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.

Syn­di­cated from

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