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The Traditional Anhui Architecture

23 June 2009


The interior of a typical Anhui residence: spacious living rooms fully open to inner courtyards which, apart from being the lighting source, also serve as the linkages between building units and blocks.

Whenever possible, an Anhui residence would try to have its entrance facing north (instead of south for most Chinese buildings). As the Five Agents for merchants is Metal (gold), and south belongs to Fire, the business owners of the Anhui residences thus preferred not to face the flaming elements since they didn't think they had too much money to burn.



The exterior of the typical Anhui architecture: High firewalls (马头墙).

Higher than usual firewalls are one of the most distinctive features of the traditional Anhui-style residential buildings designed to cope a unique living arrangement in which the men, historically known as Scholar Merchants (儒商), were away from home conducting business for most of time during the year with the women staying at home looking after elderly and kids.

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The Traditional Anhui Street

Shen County Town Street (歙县老街), the best preserved traditional Anhui-style street, is the place where you can found the best ink sticks and other studio treasures in the world.

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