The type of courtyard house, as found within the Inner City of Beijing, is a well-developed Chinese housing typology. All houses in this area share a homogeneous pattern and texture in form and spatial layout. Particularly, certain distinguishing features can be easily identified across houses. This paper explains: (1) the outstanding features found in almost all courtyard houses in the city of Beijing, as well as in other cities across China, (2) the reasons why these features were preserved for more than two thousand years, (3) the socio-cultural driving forces that have maintained these features historically, and (4) the challenges they now face. It is hoped that this paper will attract some public attention regarding the conservation of this piece of historical and cultural heritage in China.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/cschan/5/