Surging Waves Pavilion (Canglangting) (built c. 1040 onward)
The Surging Waves Pavilion (Canglangting) is one of the oldest gardens in Suzhou. Situated in the southwest quadrant of the city, it is located directly to the west of the Confucian temple. The garden was originally constructed during the reign of Emperor Qingli (1041-49) of the Northern Song Dynasty by Su Shunqin. He named the garden "The Surging Waves Pavilion" after a poem in the anthology Songs of Chu. During the Southern Song dynasty, the site was taken over by Han Shizhong. It underwent numerous renovations in the centuries to follow, but retains its essential form.
Unlike other gardens in Suzhou, there is a strong emphasis on the contrast between constructed natural settings and the built environment. For example, the front to the garden is dominated by a wide canal linked to the main entrance by a long stone bridge. The relatively massive built forms (the bridge, the tall entrance) provide a strong counterpoint to the water. On the same note, many spaces on the interior of the garden are narrow, claustrophobic, and framed more by walls and corridors than they are by natural forms such as rockeries or vegitation.
According to the author's GPS, the Surging Waves Pavilion lies at approximately 31 17.81677' north, 120 37.26832' east (WGS84 map datum).
Plan viewDrawing by Timothy M Ciccone, based on multiple sources (see bibliography).
All images copyright 2008 Timothy M. Ciccone. Photographed May 2008.
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McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1993. New York