The majority of recently constructed houses have no tian- jitig courtyard—the tang is entered directly from the street. They generally have two stories and are composed of a central tang flanked by four woshi stacked lengthwise two on each side, with the chufang at the rear (Figures 65.1-65.2).
Large window openings are cut into the walls of each room, making the rooms—and the chufang in particular—remarkably bright. The standard woshi-tang-woshi pattern, however, remains unchanged.
Because contemporary houses are one-family dwellings, they are no longer surrounded by high walls. The woshi and chufang are fitted with large windows. They are much more open than traditional dwellings. Houses in communities formed of these single-family dwellings face onto a street or plaza that serves as the equivalent of a “communal” courtyard.
As a “communal” space in which much of the heavier, outdoor work around the home is done, the street or plaza also provides an area for chatting and enjoying one another’s company—in an expression of increasing free-