Shelter – A Mirrored Retreat Set Along the Longxi River in China

Simply dubbed the Shelter, this unusual structure can be found along the banks of the Longxi River in Jinping county, China. It’s set outside the old town of Longli, and acts as a place of reflection and fun, and as a local landmark.


The project was completed in late 2016 and is meant to embody the historical roots of the local community, as well as their “isolation and tension”.



The structure itself is made of timber, bamboo, glass and shoji paper. The timber provides the main frame, which is then clad with bamboo to create the walls, floors and roof. One side of the Shelter is coated in uni-directional glass, while shoji paper coats a small outcrop at the top of the structure.



The Shelter covers an area of 164-square-feet (15-square-meters) and contains two levels – the base and an upper level that’s set about 9.8 feet (3 meters) above. The mirrored glass reflects the outline of the old town found opposite, and while there are thousands of people occupying the town, the shelter itself is designed for a single occupancy.


From the architects: “There are thousands of residents in Longli and the shelter is just for one person to reside. The town is for daily life and the shelter creates unusual experience for people – in the town of Longli, they belong to a big group, however here in the shelter individual is better appreciated…


… After getting dark, the shelter shows an utterly different presence from the daytime. The overall shape of the structure merges into the darkness and the pyramid emerges together with its mirror images, seemingly floating in the air with its reflection in the water. Hence, an imagery of the Lonely Islet is brought in the air of Longli’s most natural and original scene.”


For more spaces check out this rustic cabin dubbed Shelter for the Wanderer. Or, Veetee, a floating timber pavilion from Sooma National Park, Estonia. See all spaces.

Via ArchDaily
Photos: Kang Wei

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.

1 Comment
  1. Seems like a very bad idea building that close to the river… It’s also quite disruptive to the riparian ecosystem to build that close.