Shanxi Cave Houses

On December 10, 2011 by Design China

Who said China doesn’t have a long design history? I’ve long been told about these Shanxi cave houses (or yao dong) “dug like caves directly into the hillsides. Sometimes the façades [are created from] stone, while poorer dwellings have mud façades with latticed windows and doors. As China modernises beyond recognition, yao dong are being appreciated as a unique cultural treasure. Their ability to mitigate the hot summer heat and frozen winter chill has also been appreciated as an early form of eco-design”.

Photo and words by James Wasserman.

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