At the end of Southern Song dynasty (1127 -1279), Lin'an (to date Hangzhou in Zhejiang province) was rebuilt as capital and the city extended with many buildings. Among the artisans, "Hui Shang" (businessman from Huizhou, today's Anhui province) built many simple houses, from money he collected. Today's folk residences in Huizhou region, Chengkan village, Qiankou village in Shexian county are mainly from that period. Others have been found in Hongcun village and Xidi Village in Yixian county.
The houses was built under guidance of Fengshui, which follow the main principles to select locations based on their environment around. Fengshui contends the trinity of the Heaven, the Earth and human and seeks harmony between selected site, orienting, natural doctrine and human fate. The site is prudently chosen.
The house is surrounded with lush trees and green mountains feature black-and-white color. The unique structure - Ma Tou Wall, a further tier-structure higher in the middle with upturned eaves on the wall, of which the beautiful curve presents a beautiful skyline is much higher than the roof and functions as the firewall in case of fire. The contrast between the gray-tile eaves and the white color is very impressive. Lattice windows are set into the wall to add change, simple but elegant. The interior design is quite complicated compared with the exterior.
Decorative patterns of flowers and birds on pillars, parapet, windows and eaves add much luster. The inner complex is set to a square layout, with rooms on each side and a "Tianjing" - a dooryard for enough lighting and draught. The design was said to enable water to drip into the yard in rainy periods. This design is considered an auspicious symbol.
Private Residence Private residences in Huizhou region feature a unique layout studded with rockery, pavilions, slab pavement and ponds. Displayed in the "Zhengtang" - a hall used as a drawing room is of simple style. Chinese traditional furniture, which has a strong aesthetic appeal due to its apparently simple lines and the natural materials in the hall, finely carved wooden ornaments and Chinese paintings often by famous artist - all present literary grace.