Fujian Tulou, China
Let's step into a world of giant earthen homes designed to house a village. These 'tulou' structures, built between the 12th and 20th centuries, are the dwellings of the Hakka community in China's mountainous southeastern Fujian region. The homes are constructed from clay, sandy soil, and gray tiles, with bamboo strips serving as the support. They were built to house a whole clan, up to 800 people each. From above, these round dwellings look like giant tires or reels lying on their sides, with light walls, dark roofs, and spacious interiors.
Historically, these buildings were communal living spaces and defensive zones for Hakka clans. They were built with uniformly sized and shaped family areas, fostering a sense of equality and community. In 2008, UNESCO added the Fujian tulou, which includes 46 of the buildings, to its list of World Heritage Sites, recognizing their unique building tradition.