectangular or circular. Rui is on Don tay and sustain all the double tiles.
The other systems consist of Ram thuong, Ram ha and Screen wall that can divide the house to chambers. Ram thuong (9) is the stock parquet surrounding the first row columns in middle chambers. When having the inundation, we can put caches in this. In the sides of house, the floor is elevated from 25 to 30 meter. It is called Ram ha (24) that can prevent from moistness and the space under this floor can contain something likes terracotta, china… Normally, the screen walls are made from wood. Many craft-pictures are inscribed meticulously on this. Many craft-pictures with flowers and leaves, floating cloud… are beautiful and skilful (Tran, B.T, 2004).

5.4. Material
The structure frame in Ruong house is made from valuable woods such as Lim (Iron wood), Jack-wood, teakwood, etc. The walls are made from brick and roof is made from double tile or Liet tile (style of flat tile). On the structure, it has various beautiful craft pictures and sculptures for representing the position of the owner.

5.5. The Relationship of Hue Traditional Garden House, Hue Citadel, and Other Traditional Houses
5.5.1. Lay out
It is realize that there have correspondences between Hue Traditional Garden House and Hue Citadel while the lay out of Hue Traditional Garden House and Vietnamese Traditional Houses is similar.
Hue Traditional Garden House, like other Vietnamese Traditional Houses, often faces to the South or South East orientation, because these orientations can receive good wind flowing from the South and South East. Therefore, it exists the sentence “Lay vo hien hoa, xay nha huong Nam” (Get married with virtuous wife, build house face to the South) following the legend. There have several regions that Houses can face to other orientations depending on each geography, microclimate, or main entrance street. However, there are dominant Traditional Garden Houses that face to the same orientation as the Citadel, especial Traditional Garden Houses in the Citadel.
Like other Traditional House in Vietnamese, Hue Traditional Garden House has the similar elements such as gate, front yard, Nha Chinh, Nha Phu, livestock, water-well, pond, and various trees in the garden. However, the arrangement of these elements in Hue Traditional Garden House are more complex and it exists elements based on the belief and Feng Shui theory, such as the arrangement of these elements can follow to elevation axis, functional lines, or functional area. In the other way, it exists a basin (Be can) and masonry screen (Binh Phong) in front of Nha Chinh, and two decorative trees (Ta Thanh Long, Huu Bach Ho) located in two sides of the House that are unavailable in other Vietnamese Traditional Houses. The basin can be dried pond, small pond, or decorative trees (Fig 23). The masonry screen is made from brick with various shapes or brush (Fig 22). It is realized that these elements are similar the elements of Hue Citadel such as Perfume River and Ngu Binh Mountain are corresponded with basin and masonry screen in Hue Traditional Garden House. Hen and Da Vien sandbanks are corresponded with two decorative trees in the House (Fig 24). It can be explained that the owners of the Houses want to express their faithful attitude to the King. Therefore, they arranged these elements as the same arrangement of the Citadel, the house of Nguyen Kings. In addition, the arrangement of these elements is suitable into the belief and the mode of living of Hue people in the past. Binh phong and Be can can avoid the guest go straight into the house and it divides the alley into to part: one conducts guest turn left and come into the living space and one conducts the woman turn right and come into the kitchen and the space for woman. In fact, the two symbols expressing two guardians (Ta Thanh Long, Huu Bach Ho) are less common to see in Hue Traditional Garden Houses. The reason, following the author, is maybe these symbols are not necessary to the mode of living in the Houses.


Fig 21: Lay out of the Citadel and Hue Traditional Garden House





Fig 22: Different styles of masonry screen





Fig 23: Different styles of basin in Hue Traditional Garden House


Fig 24: The symbols expressing two guardians in Hue Traditional Garden House

In sum up, although the layout of Hue Traditional Garden House is arranged similar to other Vietnamese Traditional Houses, it has special private elements such as Be can, Binh phong, etc followed to the Citadel that are unavailable in other regions in Vietnam. It can say that the lay out of Hue Traditional Garden House is the Citadel zoom out.

5.5.2. Spatial Organization
The arrangement of Nha Chinh and Nha Phu is based on Chinese letters such as Nhat (--), Nhi (=), Cong (H), Dinh (--I), Mon (∏), and Khau (ٱ). The common styles in the North regions are Nhat, Nhi, and Mon, the common styles in the Central regions are Nhat, Dinh, and Cong. The common styles in the South are Nhat, Nhi, and Dinh. However, in Hue and surrounding regions influenced by Nguyen Dynasty, Nha Chinh and Nha Phu are separated for expressing the principal and accessory. Nha Chinh must be the main building and remain buildings should be the secondary elements.

5.5.3. Space in the plan
The spatial arrangement in the plan of Vietnamese Traditional Houses is similar (Fig 25). The space for worship is always in the middle chamber, the most important and solemn space in the house. In front of the worship space, there is the space for guest and sleep of the owner and guest. The space in two sides is bedroom of members in the family and the storage. The space for kitchen, farm instruments, and dining room are in Nha Phu. Livestock can be in Nha Phu or next to Nha Phu. However, there have several differences between these Traditional Houses.
Because the South regions are the land that Nguyen Dynasty in the Central extended during their reign therefore, the spatial arrangement in plan of the South Traditional Houses is similar to the Central Traditional Houses and develops more space based on the original style from the Central regions.
In the North, if the spaces in two sides are used for bed and storage, these spaces in the Central are divided into Chai Dong (East side) and Chai Tay (West Side). Chai Dong is for woman and Chai Tay is for man as follow the belief that is “Nam Ta Nu Huu” (Man is in the left and Woman is in the right).

Fig 25: Plan of Traditional House in the North, Central, and South regions

5.5.4. Structure frame
Long time ago, the structure of Vietnamese Traditional House was the simple structure such as Roi structure. After that, from that simple style, the structure is developed more complex, utilizable and reliable structure such as “Keo suot gia chieng”, “Keo suot qua giang”, “Qua giang keo cau”, etc (Fig. 26).




Fig 26: The deformation of structure from the simple structure to complex structure

The structure frame in the Central regions has the style that is different from the common styles in the North. The common style in this region is Ruong structure. It is improved from Roi structure. In addition, there have two other styles that are combined and developed from Roi and Ruong structures such as “Thuong Ruong Ha Roi” and “Ruong Ban Than” (Fig 27). Roi structure has middle columns that can increase the capacity of sustaining strength. In the Central regions, especially in Hue, the structure had changed from Roi to Ruong style because the development of planning and the owners are richer. Therefore, they need more spaces for living and they have enough condition for use better material that can help the house is stronger and more beautiful. In Hue, Ruong structure has more elements; they are Ram Thuong and Ram Ha. The two more spaces are used for storage and preventing from flood and moisture (Fig 28). The reason that the style of the structure frame in the Central Traditional House and in the North Traditional House different is because the houses in the Central are influenced from Nguyen Dynasty and Nguyen Dynasty want to express the opposite attitude with the government in the North. As mention above, the South regions are the land that extended by Nguyen Dynasty in the Central hence, the structure frame in the South Traditional House is formed and developed based on the structure in the Central.





Fig 27: The development from Roi structure to Ruong and other structures



Fig 28: The development from Ruong structure in Central regions to Ruong in Hue

5.5.5. Material
The general character of material in Vietnamese Traditional House is that the materials are the regional materials. The owner usually salvages the regional and existed materials for building the House. For example, the trunk of several styles of trees such as bamboo, coconut palm, etc, in the garden can be used for making the structure. The wall can be made from laterite, brick, so on. It is realized that the materials that are used for built the House change from the simple materials such as bamboo, trunk of coconut palm, thatch, straw, mud, etc to materials more advantage and utilizable such as valuable woods (iron wood, jack wood, etc), brick, double tile, Liet tile, etc.

5.5.6. Conclusion
Vietnamese Traditional Houses are formed from the simple shapes and develop based the differences of each geography, regional belief, the mode of living and the development of society. This is the reason that creates the differences of Vietnamese Traditional Houses in each region.
As the result of the mentions above, Hue Traditional Garden House is special style of Vietnamese Traditional House. Without general characteristics that exist in Vietnamese Traditional Houses, it has unique characteristics that are unavailable in other regions in Vietnam.
The layout is arranged based on Feng Shui theory and the arrangement of Hue Citadel. It looks like the Citadel zoom out that are unavailable in other Vietnamese Traditional House. Because the South regions are the areas, that Nguyen Dynasty attacked and occupied, therefore the Traditional Houses in the South regions has origin and from Traditional House in the Central and develop based on private characters of geography, belief, and the mode of living. The correspondence between Traditional Houses in the South and the Central regions can be realized in the spatial arrangement in plan and the structure such as the arrangement of living space, bedroom, worship space, etc and the structure frame is, in common, made from Roi or Ruong style.
Traditional Houses in the Central regions and in the North have several different characters that express in the layout, spatial organization, plan, structure and material. In the history, Nguyen Lords and Nguyen Dynasty want to express the opposite attitude to the government in the North hence, the mode of living, religious belief, and also the spatial arrangement of layout, plan, structure and material in the Central regions have several points different from Traditional Houses in the North, that are mentioned above.
Those differences are expressed clearly in Hue where Hue Traditional Garden House exists. Without general elements always exist in Vietnamese Traditional Houses such as Nha Chinh, Nha Phu, livestock, front yard, hedge, etc, there have private elements in Hue Traditional Garden House that are unavailable in other regions. Binh Phong and Be can are always located in front of Nha Chinh. Chai Tay is the space for man and Chai Dong is the space for woman. The structure frame in Nha Chinh is, in common, Ruong style that is improved from Roi style and different from common styles in the North regions such as “Keo suot gia chieng”, “qua giang keo cau”, “keo cau canh uc”, etc. Hue Traditional Garden Hue, itself has several points different from Central Traditional Houses. The emergent difference is the harmony combination between the house and the garden. It makes the house integrate into the nature and create the unique characteristics of Hue Traditional Garden House that are unavailable in other regions. Those characteristics make Hue Traditional Garden House is one characteristic cultural trait of Vietnam.

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W1: http://vietnamnews.vnagency.com.vn/2004-09/18/Columns/Traditional%20Miscellany.htm
W2: http://www.seasite.niu.edu/vietnamese/vnculture/culture.htm

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