This old Chinese house is decorated with four hundred million fragments of ancient porcelain as well as porcelain vases, kettles and even cats. Specialists estimate this unique mansion at more than $300 mln.
China Porcelain House is a mansion that has become a landmark of Tianjin (China) owing to millionaire Zhang Lianzhi, the collector of porcelain and a big aesthete.
Gorgeous collection of the Chinese businessman has been replenished for many years. And once he understood that this beauty must be show to the public.
For the exposition Zhang chose an ancient French-style building. The building has been renovated for five years and finally its front was decorated with several thousand porcelain pieces as well as tons of natural crystals.
The building is several hundred years old. From 1644 to 1911 it was a central financial ministry. Since 1949 when Chinese People’s Republic was proclaimed there was a bank in this building. Later the bank moved to another building and the beautiful mansion deserted and fell into disrepair. 2002 was a decisive year for the history of this house. That year Zhang Lianzhi purchased it for $160 000 mln (1 mln yuan).
At the beginning of September, 2007, the Porcelain House opened its doors for visitors. To present day this unique building decorated with expensive porcelain is one of the main landmarks of the city.
Like Zhang says, initially construction of this fragile building resembled erection of a dream house of toylike bricks. But later his irrepressible imagination helped bringing this crazy idea to reality.
This beautiful building occupies a plot with the area of 3 000 square meters. All external and internal surfaces are covered with fragments of ancient porcelain. There are about 400 mln of them and they date back to 618 A.D.
Besides, there are 5 000 plates and bowls, 3 000 antique vases, and five hundred porcelain cats. The entire porcelain exposition is perfectly supplemented by pieces of white marble, agate, and crystal with the total weight of more than 20 tons.
But there is more to it than that. There are also 300 marble statues of Buddha and the same amount of stone lions. But the most attractive parts of this unique composition are four 200-metre dragons that crowl down the wall. From the old times dragons were considered the symbols of strength and power and took a central place in Chinese architecture. The interior of the building also features antique furniture: chairs, tables, and trunks.
80% of the house’s front is decorated with broken porcelain wares, and the Chinese collector had to apply inconceivable flight of fancy to organically blend all these elements and hide all deficiencies from the eyes of visitors.
True, if you look at the elements of decor attentively, you’ll see that most of them look alive and safe.
The entire large-scale reconstruction costed $65 mln. Approximate current price of this house makes up $315 mln (2 bln yuan).
Zhang is also the owner of Land Rover decorated with 10 thousand porcelain pieces – it can be seen in the yard of Porcelain House.
Currently the house is opened as a museum. It works each day, entrance costs $6.