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  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Museums & Exhibit
  4. China
  5. MINOR lab
  6. 2018
  7. Revitalizing Theatrical Hutongscape / MINOR lab

Refurbishment in Architecture

presented by the MINI Clubman

Revitalizing Theatrical Hutongscape / MINOR lab

  • 00:00 - 27 June, 2018
Revitalizing Theatrical Hutongscape / MINOR lab
Revitalizing Theatrical Hutongscape / MINOR lab, view from courtyard to office. Image © Hao Chen
view from courtyard to office. Image © Hao Chen

side view of office space at ground level. Image © Hao Chen exhibition space. Image © Yi-Chi Wang view from exhibition space to office through courtyard. Image © Hao Chen front view from hutong. Image © Hao Chen + 48

  • Architects

  • Location

    26 Sanjing Hutong, Xicheng District, Beijing, China
  • Lead Architects

    Chen Liu, Yi-Chi Wang, Dan Zhao, Ping-Chen Yeh
  • Area

    255.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2018
  • Photographs

front view from hutong. Image © Hao Chen
front view from hutong. Image © Hao Chen

Text description provided by the architects. Hutong, the timeline of a Chinese city's prolonged and preserved local memories. Hutong carries the local history that displays historic traces of different times. With the process of modernization, the function of Hutong becomes more dynamic and diversified. One representative example is the particular courtyard house that we explored in this project. Itwas a typical residence in old town Beijing and was once operated as a hostel since 1998; yet in 2014, under the policy of renewing the old town, it was changed to a small theatre in steel structure. Now it will soon serve as the office and exhibition space of PAGEONE Bookstore, though it cannot be permanent either.

view from exhibition space to hutong. Image © Yi-Chi Wang
view from exhibition space to hutong. Image © Yi-Chi Wang

Hutong breeds vitality and inclusiveness. Given that the function of the courtyard might change again, we have adopted a light and flexible approach – we aimed for retaining memories of the site and keeping the dynamics of the city and Hutong while refining the main structure; and we managed to present multiple layers of Hutong experiences on top of a limited spatial and temporal condition.

AXO Before and After
AXO Before and After

Based on the existing spatial composition, we have redefined the space and its internal substances, contrasted new materials with old ones, and adjusted the spatial scale and light ambiance. Through these endeavors, we have tried to create a unique and authentic Hutong experience under the initial context.

exhibition space. Image © Yi-Chi Wang
exhibition space. Image © Yi-Chi Wang

From Hutong to office space, redefining theatrical hutong-scape
The sunken theatre space, skylight and the yard are inspiring elements in Hutong. By moderate design, people will experience a series of scenarios while wandering from the hutong street to the layering spaces with gradually changing ambience and scale.People can experience several vivid scenes through shades of light and space if they walk from the Hutong street into this site, just like wandering in a theatre.

view from exhibition space to office through courtyard. Image © Hao Chen
view from exhibition space to office through courtyard. Image © Hao Chen

The exhibition space at the entrance is bright and lively, whereas the following corridor on the eastern side of the yard isredesigned as a tranquil and dark gallery. The dialogue between itself and the yard is specified as a personal reading space that extends out into the courtyard.

the entrance of office space and the kitchenette. Image © Yi-Chi Wang
the entrance of office space and the kitchenette. Image © Yi-Chi Wang

The gallery connects two spaces of separate functions, namely the exhibition space and the office space, leveraging light in order to deliver a message to visitors at large – there exists a gradual transition from external bustle to internal tranquility.

gallery loop around office space(in-use). Image © Hao Chen
gallery loop around office space(in-use). Image © Hao Chen

The initial sunken space is reconstructed as the office space. A layer of metal mesh is installed to suspend above the office area, emphasizing the boundary and taming the direct sunlight. It also meets the needs of office lighting and poster hanging. Additionally, the height of the metal mesh layer rescales the sunken space into a comfortable office space.

Section
Section

The ground floor around the sunken space functions as an annular circulated gallery for visitors. We keep the initial flooring-the black embossed steel plate from the entrance to the office space. While walking it through, people can get a feeling of walking onto the stage and be reminded of the venue’s previous usage, thanks to the unique texture of the steel plate and the layering space of initial steel plate walls and newly inserted perforated plate cabinets.

front view of office space at ground level (artificial lighting). Image © Hao Chen
front view of office space at ground level (artificial lighting). Image © Hao Chen
© Hao Chen
© Hao Chen

Placed along the two long sides of the space, the two sides of cabinets grow upward and offer ample storage for the office space; as for the gallery, the shelves on the top serve as displaying, reading and writing space for visitors. Furthermore, it stands as a seeing/seen interface between office users and visitors.

gallery loop . Image © Hao Chen
gallery loop . Image © Hao Chen

Releasing space by opening up Hutong
The entrance, the north and south facades of the yard are the three transparentinterfaces that link the entire space toHutong. Visually speaking, all the connected spaces can be seen through, including Hutong, the exhibition space, the yard and the office space. These spaces stand alone and stay associated. After opening the aligned sliding doors of the three facades, a straight path turns the separate spaces into one flowing space.

Front Gallery
Front Gallery

The entrance space is used for exhibitions and meetings. Besides, exhibition activities will be held regularly to interact with the community outside and the library on the opposite side. In order to divide spaces flexibly, we have implantedcross-shaped movable walls made of OSB boards and steel rails member under the existing steel structure. With these walls being moved, the two small meeting rooms on the east side can be merged into one large meeting room; or else, they can be used as an extension of the exhibition space on the west side.

entrance (when the aligned sliding doors of the three transparent facades are opened). Image © Hao Chen
entrance (when the aligned sliding doors of the three transparent facades are opened). Image © Hao Chen

In terms of selecting materials for the revitalization, we have taken the critical requirements of time and budget into account – we used the effective plywood and OSB board, as well as the galvanized steel sheet, metal mesh and polycarbonate sheet which usually appear in illegal additions to Hutong houses. We have tried to take advantage of common and economical materials in Hutong in hope of realizing their quality and value in most appropriate settings.

view from exhibition space to meeting room(in-use). Image © Hao Chen
view from exhibition space to meeting room(in-use). Image © Hao Chen

The composition of hutong becomes complex and even fragmented,in the progress of modernization and urbanization. Comparatively, our attempt can also be a part of the overall social transformation. Therefore, from its design, construction to being in use, the project represents our objective of creating free spaces, so that people can have the opportunity of accumulating the individual Hutong memories and gradually become an urban collective memory of the hutong, a particular Hutongscape.

meeting room view from hutong (two small meeting rooms mode). Image © Hao Chen
meeting room view from hutong (two small meeting rooms mode). Image © Hao Chen

View the complete gallery

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
MINOR lab
Office
Cite: "Revitalizing Theatrical Hutongscape / MINOR lab" 27 Jun 2018. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/896994/revitalizing-theatrical-hutongscape-minor-lab/> ISSN 0719-8884
view from courtyard to office. Image © Hao Chen

北京PAGEONE办公室与艺文展场改造 / 即作建筑

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