Sometimes, tradition provides the best design solution – and local materials make a good project great. There is no pretension and little decor in this sprawling mountainside residence, but there is plenty of framed natural beauty to more than make up for their absence.

Llixiaodong Atelier designed the dwelling to engage the overhanging mountains as well as regional waterways, all without interrupting these pristine and picturesque surroundings.

Modest stone walls work to establish interior and exterior spaces, zones of openness and privacy, but also draw the eye along their long straight tops toward the horizon. These lines are reflected in flat interconnected clear pools that likewise dot (and join) the property.

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The primary dwelling is composed of a series of substructures made of unadorned wood and using unobtrusive metal fasteners, shaping a series of open courtyards in between them that are elemental and reminiscent of Buddhist monasteries with their Zen rock gardens. Simplicity is carried through to basic wooden screen doors and minimalist outdoor and indoor furniture. In short: the home is ultimately quite basic, very Chinese, but somehow universal at the same time.