In looking for building types in China to emulate for new developments, one of the problems is finding something that is more than two stories. These rather astonishing buildings were begun in the late 19th century by returning Chinese from abroad. Diaolou means fortified watchtower and a form of these had been built from the 1600's but reached their flowering from 1900-1930. The tallest of these were nine stories and could be quite elaborate on the top, using elements of classical, Indian, Gothic and other influences of the wanderings of their owners.
At one time there were more than 3,000 of the diaolou. Today, 1800 remain.