浙江传统建筑大木工艺硏究

by Shi Hong Chao, 2016, Southeastern University Doctoral Paper

  • 随着社会和经济的快速发展,传统建筑营造面临着急速的转型,传统工艺无人问津,后继乏人。笔者调研的传统大木匠师中,不少九十岁以上的老匠师还在工地上坚持,五六十岁的为主力军,四五十岁的壮年旺师凤毛麟角,四十岁以下的则极难寻觅。大量区域的传统营造匠艺已经失传,而尚保有传统营造活动的一些区域,随着老工匠们的相继老去,多地也面临传承断链的危险。因此,对传统建筑营造匠艺进好抢救性研究,仍然是建筑史学界不能放松的重要任务,是与时间赛跑的工作。
  • 但另一方面,浙江是一个经济发达的省份,持续的开发热潮,使得浙江在传统建筑遗产和传统匠师流失方面情况惨烈,抢救性研究刻不容缓。
  • 本论文从实证的角度,以浙江当代大木师傅的技艺调研为主要依据。随着时代的发展,传统建筑营造技艺也一直在发生着变化。在组织上,绝大多数匠师都己经被纳入到由个体所有制或集体所有制转变成的现代私营企业中;在加工工具上,越来越多的现代机械设备被运用在传统建筑营造中;在营造尺制上,有些匠师采用传统鲁班尺与现代公尺的双尺制,但更多匠师己经完全抛弃鲁班尺,改用公尺。但是,他们的设计和施工体系、思维体系还是传统的,现代化企业只负贵项目的管理工作,具体的营造还是依靠把作师傅按照传统方式来掌控的。如果不及时将之做出总结提炼,浙江就会和苏北、东北等地一样,传统工艺再也无人可寻,只能从实物中主观分析了。
  • 在研巧中,必然要面临区分传统与非传统的问题。论文希望尽力获取师承传递的老做法,得到较为纯粹的传统营造匠艺。但在具体工作中,笔者发现达到这一目标是非常困难的。在当下的营造中,有承继传统的做法,但也有很多做法己经做了现代化的改变,工艺、形制、材料、工具都在发生着改变。变化是必然的,是时时发生的,因此研究的对象可以称之为”当下的传统”,笔者只是尽量做到厘清哪些是传统承继下来的老工艺,哪些是经过改良的新做法,但是该个区别的边界往往是模糊的。
  • 本论文采用的一个非常重要的研究方法是进行对比研巧。论文在宏观、中观、微观3个层次上进行对比研究。宏观层面是浙江省与其他相邻省份间的对比,中观层面是浙江省内几个区划范围间的对比,微观层面是一个区划范围内不同地方、不同营造团队间的对比。宏观层面的对比凸显浙江省与周边相邻省份间的建筑互动和彼此间的渊源关系;中观层面的对比,明确浙江几大区划类型间的典型差异或相互关联;微观层面的对比则凸显浙江传统匠芝的多样性和个性化特征。
  • 兰个层面的对比在内容上都包括建筑形制、营造工艺两大类。建筑形制的对比既有可视的显性形制,又包括不可视的隐性形制。建筑的构架类型、结构方式,梁、柱、擦等大木构架的尺度与形状等都是湿性形制;而构件间的禅卯则是隐形形制的主要部分。在营造工艺的对比中,论文将对各地各营造团队间的杖杆、讨照法等方面进行细致的挖掘。

渐江传统大木营造基础

  • 传统建筑木作工种主要分大木作和小木作,相应的工匠称为大木匠和小木匠。在民间,大木匠和小木匠的区分往往并非那么清楚,很多工匠都是大木、小木兼做,常根据需要灵活变化,甚至还包括做家具的细木。笔者采访的很多工匠,跟着师傅学好大木后,找不到活干,就改为做家具,后来文物建筑修镶的活越来越多,又重新回到大木行当里来。
  • 传统的营造都是由一名把作师傅带领几位到十几位工匠组成小营造团队接活做。团队成员包括:把作师傅、一般的大木师傅、半作师傅、徒弟和蛮工等五个级别。过去学徒的规矩是跟着师傅学3年,这3年是没有工钱的。H年过后再给师傅做3年,这3年有工钱,但工钱比较低。做完六年后,不管选择自己做,还是继续跟着师傅做,都可W拿到正常的工钱了。营造团队中的半作师傅就是3年学徒期己满,还要跟师傅做3年的人。徒弟则是还在3年学徒期的人。蛮工则是做小工、杂活的人。
  • 笔者调研的匠师,并非都学完了H年,学徒3年后还拿很少工钱跟着师傅做3年的人就更是寥寥无几了因此在现在的营造团队中,只有把作师傅、一般大木匠师和蛮工3个层次的匠师,半作师傅和徒弟几乎没有了。
  • 这种由把作师傅带上几名到十几名工匠接活做的小营造团队在浙江还存在,但数量己经越来越少,工程一般都在把作师傅的家乡方圆不远的地方,因技术好、口碑好,而得到活干。所接任务大多是民间集资的庙宇、祠堂等新建或修簿。温州瑞安的徐启礼师傅、临海的徐文彪师傅都采用这种模式。跟着把作师傅做的也都是本乡本王的匠师,大家长期合作,配合默契。
  • 浙江多数营造队伍都是由正规古建筑公司管理的,按规模有两种类型。一种是小型公司
    化的团队,如宁波粪中兴老师所带领的团队、温州瑞安李景广的团队。工匠以当地匠师为主,做”生活”也以当地的项目为主。团队的头是管理的人,负责找项目、买材料、给大家发工资。管理者与团队中技术头目把作师傅联系最为紧密,大家常常合作许多年头。糞中兴老师团队中的把作师傅主要是任明华师傅和庄永伟师傅。任师傅75岁了,是把作师傅中年龄较长的一位,庄永伟师傅52岁,在把作师傅中属于非常年轻的一代。李景广经理下的老司头则是合作已经20年的王焕重师傅。王焕重师傅的弟弟王焕读是木工房主管,代替李景广经理进巧施工现场的管理,包括材料、安全等的管理。第二种是大型的古建筑公司。浙江的临海市古建筑工程公司、杭州园林工程有限公司、东阳方中古建公司等都是这种类型。大木底师们与公司是较为松散的聘用关系,并不是公司里的固定员工。
  • 公司最为重视把作师傅,一般都希望与好的把作师傅保持稳定的合作关系。持别是现在工匠越来越少,懂行的把作师傅更是少之又少。
  • 浙江目前还出现了一种行业协会的组织方式。过去在外做工的同乡匠师们会成立营造行会,比如1918年在上海成立的”浙宁水木公所”就是宁波籍的工匠们建立起来的同乡团队。这些同乡团队本着”亲帮亲,邻帮邻”的互助精神。但这种行会在解放后基本被取消了。解放后到改革开放前,匠师们不能独立做工,基本都得加入集体组织的合作社。当前,浙江成立的比较好的协会是永嘉县古建筑协会,送是一个民间组织。工匠师傅每年向协会交纳200元的会费,协会介绍工程给旺师。同时,协会组织培训,并有专职管理人员,负责项目的质量管理、检查等工作。协会同样重视带班师傅,目前共有带班师傅七八个。协会作为一个新事物,容易被年轻一些的匠师所接受,目前协会中年龄最大的匠师62岁,最年轻的30几岁。参加协会的带班师傅全都是五十多岁的。

Thoughts about model making

What if we have models over the period of 6 months showing different connections and different conditions – there is no way to make amendments so these need to be experiments

  • Water
    • Soaked
    • Dripping
    • Constant flow (water pump)
  • Effect of water on timber
  • Heated environment
  • Timber in Brick & Mortar
    • What is the material of the mortar
    • What kind of brick
    • What kind of configuration of brick
  • Brick in Timber
  • Concrete in Timber
  • Steel in Timber
  • This can be a whole system of water flow testing different materials and joints

The models should also be made in three parts

  1. Masterplan level (city)
  2. Design level (region)
  3. Material level (room)

Fairy Water: reflections on construction

The workshop began with a mock up tests of little elements – wall, roof and brick. This was an exercise to get familiar with the local materials, crafts and masons. It then moved on to combination of the different designs into a single pavilion, with input from Gao. When design was confirmed, the construction began with the collection of materials and then the actual building of the structure.

Design was not so important in this workshop, especially when there was not a function allocated to the pavilion, other than to look onto the Guest House. It was meant as a temporary structure, for two years and will be demolished when the community centre is built on the same location. I learnt more about the design of joints and elements than the design of the whole structure. However, it was interesting that the aim of the pavilion was to be a catalogue of different material connections and possibilities in the village. If the design actually was that, it would have been very interesting.

People’s opinions about materials – mud bricks and not able to reuse it; grey bricks and its beauty; mortise and tenon and needless to use nails; social stigma

Chinese architecture is inward-looking. There are joints that you don’t see and the magic happens on the inside.

Brick

Bricks are divided into several types in this village.

  1. Grey bricks (Qing Zhuan) are traditional materials used in the Guest House. They are soft bricks, fired slowly with charcoal in special urns, over water. After they are fired, they are then clamped and sanded against each other to create a smooth surface on the facing side. This process takes a long time. The masons are very proud of the historical technique and the beauty that it creates. However, they no longer do it because of the complexity and effort. The mortar used for this is then usually gypsum mixed with organic glues found in crops.
  1. Red bricks (Hong Zhuan) are common materials found now in the village and area. They used to be made in the village by the villagers but now can be bought simply on the market. They are fired in urns quickly and so they are harder and cannot be sanded. The result is a rough finish. This kind of bricks come in two sizes, 10, 20, 30 and a smaller size. The mortar used is normally gypsum or cement with gypsum for decorative lining.
  1. Mud bricks (Tu Zhuan) are traditional materials used in common houses in the village and area. They are made with sand and water and air dried. If left out to dry in the sun, the surface might dry too quickly and crack. The way to test the mud bricks is to drop it on the ground from head height and see if it withstands the impact. There is also mud mortar made from the same material and could be used as temporary or permanent joints. Mud bricks cannot be reused.

Brick construction techniques

We wanted to test the wall and the points of insertion for timber – a typical condition found in the timber-brick buildings. Together with the mason, we first laid out the typical wall types used in construction in the village (Appendix a) and then tried one typical way of inserting a timber beam into the brick wall (Appendix b). The current way of insertion either leaves a hole in the wall while constructing it, and hence disrupts the pattern, or knock out a hole in the wall post-construction which damages the structural stability of the wall. We wanted to test if there is a way to allow for flexibility and stability at the same time. The different ways of new walls were made to create holes at regular intervals along the length of the wall. Timber elements such as beams, purlins, staircases or even furniture can then be inserted into the wall. This idea of flexibility also comes from the buildings in the village which are constructed at different times for different purposes. Flexibility allows for practical expansion of the buildings. The title of the mock up was engineered holes.

However, during the testing of these mock ups, there needed to have a tie-brick in between the two walls to ensure structural stability. Working the tie brick into the patterns then became a challenge and in the end we resorted to overlaying the layers of bricks in cantilevers to eliminate the need for tie bricks (Appendix c). Another important point to consider is the position of the beams. The location of holes in the wall has been arbitrary but the angle of the roof is standardised to be 1 in 2 (40cm length, 20cm height) in order to make sure that the roof tiles can sit properly and angle is sufficient for water drainage, but also because of the use of bricks and half bricks. Therefore, adjustments also needed to be considered to the wall to allow for the beam position.

There are also holes made in the upper parts of the walls of typical brick building so as to insert beams into it to build the second storey. The holes are then later filled with mortar or half bricks. In the construction of a typical brick room, bricklaying begins from the corners and moves inward. The bricks in the middles could be half-bricks.

Mortar placement was an interesting exercise. The typical way of placing it was to scrape on the sides and none in the middle or the side of the bricks. During actual construction, this was deemed to be unsafe as there is insufficient amount of cement/mortar between the bricks. Also, the masons use mortar to level the bricks because of the uneven sizes of the recycled bricks. This was also deemed to be structurally unsound.

In terms of foundation, the retaining walls and the columns should be tied in together to withstand horizontal forces. However, during the construction of the pavilion, some areas were not tied in together and the columns have to be rebuilt.

During construction of the pavilion, we wanted to test this technique and insert a staircase into the wall. However, one of the major problems with this is that the wall must be tall enough and have a sufficient amount of mass above the staircase in order to hold the timber elements down. Having a half wall does not allow for such a technique and this brick wall became more decorative than functional.

Timber

Material and gathering

Typical timber in the area is Chinese fir, Kampur and pine. Kampur is the cheapest and most common one. There are some historic forests in the area but to fall trees in there would need the trees to have died first. In India apparently they nail steel bars in a circle around the tree trunk and the tree will die. Kampur and fir are planted and felled with permit. The best kind of timber is regrown timber (chopped once and regrown from the same stump) and they are not easy to be corrupted. Typical ways to waterproof the trees is to apply layers of Tong Oil, which prevents it from termites and also rain. It is also advisable to lift the timber 20cm away from the ground to prevent water from entering into it.

On the hills behind the Big House Group of Fairy Water Village, there is a forest of Eucalypts which is forested to make paper. It is grown by the government as it grows very rapidly. However, because of the its need for a massive amount of water, it damages the soil.

Historic trees could also apply for licensing and protection. Once the tree is licensed, anyone trying to harm it is punishable by law.

Termites were present on site and a termite expert was invited to examine the site and the Guest House. Termites are scared of sunlight and dig tunnels to protect themselves from the sun. They leave traces which are visible as elevated tunnels of soil. Once disturbed, they escape and are difficult to find again. The best way to deal with termites is to first leave it and then leave possibilities to trace it. To get rid of termites, either find the queen termite, extinguish her and then the colony will die, or poison the termite/soil. The second way is the most typical but is harmful for health. When there are young children, it is advisable to leave the building for a week before opening it to this particularly vulnerable group. There might also be a type of poison that affects the termites as they communicate with each other.

Recycled timber is available cheaply around the village and there are houses with new, unused timber or old timber from demolished houses. When MM brought us around the place, it was interesting that she would point out the old buildings and how we can demolish it to get this piece of timber or that wall of bricks. Obviously these buildings do not matter in her eyes or even the villagers’ eyes. The contrast between the attitude towards this building and towards the Guest House is quite different. The quality of recycled timber is not very clear. It was not a good idea to do material viewing at night. We could have insisted more on buying new timber because that would have saved us time and labour costs in processing the old timber pieces.

Communication

Using recycled timber was difficult in terms of communication with the carpenter. However, I do feel that this carpenter is a special case. The rest of the people were much easier to communicate with. We (me and Jeff) began with showing him the 3D Rhino model of the design. It is understandable that this is not very clear. We then moved on to giving him plans and sections of the structure. However, spending the first two days doing mock ups we realised that the plans and sections do not communicate our ideas to him and he is building things that are not out intentions. Following that we decided that the easiest way is to make a physical model so that he could see the structure – also very importantly the different levels of the ground. The model was made of chopsticks and scrap wood pieces and was labelled heavily to simplify the process for the carpenter. This was successful as the discussions were able to focus on the model and we could pin-point which joint and beam we are discussing etc. The carpenter also referred to the model often when he is working to ensure that he is making the joints right.

 The model also served very interestingly as a conversation piece between us and the villagers/curious onlookers. I had placed a pile of paper near the model to invite people to write their comments, although this was not very successful. However, having that physical and visual representation of what we are trying to build is an important communication tool to reach the villagers. It might also be that any structure that we build in the future, there is a communication through physical models. Maybe the design involvement and workshop could use models instead of drawings.

Timber joints

Timber is fixed onto each other with mortise and tenon joints (Appendix e). We observed the carpenters making these joints and recorded the process. When a new set of equipment arrived we sanded the chisels and axe and participated in the making process, starting with making a work bench (Appendix f). Beams and columns are locked into each other with mortise and tenon joints and end pegs. The beams could be stacked on top of each other and connected together with pegs to make thicker beams. The beams have to be vertically staggered to minimise compromise to the timber and not creating a four-way hole at any one point of the timber. The direction of the beams (vertically or horizontally) is controlled not by the position of the mortise but by the shape of the tenon (angled or straight). The pieces are made off-site and then transported on-site for assembly.

Connection between timber and brick became problematic. This is because the brick columns were standing alone and unstable when finished and there is a need to lock in the bricks column with the timber column. THe more continuously connected the structure is the more stable it is. The current practice is to place the timber on top of the brick. The team was unsure that this is sufficient joining between the two different materials. There were two proposed solutions, one to add a metal plate on the bottom of the brick, subject to the availability of steel plates. The other is to make timber parts on all columns which then act as clamps to prevent the timber from sliding off (Appendix d).

The other issues on structural stability included the viability of timber columns that have cracks in them. There were doubts whether the cracking is a cause for concern. The carpenter was not worried as apparently only cracked wood is able to dry properly. However, some of the timber has huge cracks across the length of the wood and we ultimately decided to use a thicker piece of timber to replace these cracked ones. The other option is to use steel ties to tie around the timber, however, these were not readily available (Appendix d).

The structural stability of the two standing columns were an issue. The proposed solutions included knocking them down and making a new wall tied into the columns so that the columns could at least withstand one direction of the horizontal forces. Negotiations with the workers resulted in a compromise using a different solution as they have already rebuilt columns twice and are very happy about redoing work again. This solution is to make a timber clamp in between the two columns and hold them together. This could also be applied to the other side and thus unsure that on both directions there is resistance (Appendix d).

Construction on Site/Brickwork

Clearing the site – work on site started with clearing the vegetation and grass. This included burning the site. However, this could only be done when the vegetation has been cut and left out to dry for at least a night. This way we can ensure that it will actually burn.

Fengshui – there is not much belief in Fengshui in the area. MM and Gao seem to have more respect for the Fengshui than the actual villagers do. This is something interesting – Fengshui is now viewed as a part of the culture of Chinese architecture and something to be respected and imposed from the outsider, as a method to reconnect to the past almost.

Fairy Water: column reinforcement

11

The traditional way of connecting timber to brick in the village was to simple place it on top, there is very little concern for the potential horizontal forces during mud slides and other natural disasters. The solution that we introduced was to have metal plates connected to the timber and casting the metal plate into the brick column with concrete.

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