Located among the rice fields on the eastern edge of the small Chinese village Dali, the Zhu’an Residence was designed for a painter and his wife. Its peaceful and clean interior makes the house an intimate, meditative space that corresponds with the area’s traditions.
Lime mixed with pieces of straw – a common form of rendering for external walls specific to Dali – is not the only element that relates the house to its context. The house includes nine courtyards of varying sizes, designed according to the inward-looking character of courtyard houses in the village. While the northern part of the residence is reserved for the owners, the southern section opens to the living spaces and accommodation for guests. The architects placed private rooms around four courtyards, letting the daylight inside from both the east and the west. Thus, the atmosphere of various spaces, although most of the time serene and contemplative, changes their dynamics at different times of the day.