As was noted earlier, Higashisanjo Palace was based on a bilaterally symmetrical formula but acquired an asymmetrical layout to conform to its two-cho site. Small and medium-sized residences, with their greatly restricted sites, were one generation further removed, built with shinden-zukuri as their prototype. These were a simplified
form of the original, which emphasized the most important features and abbreviated others. The south side of the main hall, having lost most of its official ceremonial functions, was restructured primarily as a venue for the composition of linked verse and other leisure-time pursuits of the powerless nobility.
During the medieval period, in order to adapt to further reductions in site size, the main hall was reduced in scale and the symmetrical pairs of tainoya annexes, tsuri- dono fishing pavilions, chUmon inner gates, and sukiro open corridors were all omitted on one side. Asymmetrical in ground plan, a smaller shinden and a single tainoya connected by a reduced-scale sukiro with chiimon became the new standard. This is the compositional form typically seen today in Zen sub-temples, except that the shinden is now replaced by a kyakuden (guest hall) or hojo (abbot’s quarters).
Early examples of shoin-zukuri guest halls furnished with shitomido shutters and tsumado doors—seen for instance on the east facade of Onjoji’s Kojo-in—preserved the shinden-zukuri exterior image although this had no functional or stylistic relationship to the kyakuden interior (see Figure 33.1).