Lead ArchitectJianghai Shen
Design TeamShaoyi Li, Xiaohan Wang, Aili Yin
Soft Loading DesignXiaoyu Yu, Tingqiu fang, Weixuan Ma
Text description provided by the architects. DAGA Architects is invited by Beijing TV’s “NuanNuanDeXinJia” program again to redesign the new Hutong project. In the past two years, DAGA Architects has made many attempts in the renovation of old houses in Hutong, aiming in finding a balance between modern and traditional. While improving the life quality of the owners, they can also get more abundant and unique experience in the cramped small space. In addition to present effect, it focuses more on exploration of the possibilities of integration on classic and new styles.
The renovation project is located in the Hutong of Dongsi North Street in Dongcheng District. The primary problem of the transformation is to leave privacy in the narrow space where many people lives. In fact, this is the inadaptability to the new life demands which was caused by the old buildings. The first step of the transformation is to rearrange the original space and organize the sequence relationships between both public and private spaces. However, the ancient Beijing Hutong mostly are adopted by public toilets, which are obviously inconvenient for peoples today. Therefore, the second step in the transformation is to solve the problems of public toilets.
The concept of “glass boxes” is embedded in the old buildings, the transparent glass curtain walls ensure adequate lighting throughout the day, therefore lighting efficiency of small space is greatly improved. At the same time, large windows can maximize the landscape value of the ancient Hutong buildings. The using of glass box will break the barrier and bring more possibilities to different attributes of spaces. Base on the characteristics of the glass,the box forms a strong contrast with the old bricks, thus metaphorizing the conflict and symbiosis between the historical and modern era.
The owner of the house,Mrs. Cao, livesthe end of Hutong with her husband, daughter and their cat. Only 25 square meters of spaces are available for their daily living, work, study and entertainment. Through ingenious design techniques, we need to solve the problems of lighting, independent toilets and interactive public area in small space. While meeting the living needs of this three-member family, we inject new energy and lifestyles into the old house.
While stepping into the house, the first thing we saw is the combination area of both living roomand the kitchen , by using white as our majority colour of the area , it makes the whole space indeed more spacious, bright and tidy. Customized built-in storage shelves integrate the two spaces and make full use of the built-in storage space. Simple lines perfectly hide the essential appliances in life, such as washing machines, lampblack machines and other large furniture. Storage shelves are placed on one side of the room and allow the open atrium to be the public area of the household. The combination of white and natural light makes the whole space brighter and warmer.
White is still selected as main color of the master bedroom area, while pulley tracks are installed to separate with other functional spaces and therefore it solved the privacyproblem. By using the curtain as an outer shell, the texture of the space and the volume of the atmosphere have been improved.
The bathroom area is paved by white bricks, which indicates concise, bright and modern. The white bricks are neatly arranged to reflect elegance of the design. We have also dug and built a bathtub for the family to experience the spa treatment. The bathroom went straight up to the roof and fully automatic skylight was installed above the roof. The bathroom use to refractive light from white bricks to improve its brightness and textureduring the day. When night falls, family members can also enjoy the night scenery.
Simple and slender stairs divide the upper and lower spaces of the house. Below the stairs is a private area for the cat, which is enough for the it to rest and take up no space. The attic of the house is an independent bedroom for children. The whole bedroom is painted in white just like other areas. She will have her own little paradise area for study and sleep. Through glass partitions and skylights, the amount of nature sunlight receives to the children’s bedroom has been improved, the wholeness of space has been extended as well., she will enjoy the first ray of sunshine during the day, while accompanying by stars at night.
For the courtyard, the combination of glass bricks and the old traditional bricks has been used to separate the owner’s house with the neighborhood houses. While the lights glow warmly through thick glass bricks, the it gave a halo effect which can be seen clearly when night falls. Therefore the atmosphereof the entire space is greatly enhanced.
By in contrast with the traditional historical houses, climbable roof is added to indicates the new forms of designfeatures. Steel frame ladder structures can be used as a drying rack, the ladder can be lowered to create a platform to go up to the roof top, which also providesa space for leisure and entertainment. The radical glass box contrasts sharply with the Hutong, which distinguish the old and new design structures clearly.