li xiaodong atelier creates a home in the water
li xiaodong atelier creates a home in the water li xiaodong atelier creates a home in the water
jan 05, 2014

li xiaodong atelier creates a home in the water

‘water house’ by li xiaodong atelier, lijiang, china
all images courtesy of li xiaodong atelier




the city of lijiang, china, is known historically as a trading settlement marked by bridges and canals activated by the presence and utility of water. local practice li xiaodong atelier created the ‘water house’ at the base of the adjacent yulong mountain, designed to honor the ancient character of the city: water. the home consists of several internal/external courtyards and pools that, while preserving a sense of privacy, also offer the experience of the surrounding landscape and view of the city.


tectonically, the structure is a modern rendition of vernacular practices, steering clear of ostentatious detailing so that the structure becomes a neutral backdrop from which the inhabitants can enjoy the purity of the nature all around. materials and in fact the labor are all local with the exception of the steel frame which was contracted to a professional company. citizens of the village each contributed to the construction of the property, from the dry-stacked masonry walls to the bamboo slat panels – all traditionally used in the area. water acts as a glassy reflective surface that periodically intrudes into the livable program – a reflective atmosphere separated from the urban landscape.

shallow pool intrudes into the covered spaces

living room

bamboo wooden panels screen views to the outside/inside

site plan

  • There must be a sign at the gate: “No Kids – No Dogs”. ..but it is a beautiful albeit humid compound. Hard to mess up stone, natural wood and water.


    JimCan says:
  • sublime

    wonderfully photographed as well

    dbkii says:
  • Sublime, no pretension , subtle a real innovation

    Deborah Nevins says:

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