This rustic sanctuary nestled in a remote village in China combines modernity and vernacular design to extraordinary effect. Architecture studio RSAA approached the home renovation with a strong sense of respect for the history of the building and its stunning natural surroundings.

Tongling Recluse, RSAA, green renovation, China, traditional building techniques, local craftsmen, green architecture, gable, atrium, vernacular architecture

The original house, nested on the top of a mountain in the north of Anhui Province, China, was uninhabited for years until the owner decided to renovate it into a modern residence. The design team introduced dramatic changed to the space, cutting, lowering and rebuilding parts of the house to facilitate optimal views of the surroundings and accommodate new functions.

Tongling Recluse, RSAA, green renovation, China, traditional building techniques, local craftsmen, green architecture, gable, atrium, vernacular architecture

Related: Decrepit cave transformed into a beautiful modern home in China

New and old coexist in the renovated house, with semi-private and semi-open areas creating a more complex spatial flow. At the core of the structure is an outdoor atrium that was once an indoor space. Here, the original gable has been transformed into a decorative wall that blocks vertical views of the living room and bedrooms.

Tongling Recluse, RSAA, green renovation, China, traditional building techniques, local craftsmen, green architecture, gable, atrium, vernacular architecture

Old bricks were used to rebuild one of the original walls at the site. In the process of rebuilding the wall, many old bricks were cut into slices and used as traditional decoration to hide the steel structure inside. The architects emphasized the junction between different kinds of materials and employed local craftsmen who used traditional building techniques.

+ RSAA

Via Archdaily

Lead photo by SU Shengliang

Tongling Recluse, RSAA, green renovation, China, traditional building techniques, local craftsmen, green architecture, gable, atrium, vernacular architecture

Tongling Recluse, RSAA, green renovation, China, traditional building techniques, local craftsmen, green architecture, gable, atrium, vernacular architecture

Tongling Recluse, RSAA, green renovation, China, traditional building techniques, local craftsmen, green architecture, gable, atrium, vernacular architecture

Tongling Recluse, RSAA, green renovation, China, traditional building techniques, local craftsmen, green architecture, gable, atrium, vernacular architecture