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Chongqing, abbreviated as Ba and Yu, also known as Shancheng, Wudu, and Qiaodu, is one of the four municipalities directly under the Central Government in my country. Chongqing is toleran --it is the most populous city in the world; Chongqing is unique -- it has a terrain surrounded by wonderful scenery and mountains where the two rivers converge; Chongqing is warm --  there are world-famous hot pots.


Chongqing is historical -- together with Washington, London, and Moscow, she was listed as the world's four major anti-fascist command centers and made great contributions to the Allied camp during Ward War II.


Perhaps it is precisely because of such a rich historical accumulation and unique natural environment that Chongqing has become a lively and vibrant city. She always gives people a kind of power that can survive even in difficult circumstances. Therefore, the people here have built a unique residential building ---- Diaojiaolou (Stilted Building) between the cliffs.

Photo: Keyi Zhang


(Stilted Building) Diaojiaolou is a traditional residential house in the country. It was originally a traditional house of the Tujia nationality. However, as time goes by, other ethnic groups have also begun to build Stilted Buildings. Stilted Buildings are mostly distributed in Chongqing, Guangxi, Hunan, Guizhou, Jiangxi and other places in the country. Stilted Buildings are generally built on the mountain and by the water. The uniqueness of stilted buildings is that they are only half suspended in the air. The main house of stilted buildings is generally built on the ground, while one side of the wing is connected to the main house and rests on the ground, and the other three sides are supported by pillars and suspended in the air. This type of house can not only ventilate and dry the house, but also avoid snakes and insects, and prevent floods.


Chongqing is located in the transition zone between the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the plains of the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River. Because of the terrain, Chongqing Diaojiao Building is different from other Diaojiao Buildings in that most of the Diaojiao Buildings in Chongqing are built on cliffs and tied together. There are many cliffs in the city, and because of the large population, many houses are built on the cliffs. Because Chongqing is rich in nanmu, but nanmu cannot be teased and can only be bundled. Therefore, the stilted buildings in Chongqing area are mainly bundled. The construction cost of the bundled houses is low, the construction period is short, and the houses are built together in rows, pulling each other, which greatly reduces the risk of collapse.


However, with the development of Chongqing, many stilts with poor living conditions have gradually disappeared. Now it is difficult to find these unique and historic stilts in Chongqing.



Stilted Building
Pictures from the internet has been authorized


Hongyadong (Hongyamen) is one of the gates of ancient Chongqing, and now it is also a tourist attraction for sightseeing, leisure and vacation. Hongyadong Scenic Area is located on Cangbai Road, Jiefangbei, Yuzhong District, Chongqing, where the Yangtze River and Jialing River meet. Hongyadong has a total construction area of ​​46,000 square meters, and the main building consists of stilts. The main building of Hongyadong has 11 floors. It is brightly lit at night. The combination of the quaint stilts and modern lights is like a scene that would only appear in movies or comics. Here you can admire the layered stilted buildings, the dazzling night view of lights, the marvelous view of the convergence of the two rivers, and you can also taste the hot pot and special snacks that are unique to Chongqing.


Relying on the natural mountain terrain of Chongqing, the stilts that form Hongyadong are built along the river. The stilted buildings in Hongya Cave are simple in structure, flexible in bays and indefinite in shape, forming a superimposed, complex and non-disordered layered structure. The stilted buildings belonging to the railing-style buildings are arranged along the slope on the natural mountain, the lower part forms an overhead virtual structure, the upper part is a solid structure of the city, and there are roads extending in all directions interspersed in the middle for tourists to walk. Hongya Cave is based on the traditional Bayu architecture "Diaojiaolou", with layered platform construction, hanging feet, staggered, and cliff-side construction techniques, making Hongyadong a complex structure and rich hierarchical "three-dimensional aerial pedestrian street".

Stilted House
Photo1: Keyi Zhang
Photo2: Baidu
Pictures from the internet has been authorized


Photo/Architect: Santos Bolivar

All over the world, elevated houses also display the elevated structures based on stilts in various innovative ways.


The overhead structure of the stilts is not only an efficient solution when facing hillsides, rocks and unstable terrain, but also improves the user's vision, increases ventilation at the bottom of the building, and prevents the entry of dangerous animals and pests.


Diaojiaolou not only embodies the skillful use of wood in Chinese classical architecture. Today, with the development of science and technology, we still need to affirm the importance of wood as a building material. Wood is renewable, environmentally friendly and organic, and can store carbon dioxide for a long time, which is more environmentally friendly than stone buildings.


The wooden sling structure can be called an elegant combination of structure and material. Today, the project we want to show you about, the aerial wooden house-Media Perra House, is the elegant representative of the wooden sling structure.

Photo/Architect: Santos Bolivar

This sky wooden house is located on the outskirts of Mexico. The terrain environment where the project is located is very special: this area has a steep height difference, and there is a big rock in the middle. The unique natural landscape and steep mountains not only bring problems but also opportunities for architects.


Santos Bolívar As the architect of the project, he did not choose to level the terrain or remove the large rocks; instead, he chose to face the steep terrain with a sling structure and respond to the rocks with the structure of a wooden bridge. His design makes the whole building like a "bridge through the rocks."

Photo/Architect: Santos Bolivar

The surface of the house formed by the exposed wood and the insulation layer formed by the straw in each layer of the wall, this aerial wooden house shows the communication and exchange with nature everywhere. Looking out from the room, the natural scenery can be seen in full view.


The natural landscape is rough and free, and the artificially designed buildings are ethereal and light; the rocks formed by wind and rain show sensual enthusiasm, while the vertically arranged wooden boards reveal rational elegance. It seems that this wooden house in the sky was not built by people to live here, but rather used to communicate and communicate with this land.

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Photo/Architect: Santos Bolivar

Although this sky wooden house is thousands of miles away from our country’s stilts, they all adopt the same architectural form. They all adapt to local conditions, not only providing people with a shelter, but also allowing them to blend in with nature. Diaojiaolou, as a thousand-year-old building, has gradually disappeared in the urban area of ​​Chongqing with the passage of time and social development. Nowadays, we can only see the old stilts in the photos, which is a pity, but Hongya Cave and the wooden houses in the sky let us see the possibility of the fusion of stilts and modern architecture. Hope that one day, we can see this stilted building with distinctive regional characteristics reappear in Chongqing!

Special Acknowledgement for Photo Authorization

Architect Santos Bolívar

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