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
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.
- 2 LIANG. 2005. Chinese architecture: a pictorial history, 11.
- 3 梁. 1981. 清式營造則例, 84.; 40., 40.
- 4 2016. 中国古代建筑技术史, 265.
Broad Match: roof types
How to Cite This Entry
Bibliography: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”
- Website coordination by Yuh-Fen Benda
- Preliminary research CMW 2021
- Data entry, adding citations 2021 by MIAO Tongxi 繆彤茜
- Data entry, adding links 2021 by ZHANG Xuliang 張序亮
- 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
Copyright and License for Reuse
Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.