Yunnan Province, where Han people live together with many other minorities, is a social and cultural region with unique characteristics. Influenced by the migration of the population, the change of administrative regions and geographic environment etc in a long history, various regional types comes into being in Yunnan after a long-term integration and differentiation between Han culture and other ethnic cultures. As a result that Han Culture blended various cultures of other minorities, the civilian dwelling houses with courtyards become one of the most important problems in the researches about the local architecture of Yunnan Province.
By deeply summarizing the previous research conclusions and fully understanding the society and culture of Yunnan Province, the paper analyzed the impact that Zhongyuan Culture puts on Yunnan from the aspects of regional, historic and ethnic characteristics, and profoundly discussed the architectural modes of civilian dwelling houses in various regions, especially courtyard houses and their evolution. Because Yunnan Province is a place where many kinds of cultures are blended, the architectural development and evolution are influenced by various comprehensive factors. So the paper made use of the research methods that humanities and social science such as History, Cultural Anthropology, Cultural Geography and Typology etc connected with Architecture to establish the research mode about the traditional dwelling houses in Yunnan Province. It is the most important innovation that the paper systematically summed up the types and the distribution of the civilian dwelling houses with courtyards in Yunnan and analyzed their relation with the spread and amalgamation of many ethnic cultures.
According to the research on the characteristics and the systems of various dwelling houses with courtyards, by using the research method of Architectural Typology, the paper profoundly analyzed the “prototypes'’ and their evolutional types of Yunnan’s dwelling houses with courtyards, and put forward the two basic types of Yunnan’s dwelling houses with courtyards and their evolutional types, and put various types of dwelling houses with courtyards such as “One Seal”, “Three Lane and One Wall" and “Four Courtyard and Five Patio” in a popular term into a entire typological system, and rebuilt the relationship between the derivation and the pedigree, and elaborately discussed different patterns and geographical variations of derivation and evolution. The paper focused on the analyses of the relationships between ethnic distribution and dwelling houses with courtyards and the relationships between migration of Han people and dwelling houses with courtyards, and pointed out the differences between houses with courtyards in towns and in rural areas and their evolution, and further dissertated the interactive relation between ethnic culture and architecture and their social and cultural significance, and lastly discussed the special value of Yunnan's dwelling houses with courtyards, their influences on settlement forms and public architectural system, etc.
Based on rich connotation and various types of Yunnan’s dwelling houses with courtyards, making use of the conceptions from Cultural Anthropology and Cultural Geography etc, the dissertation compartmentalized the Yunnan’s dwelling houses with courtyards from documentary summarization and field investigation into architectural cultural areas and influenced areas (zones), including 2 cultural core areas and 4 cultural influenced areas (sub-zones). Thus we cannot only grasp the distribution of abundant dwelling houses with courtyards in Yunnan, but also identify the boundary between dwelling houses with courtyards and other dwelling houses. So it provided an important foundation from architectural aspect to define the boundaries of the three cultural circles such as Diqiang cultural circle, Baipu cultural circle and Baiyue cultural circle as well as to define the division of sub-level (sub-zone) of Yunnan regional cultural.
Based on the research on the forms of Chinese traditional towns, making use of the assorting ways fitting for the geographic characteristics of Yunnan Province, focusing on the characteristics of the settlements’ forms and structure, the dissertation drew a conclusion that the dwelling houses with courtyards in Yunnan can be grouped into two types (i.e. the type with city walls and the type conforming to the nature) and put the typical dwelling houses with courtyards in Yunnan together to summarize their structure rule.
In the end, the dissertation put forward some policies, principles and measures to protect and reasonably exploit the dwelling houses with courtyards in Yunnan and took an example as a case according to the problems that the planning, the protection and the exploitation of the dwelling houses with courtyards in Yunnan are weak in regulations, system and emphases.
Yunnan Province is a typical region where many different cultures are blended, and the dwelling houses with courtyards in Yunnan are one of the carriers of multi-cultures. Analysed from the perspective of multi-culture character and culture change, it has a typical significance to profoundly study it, which can give the basic materials to further research on the protective plan, and can provide the reference for the architectural design with the local characteristics, and can make a foundation for the preservation, the development and the exploitation of local architectural cultures.