Building walls have one main purpose: to support roofs and ceilings. Such walls most often have three or more separate components. In today's construction, a building wall will usually have the structural elements (such as 2×4 studs in a house wall), insulation, and finish elements or surface (such as drywall or panelling). In addition, the wall may house various types of electrical wiring or plumbing. Electrical outlets are usually mounted in walls.
Building walls frequently become works of art externally and internally, such as when featuring mosaic work or when murals are painted on them; or as design foci when they exhibit textures or painted finishes for effect.
On a ship, the walls separating compartments are termed "bulkheads", whilst the thinner walls separating cabins are termed "partitions".
In architecture and civil engineering, the term curtain wall refers to the facade of a building which is not load-bearing but functions as decoration, finish, front, face, or history preservation.
The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located in the middle of Beijing, China, and now houses the Palace Museum. For almost 500 years, it served as the home of emperors and their households, as well as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government.
Built in 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 buildings and covers 720,000 m2 (7,800,000 sq ft). The palace complex exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture, and has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and elsewhere. The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987, and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.
Since 1925, the Forbidden City has been under the charge of the Palace Museum, whose extensive collection of artwork and artifacts were built upon the imperial collections of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Part of the museum's former collection is now located in the National Palace Museum in Taipei. Both museums descend from the same institution, but were split after the Chinese Civil War.