- Constructor:Huge Design Group
- Owner:Beijing Ziting Cultural Development Co., Ltd.
- Operation Consultant:Huge Design Group
- Design Team:Longsheng Ye, Lihua Luo, Heng Zhang
Text description provided by the architects. The project is located at the southwest corner of the intersection of Xuanwumen Inner Street and Xinwenhua Street. The Xuanwumen Inner Street was called the official road outside Shunchengmen in Yuan Dynasty. And in Ming and Qing Dynasty, Xuanwumen Inner Street was called the Xuanwumen Street. In the north side of the east section of Xinwenhua Street lies Lu Xun High School which is the former site of Peking Women’s College of Education.
The original ancient house has a history of more than 200 years, and the original wooden structure and the brick wall of the house have been seriously damaged. Before the transformation, it was a well-known restaurant. In the process of transformation and design, the bar equipment was cleaned up, and a rectangular courtyard space was designed in the L-shaped whole courtyard, which fully utilized the inward-looking character of the courtyard to solve the natural lighting and ventilation; meanwhile, the courtyard is separated into four parts:
The entrance area to the north side is designed as the public area for receiving visitors; The east side is the auxiliary area of kitchen, storage room, and bathroom, which is connected to the main entrance; The west side is the restaurant and bar counter, which maintains connection with the central courtyard; The south side is a relatively private and independent area, which can also be transformed into a bedroom suite with an independent bathroom; the interior spaces of each area maintain connection. And the central outdoor courtyard is surrounded by those areas. However, the plasticity and transformation possibility should be given to the interior space by design.
The transformed main gate along the street and the mounting stone in front of the gate are kept in the original state, faithfully recording the history; the courtyard wall along the street is decorated vividly, not only solemn but also gorgeous. Therefore, the ancient house has become a wonderful landscape in the streets.
The wood structure in Chinese style preserved indoors presents the local traditional architectural features, while the delicate details of the later-added modern architectural structure endow fresher and lively characteristics to space. The blending of old and new materials, the connection and transition of the internal and external space and the fleeting time have been dramatically recorded. And the dyed firs have been maintained naturally from the texture to color. Then, a sense of relaxation and comfort has been created under the joint influence of the bare wood beam made in Qing dynasty, dark slate made of granite and white rough glaze. Standing inside quietly, it seems that you can feel the slowly flowing of a hundred years.
As to the scenery on the roof, an overhead anti-rot wood roof was laid with the existing flat-top structures of the eastern and western houses and was between the roofs of the north and south houses which were covered with black bricks in slope. Then two observation platforms were formed, which not only enriched the vertical arrangements of the outdoor space in the inner courtyards but also provided a natural layer of heat preservation and insulation for the flat-top buildings.
Climb to the roof through the stairs in the central courtyard, and look as far as you can, the scenery of the old Beijing city for a whole year could be in your eyes: everything wakens in spring; the sun shines like a ball of fire in the clear sky in summer; fallen leaves fly with the wind in the late autumn; and everywhere is white in winter. The real meaning of rejuvenating old buildings by transformation is to experience life and feeling closely bound up with nature.