The Yuhu Elementary School Expansion Project in the UNESCO World Heritage site in Lijiang, Yunnan, China is a community service project. The project is intended as a response to the local vernacular architecture through the basic comprehension of environment, social and building conservation. Appropriate to the unique site and the complexity of the subject matter, the investigations were conducted through multidisciplinary collaboration, probing into spatial conceptions in the domains of folklore, materiality, geomancy, ecology and finally architecture.
Architect: Li Xiaodong Atelier
Location: Lijiang, Yunnan, China
Photographs: Courtesy of Li Xiaodong Atelier
The water house is a private house, located at the foot of snow mountain Yulong in Lijiang. Sitting on a wide open sloping site, which has a panoramic view towards Lijiang, an ancient trading settlement whose old town is famous for its historic network of waterways and bridges. The site lies at the foot of Yulong mountain, its peaks forming a dramatic backdrop to Li’s architecture. The house synthesises traditional forms and techniques to make a contemporary building that resonates with place and history. and the surrounding landscape. Conceived as an interlocking series of contemplative, inward-looking courtyards, the house has an open yet closed courtyard space. Closed in the sense, it is “secured” and “separated” physically from the ‘outside world” by design elements such as stonewall, reflective pool and leveling; yet it is open visually towards the outside environment.