Hongcun is the famous ancient village in Anhui province, China. Known for the traditional countryside planning that is still being preserved until today. The architecture of this village reflect its long history and cultural diversity.
The village is built in 1131 with a 900-years history, it features unique water supply system and garden. Most of the landscape is still kept intact, from small roads leading to alleyways, old houses, lake to bridges. Currently there are about 137 old houses from Ming – Qing Dynasties in the village, each in good condition and has their own unique style.
Even though the population of Hongcun is growing fast, the village still has the serenity that has become its trademark throughout hundreds of years. Hongcun is a world heritage site that also plays an important role to China.
Hongcun ancient village. Image: Dat NguyenHandhome: Hello Dat, please introduce yourself to Handhome readers.
Dat Nguyen: My name is Dat Nguyen, I’m an architectural designer in Hanoi. Besides architecture, my other hobby is photography.
The photos you shared on photo.handhome.net are very beautiful, photography must be a really special interest of yours. Could you tell us more about this passion?
I don’t see myself as a skillful photographer, just a photography enthusiast. I had my first camera when I was a sophomore, until now it’s been my seventh years into photography. I’m not really an architectural photographer, I just enjoy taking photos of our daily life. To me architecture is just another aspect of life, and only has its meaning when it connects to life itself.
What was your impression during the days in Hongcun, China?
Before visiting Hongcun, I read about this village and its 800-year history, I knew that the local authority was very dedicated in preserving the legacy. But it’s not until I came to Hongcun that I fully realized how much work went into it. The roof tiles, wooden details, houses, temples, schools were kept almost intact. The roads and canals were also in good condition. One more thing that really amazed me is the serenity of the village. The old ladies doing laundry by the canal in the middle of winter, the black and white tones of the landscape make Hongcun look like an ink paiting.
What do you think about Chinese traditional architecture and countryside planning?
The Chinese has subtly combined their landscape into planning. They integrate canals into roads to serve their needs, at the same time bringing nature into every single alleyway.
What do you learn after each trip?
I have many travelling opportunities . With each trip I have the chance to experience new things. Taking images of the place I visited, local cultural life is a good way to mesmerize.
Photography also helps me a lot with my architectural work and idea development. With it I’ve become more aware of my designs, at the same time gain more knowledge of the peoples’ culture.
Do you intend to go somewhere this year?
I always go to a place or two each year to experience and relax. I already went to Myanmar this year and I’m planning to go somewhere new, more exciting at the end of the year.
What do you think about Vietnamese traditional architecture and countryside planning?
I think the urbanization is happening really fast. We should take this process into consideration, avoid losing the legacy in our traditional architecture as well as planning.
Thank you for sharing with us!