Suzhou, Jiangsu China
Living Area: 72,441 square feet
Lot Size: 1.66 acres
Year Built: 2013
This luxurious home sits on a private island on the south shore of Dushu Lake in Suzhou, China’s biggest lake. The home is surrounded by water on three sides and the has the longest shoreline of its kind in China. The building itself covers a total area of 72455 square feet, including 21527 square feet of courtyards. All the bedrooms face south making this home a truly elegantly customized Suzhou garden home.
Imperial and private gardens are the most recognized of Chinese traditional gardens, and Suzhou gardens are the true embodiment of private gardens. During the past 30 years, the style of Suzhou gardens has been a cultural heritage export to more than 30 countries, for example ‘Mingxuan’ at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. These have also acted as diplomatic gifts from China to the world – treasured and kept on show – examples including the Suzhou gardens at Ruhr University Bochum in Germany and The Huntington botanical gardens in California.
This home, a collection of five thousand years of Chinese culture and art in the world, can be said to be a contemporary national treasure in landscaping.
Throughout the history of Chinese architecture, Xiangshanbang Traditional Architectural and Building Skills has proven to be of China’s most precise and sophisticated in construction, from royal palaces to classic gardens, some of Suzhou’s finest works have been crafted by their hands. These craftsmen have been called “state artisans” and have inherited thousands of years of Chinese horticultural techniques and gained official recognition of having the highest standards in Chinese craftsman ship, both at national and international levels.
Suzhou Taohuayuan has welcomed several generations of Xiangshanbang master craftsmen and brick by brick, plant by plant, have succeeded in “Intangible Cultural Heritage” recognition, promoted by UNESCO as a counterpart to World Heritage to honour their tradition. The average age of carpenters is above 60 years old, which is rare for China, and for Xiangshanbang seems to be its last generation. Suzhou Taohuayuan will in the future become a world cultural heritage property unique to the market.