Through a pedagogical study on the culture-oriented residential design over the past several years, a course of mountain residential design based on the Chinese mountain-dwelling spirit is developed for those students in their senior year of an undergraduate architectural design program. In this program, three design steps, i.e. overall planning, unit organization and house type design are integrated with three aspects of the mountain-dwelling spirit, i.e. “hugeness and tininess,” “precedence and subsequence” and “external and internal.” Meanwhile, different levels of two methods, i.e. topography and schema were taken into consideration. This stimulates students’ critical thinking of the tradition spirits, combines the prototype of tradition with sustainable design, and keeps balance between theory and practice. Finally, three design cases from the course are introduced to enlighten the reinterpretation of Chinese mountain-dwelling spirit.