Yin Yu Tang ~ Merchant's House at Peabody Essex Museum
The Yin Yu Tang ("Hall of Plentiful Shelter") is a 200-year-old merchant's house from southeastern China that was disassembled, shipped to the United States, and re-erected at The Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts. John G. Waite Associates from Albany, New York was the architectural firm for the project.
During the conservation and re-erection, Chinese craftsmen worked alongside American craftsmen and construction workers. In the process, traditional Chinese construction practices were integrated with modern construction techniques.
Wood is an essential component of the building; it is used for the structural frame, floors, ceilings, partition walls, doors, window sash and frames, and elaborately carved interior screens.
Interior courtyard, after re-erection at museum. This central courtyard, open to the sky, was the most important source of light and air in the house. It is covered by a modern removable skylight during the winter months.
ABOVE: Longleaf Lumber provided material for the structural timberframe. Prior to assembly at the Museum, the entire timber frame was assembled off-site to verify the success of the repairs. Structural analysis and extensive load testing revealed that the original system of integrated construction was strong. The frame was taken apart and trucked to the museum, where a crane lifted it into place, piece by piece.
BELOW: Beam and column repairs and replacement pieces were made using species of American wood that were similar in character and strength to the original Chinese wood; often this required the use of our salvaged, original-growth Longleaf Southern Yellow Pine and cypress.
As part of the conservation and repair process, new woodwork was required to have the same physical characteristics as the original materials and be visually consistent with the historic character of the house. Our antique, original growth Heart Pine was used to meet these requirments.
The architects and conservators avoided the use of modern consolidants and steel reinforcement; instead, traditional wood repair techniques were used. The timber frame was re-erected using traditional joinery techniques, and traditional wood repairs were made to replace deteriorated or missing woodwork.
The material provided by Longleaf Lumber for this incredible project is
Antique Heart Pine in our Select #2 Flatsawn grade.