Courtyard-Wayuan / Basic Architecture Studio

Courtyard-Wayuan / Basic Architecture Studio - Windows, Facade, Beam, PatioCourtyard-Wayuan / Basic Architecture Studio - Beam, WindowsCourtyard-Wayuan / Basic Architecture Studio - Door, Brick, Facade, CourtyardCourtyard-Wayuan / Basic Architecture Studio - Wood, Table, Bed, Beam, BedroomCourtyard-Wayuan / Basic Architecture Studio - More Images+ 27

Beijing, China
  • Owner: Beijing Tianheng free front
  • Material: small green tile, clear water brick, steel, corroded steel plate, wood, bamboo, glass, etc.
  • City: Beijing
  • Country: China
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Courtyard-Wayuan / Basic Architecture Studio - Windows, Facade, Beam, Patio
Courtyard day scene. Image © Zhen Shen

Text description provided by the architects. The courtyard is located in the south of Houhainan and the Xiaoxiang Fenghutong to the north of Gongwangfu. It is less than 100 meters away from Houhai. It was originally an abandoned courtyard with a better pattern and not very dilapidated architectural appearance. There are two main rooms and one west chamber, one in the east, and one kitchen built later.

Courtyard-Wayuan / Basic Architecture Studio - Door, Brick, Facade, Courtyard
Courtyard day scene. Image © Zhen Shen

On the right side of the entrance to the courtyard is a big tree. As long as you step into the entrance, under the protection of "she", there will be no more bustling in Houhai. Immediately, you will fall into a quiet atmosphere. In addition, with the strong color of the house, a strong sense of history will arise spontaneously.


We decided not to destroy the basic pattern of the courtyard, but to reconstruct the space and transform the function through a limited design and intervention, and more importantly, to continue the sense of history while excavating its potential cultural value.

Courtyard-Wayuan / Basic Architecture Studio - Beam
Courtyard day scene. Image © Zhen Shen
Courtyard-Wayuan / Basic Architecture Studio - Facade, Beam
Intersection between the tree and the tea house. Image © Zhen Shen

The renovated courtyard consists of two guest rooms, a public kitchen and a Zen teahouse (old and new). The external facade extends the color and detail of the original house in addition to the additional part. The original window type, window sill and other elements are disassembled, distributed and reorganized, and new texture is mixed to form a new building facade. In the small courtyard, big trees and tea rooms form the core of the whole courtyard.

Plan after renovation

Through a continuous turning shape, the entrance, tea rooms and big trees are integrated to form porch, southeast corner tree courtyard and tea room space. Corroded steel plate and anticorrosive wood board are selected as two materials with a sense of time precipitation, which correspond with the main body of the building in color and atmosphere. They are the combination of the old and the new. A transparent and ceremonial gesture speaks of a kind of "courtyard public life" different from the Western Street square: a kind of public life with the theme of closeness to nature.

Courtyard-Wayuan / Basic Architecture Studio - Lighting, Handrail
View from the entrance to the courtyard. Image © Xiaodong Xu

Knot in the world, without the noise of cars and horses. The core idea of Chinese ancient man-made gardens in the Ming and Qing Dynasties was to build mountains and forests close to the city. This was also a haven for the scholar-bureaucrats to temporarily relax and relax in dealing with the chaotic world. The yearning for nature was one aspect of the deep dualistic value of our soul and played a very good role in regulating people's minds. However, the standardization and fast pace of commercial society have gradually alienated us from nature and gradually lost this regulatory mechanism.

Courtyard-Wayuan / Basic Architecture Studio - Chair, Beam, Windows, Bedroom
South main room interior. Image © Xiaodong Xu
Courtyard-Wayuan / Basic Architecture Studio - Bed, Bedroom
West side room interior. Image © Xiaodong Xu

The courtyard itself is very close, in the limited space, through combing and integrating the different organizations and definitions of the traditional material "tile" to create landscapes and visualize landscapes. The transformed courtyard itself becomes a "place" in this city. It makes people forget the disturbances in real life and temporarily return to a more natural life state in an alienated way, or to comfort the soul. It is our expectation.

Courtyard-Wayuan / Basic Architecture Studio - Beam
View from tree courtyard to tea house. Image © Xiaodong Xu
Courtyard-Wayuan / Basic Architecture Studio - Image 12 of 32
Tree courtyard. Image © Xiaodong Xu

Architecture is like utensils. It takes time to nourish and fade away the dryness. It needs the embellishment of life to glow slowly. Looking forward to the spring blossom, the sun shaded by leaves, the pond full of water and the mossy days in the coming year, it should be another scene.

Courtyard-Wayuan / Basic Architecture Studio - Beam
Courtyard day scene. Image © Zhen Shen

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Project location

Address:No. 15 Hospital of Xiaoxiang Feng Hutong, Houhai, Beijing, China

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Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "Courtyard-Wayuan / Basic Architecture Studio" 15 May 2019. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

Courtyard night scene. Image © Xiaodong Xu

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