Consumerism and urbanization have transformed China in the last three decades. Since the economic liberalization initiated by Deng Xiaoping, a consumer society has rapidly developed and a large urban middle class has been established. These changes have involved an extensive urbanization at the expense of environmental and cultural sustainability. Responding to this drastic social transformation, Wang Shu’s architecture makes extensive use of spolia from demolished buildings in a reflective meditation on a rapidly disappearing past. Through the use of folk craftsmanship and considered respect for existing vernacular forms, Wang highlights the importance of the continuity of living traditions and the preservation of old neighborhoods. Wang’s work is deeply rooted in its context, expressing a distinctive sense of historical identity, set against a rising tide of global homogenization and commercialization.