Ceramic tile roofs are prominent aspects of East Asian architecture. The kiln-fired interlocking pieces create a waterproof cover that protects less durable structural materials like wooden ridges, rafters, beams, and columns. This construction practice first developed in China and came to Korea in the fourth century with Buddhism. Across East Asia, similar building principles were used for both religious and secular structures. Although the tiles featured in this show have survived at archaeological sites, their buildings have not.
Fundamental elements of a traditional timber-frame building include a ceramic tile roof, wooden supporting framework, and stone foundation. The architectural model and its drawings shown here are reconstructions based on the remains of a large-scale building in Iksan that is believed to have been a main palace hall of the Baekje kings. Rendered at a scale of 1:50, the actual construction measured over 115 feet wide and had an area of almost 7,000 square feet. Names of principal parts of a traditional building are also indicated on the drawing.