The water house is a private house, located at the foot of snow mountain Yulong in Lijiang, China. The residence sits on a wide open sloping site, which has a panoramic view towards Lijiang, an ancient trading settlement whose old town is famous for its historic network of waterways and bridges. Designed by architecture firm Li Xiaodong Atelier, the site lies at the foot of Yulong Mountain, its peaks forming a dramatic backdrop to the architecture. The house synthesizes traditional forms and techniques to make a contemporary building that resonates with place, history, and the surrounding landscape. Conceived as an interlocking series of contemplative, inward-looking courtyards, the house has an open yet closed courtyard space. Closed in the sense, it is “secured” and “separated” physically from the “outside world” by design elements such as stonewall, reflective pool and leveling; yet it is open visually towards the outside environment.