These were often built of wood and consisted of columns spaced at intervals which supported the roof. Walls were merely enclosing screens that could be set up or not depending upon the structure’s intended use or need for separate rooms. By the 6th century BC, roofs had already taken on the graceful, curving features that have come to be known as the example of Chinese building (Columbia Encyclopedia, 2005). These were often decorated with small figures, all facing southeast, and with paint or tiles. What is known about the Chinese ground plan is also scanty, but seemed to consist primarily of an entrance gate, followed by a spirit gate and then the public areas of the building, whether it was a temple, a palace, or a private dwelling compound. Private quarters were in the rear of the structure and the compound typically surrounded a court or garden, which was maintained with a similar simplicity of style and elegance that characterized the buildings themselves (Columbia Encyclopedia, 2005).