“The architecture of China is as old as Chinese civilization.” -Liang, Ssu-ch'eng
Together with European and Arabian architecture, ancient Chinese architecture is an important component of the world architectural system. During its long development, it gradually formed into a style which featured timberwork combining stone carving, rammed earth construction, bucket arch buildings and many other techniques. The structural principles of Chinese architecture, determined by environmental conditions and social concepts, have remained largely unchanged for thousands of years, except for the decorative details. Join us for these talks on Chinese architecture found at Lan Su and abroad!
This talk will introduce the layperson to the construction of the beautiful traditional masonry roofs seen in the Chinese Garden. The talk will be accompanied by photos of their internal masonry construction and detailed description of how they are currently being repaired.
Gabriel Weiss is a third generation mason who specializes in the repair and construction of traditional masonry. Gabriel has a keen interest in Chinese language and culture and has traveled extensively through China.
In Chinese philosophy, yin and yang govern everything from individual and collective history to medicine and diet. In this talk, we will explore some of the ways in which Lan Su Chinese Garden’s architecture and design both conceal and reveal the intrinsic oneness of yin and yang, thus creating a deeply balanced and harmonious environment.
Daniel Skach-Mills is an award-winning author and poet. He has received awards from the Body, Mind, Spirit Book Awards and The National Indie Excellence Awards (2018), the Next Generation Indie Book Awards (2015/2013), the 21st Annual Writer’s Digest Book Awards (2013), and the Oregon Book Awards (2012) sponsored by Oregon Literary Arts. Daniel lives in Portland, Oregon, where he has served as a volunteer docent for Lan Su Chinese Garden since 2005.
Throughout history our societies have been based on cultural and political hierarchy. Navigating within a culture requires understanding of these clues. The 3,5,7,9 hierarchy in classical Chinese architecture provided the organization for traditional construction and informs the design of Portland’s Lan Su Garden.
Ken Diener joined the Classical Chinese Garden Society in 1990 and was a docent volunteer, contributing over 2,500 volunteer hours in Lan Su from when it opened in 2000 until he left Portland last January. Ken has presented two First Saturday lectures on Lan Su’s architecture in 2008 and 2011. After a year traveling throughout the US, he and his wife have moved to McMinnville, OR. Ken studied architecture at NCSU, MIT and Vienna’s Technical Institute, later teaching architecture and working for architects throughout the US and abroad. He has run his own firm, KJD Architecture pc for 26 years.
Timber framing has been a staple of Chinese architecture for millennia and largely considered to the one of China’s major contributions to worldwide architectural technology. The joinery techniques engineered and standardized centuries ago are still employed by master woodworkers internationally. While Ming architecture tends to appear more modern and restrained than the stylings of earlier dynasties, the woodwork of the scholar’s garden are still rich with classic symbolism and imagery. In this talk, we will look at some of these techniques and materials used in the structures of Lan Su, from the mortise and tenon joints to the intricate carved fly panels.
Lynne Barrett is the Director of Facilities and Safety at Lan Su Chinese Garden. After majoring in painting and drawing at California College of Arts and Crafts, she decided to pursue a life in the building trades. She has spent most of her career working in various aspects of construction, from building new custom homes in the Berkeley hills, to project managing energy efficient retrofits here in the Pacific Northwest. While she still paints occasionally, she has found her creative passion in woodworking.
As a member, you and a guest may visit as frequently as you like. Enjoy discounts on Lantern Viewing tickets and other special events, discounts in the Teahouse and Garden Shop plus so much more.
Lan Su Chinese Garden offers infinite paths to discovery, whether you are a visitor simply taking in the beauty of the garden for the first time or a member who comes back day after day to sip tea in the teahouse. One visit just isn’t enough to take in the depth and abundance of experiences. Lan Su is ever-changing — by the minute, by the hour, and with the seasons. Learn more and plan your visit today.
239 Northwest Everett Street, Portland, Oregon 97209
Call Us: 503.228.8131
Lan Su Chinese Garden
220 NW 2nd Avenue, Suite 1050, Portland, Oregon 97209
Members, donors and visitors help keep Lan Su healthy and growing. Lan Su is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and all donations and memberships are tax deductible. Lan Su’s Federal Tax ID number (EIN) is 93-1296840.