Li Jie (Li Chieh)

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fl. 1085–1110 China
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Chinese architect who revised the Chinese treatise on architectural method, Ying Zao Fa Shi.
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He was a first-rate architect and from 1092 was an assistant in the Directorate of Buildings and Construction. He must have shown promise as an architect for he was commissioned to revise the old manuals of architecture. The work was completed in 1100 and printed three years later as the treatise for which he is best known, the Ying Zao Fa Shi (Treatise on Architectural Method). This work has been called the greatest and definitive treatise of any age in the millennial tradition of Chinese architecture. The work is noted for the comprehensive range of constructions covered and the thoroughness of its instruction to architects. The detailed instructions for the construction and shaping of woodwork are not found in European literature until the eighteenth century. The illustrations are fine and the excellence of the constructional drawings makes them the earliest working drawings. He was a distinguished practising builder, as well as a writer, for he erected administrative offices, palace apartments, gates and gate towers, together with the ancestral temples of the Sung dynasty as well as Buddhist temples.
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Further Reading
J.Needham, Science and Civilisation in China, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1965, Vols IV. 2, pp. 49, 549, 551; 1971, IV. 3, pp. 84–5, 107.
LRD

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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