This book focuses on the woven arch bridge, an arch-shaped structure that is one of the most extraordinary timber building traditions of the world. The woven arch bridge exists widely in different cultures and its specific nature is conceptualized by the author as a kind of “universal uniqueness,” challenging widespread viewpoints on its origin and genealogy.
Taking this argument as its main thread, the book traces the histories of different woven-arch-bridge-cultures and investigates in particular the woven arch bridge in the mountains of Southeast of China from three angles, using both archaeological and anthropological methods. Resting upon these case studies, a definition of typology and a new theory of structural evolution are established, while the book also draws comparisons between western and eastern timber building cultures and offers new insights on the differences between East Asia and Europe.
The book also provides a large number of examples and illustrations of the bridge, and will be of great value and inspiration for architects and scholars studying the history of architecture, bridges, and construction, while also appealing to general readers interested in historical bridges and traditional construction technology.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction Part 1 Woven Arch Bridges: Three Stories 2. From Caesar to Da Vinci 3. A Full Moon in another Land 4. Searching for the Chinese Wooden Arch Bridges Part 2 Woven Arch Bridges in Southeast China 5. Introduction to Part 2 6. Building A Woven Arch Bridge: Local Knowledge 7. The Rulong Bridge: A Detective Story 8. Technique and Craftsmen Part 3 Conclusion 9. Rethinking the Histories of Woven arch Bridges
Liu Yan , an architectural historian, earned the degree of Doktor-Ingenieurin Bauforschung (Building Archaeology) from the Technical University of Munich, Germany. He is a Member of the Koldewey-Gesellschaft and a Junior Fellow at the Society of Fellows in Liberal Arts, Southern University of Science and Technology and now works as a lecturer at Kunming University of Science and Technology, China.