Old VS New: The era of New Chinese Style of dwelling architecture

By Stefania Danieli

China offers a lot of beautiful scenic spots for the lovers of ancient Chinese architecture: many well preserved villages and towns are spread throughout the whole country. From the northern town of Pingyao in Shanxi province, to the central Lanzhong in Sichuan province, to the eastern Anhui’s Shexian, right to the southern Yunnan province’s Lijiang or Fenghuang in Hunan province; every village shows a peculiar architectural style perfectly harmonized with the local natural environment.

To know more about the old town of Fenghuang, please check our previous blog: http://chinarchblog.com/2014/02/14/chinas-architectural-treasures-the-ancient-town-of-fenghuang/

After decades of fast urbanization with huge residential blocks mushrooming around the cities, today China is living a sort of “ancient architecture revival”, and this is well visible in many high-end villas and residential districts.

Many designs are inspired by the Jiangnan style, which of the areas located south to the Yangtze River, including in particular the areas of Shanghai, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Zhejiang and Hunan. The Jiangnan style is characterized by the use of stone bricks and wood, and by white walls, grey tiles and dark brown wood structures. Moreover, the presence of water is an essential feature of southern China environment and it is always part of the landscape design in New Chinese Style dwelling complexes.

In the gallery we reported several pictures of interesting projects built in the last few years:

  1. Suzhou Herun villas: villas recalling the traditional architecture and landscape of Suzhou city (Jiangsu province), better known as the “Chinese Venice” for its beautiful canals.
  2. Shanghai Wanke Fifth Garden: villas characterized by a modern style built with traditional materials in traditional structures; the result is extremely elegant.
  3. Nanchang Wanke Qingshan Lake Residences: this project is constituted by high residential buildings as well as several lines of villas in a style much similar to the previous Shanghai project. The main difference between the two lies in the location: this project is developed along Qingshan lake shore, a beautiful natural setting which certainly enriches the view.
  4. Chengdu China Hall: a complex of villas in Chengdu style offering various arrangements, including many houses structured as traditional siheyuan, with a central courtyard and rooms all around it.


Stefania was born and raised in Italy, where she took a BA in Languages and a MA in Business Communication at the University of Perugia. She fluently speaks both Mandarin and English, and by now has been living in China for over two years. Having been raised in a country rich of history and culture like Italy, she has always had a strong interest in art and architecture, which led her right through the Chinese landscape design industry. She is currently working as Marketing Director at Beijing’s based America Leedscape Planning and Design Co. Ltd.

One response to “Old VS New: The era of New Chinese Style of dwelling architecture

  1. Pingback: European “theme residences”: the phenomenon of “duplitecture” in China’s real estate boom | China Architecture Blog·


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