Architecture is a significant feature of Bhutanese identity. Traditional shapes, colours and patterns of the Bhutanese architecture are unique. Wooden surfaces such as beams, windows and doors are normally painted with various floral, animal and religious motifs and colours, each with a special significance. In traditional Bhutanese architecture, there is generally no planning and designing done on paper before a structure is built.
The master carpenter works with the size, layout and structure of the building in his mind. In traditional constructions, nails r not used and the wood pieces are assembled by the dove-tail technique. The best examples of traditional Bhutanese architecture can be seen in Dzongs (fortresses), lhakhangs (temples), goenpas (monasteries), choetens (stupas), houses and bridges. While architectural styles vary form place to place and from different periods, Bhutanese law requires all new buildings, public and private to follow the designs and private to follow the designs and rules of traditional architecture on the exterior.