Ever since I got to Guangzhou, I have been observing that many buildings have tiled facades. I thought it was a phase Guangzhou had, like having a pediment was a fade in Indian residential buildings at some point in time (rolling my eyes).

On a site visit recently, I kept noticing them again. I asked my colleague about it and she said “Yeah! All our buildings are like that”. It’s true. I started noticing all the buildings and almost all had tiled exterior facade.

The below patterned-tile-facade style is the one easily noticeable because of its distinct look. This seems to be an older trend though.

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When you start observing, you have the revelation! The facade of newer buildings don’t have the pattern as above, but are tiled.

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Even high-rises have tile facades. Our office building also has it. I observed it when I got back from the site visit.

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If the tiles are single colored, it is difficult to notice the tiles from a distance.


I found a lot patterns made with the tiles and even newer tiles with patterns printed on them.

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The tiled facade is more durable in this region of South China as it faces seasons of heavy rainfall. The staining of the exterior painted walls is what they are trying to avoid.

The difference!

The climate here is similar to that in the Southern part of India and my hometown.

India’s answer to this problem is to paint the house with bright colors, which will not get stained like white or light colors do. That’s what my parents said when they decided to paint our house orange!

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I took a lot of pictures of these tiles, because I got fascinated with them:

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I googled a bit, but couldn’t find much literature on this style. I read something about ceramic tiles being better for the environment, but I do not know much about it. Can Indian buildings also adopt this facade style? Is it economically viable? It’s something new for me to think about.

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