Nanjing Hakka House or Tulou Cluster is a kind of unique architecture in Fujian Province, which is also listed in the World Cultural Heritage sites by UNESCO. Located 3-hours driving westward from Xiamen, Nanjing Hakka House attracts tourists to see the stylish architects with over 1000 years’ history as well as the Hakka locals’ lifestyles.
Most of the Hakka Houses are shaped round as mushrooms which are nicknamed as the dropped UFO out of the ground. Actually there are also square, oval, sector, and other geometric shapes. The Fujian Hakka Houses originally date back to the Song Dynasty and become mature in Ming and Qing Dynasties. It is the unique large-scale rammed earth residential building in the mountain area.
With a reasonable layout against the mountain, the Hakka House absorbs the traditional Fengshui concept in the design and meets the requirement for residence and defense. Using the local raw soil, wood, pebbles, and other economical materials (quite peculiar even including clay, glutinous rice, brown sugar, and bamboo chips), the high-rise resident house is solid and aesthetic. This kind of architecture is warm in winter and cool in summer with a strong base to resist typhoons and earthquakes.
The Hakka House is normally 3-5 floors: the first floor is the kitchen; the second the wareroom; the upper floors are the living rooms.
Hakka House gains much more attention from the tourists when the Chinese animated movie Big Fish uses the scene of Hakka House. And for the Disney movie Mu Lan screening in 2020, it also uses Hakka House scenes as the home of the female leading role. A Hakka house could accommodate from 200 to 700 peoples for different families depending on the exact size.
Tianluokeng Tulou Cluster
Looking from afar, the architectural miracle looks like a table of Chinese dishes, nicknamed 'four dishes with a soup'. The clusters contain 1 square shape Hakka house, 1 oval one, and 3 round ones. Their names are Buyun Lou, Hechang Lou, Zhenchang Lou, Ruiyun Lou, and Yunchang Lou.
Yuchang Lou is the oldest Hakka house preserved now in Nanjing. The wooden pillars of the 3rd and 4th floor of the building are inclined but the overall structure is vertical.
Being built in 1909, the 4-floor Huaiyuan Lou with 136 rooms is the best-preserved Hakka House. The diameter of the round shape Hakka House reaches 38 meters. The central site Sishi Room is built as a private school for the children from the same clan.