Zhang Lianzhi, a 50-year-old porcelain collector from Tianjin, China, has spent four years decorating an old house with hundreds of millions of ancient porcelain fragments and tons of natural crystals. It’s now known as the Porcelain House or Yuebao House.
The Porcelain House of Tianjin opened its gates to the public on September 2nd, 2007, on Chifeng Street in Heping District. The old French-style building has a history of over 100 years. It was originally the home of a central finance minister in the late Qing dynasty, and was later converted into a bank, after the founding of New China, in 1949. But after the bank changed its location, the beautiful building was left deserted for several years, until porcelain collector Zhang Lianzhi bought it for 1 million yuan ($160,000). He then spent the following four years turning it into a unique edifice, decorated with porcelain dating from the Tang (AD 618-907) to the Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. Now the Porcelain House is the most eye-catching building in Tianjin, and one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions.
Covering an area of 3,000 square meters, the Porcelain House is decorated with 400 million pieces of ancient porcelain, 16 thousand pieces of ancient chinaware, 300 white-marble carvings, and 20 tons of natural crystals. The whole transformation is rumored to have cost Zhang Lianzhi approximately 2 billion yuan ($315 million). About 80 percent of the porcelain used to cover the house comes from broken or damaged antiques, but the eccentric collector mixed up the different fragments and pasted them on the walls in such a way to conceal the damaged parts. In fact, most of them look intact. The courtyard wall is covered with around 3,000 porcelain vases, and is called name “Ping’an Qiang” (Wall of Wellness).
Photos by Xinhua News, Easy Tour China, China Daily/odditycentral.com/