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  2. Hutong

Hutong: The Latest Architecture and News

Ten Courtyard House / Atelier ZAI

Public courtyard. Image © Kunpeng Liu
Public courtyard. Image © Kunpeng Liu

Courtyard added after renovation. Image © Kunpeng Liu Entrance front yard. Image © Kunpeng Liu Restaurant and workspace. Image © Kunpeng Liu Viewing public courtyard from room courtyard. Image © Kunpeng Liu + 24

Renovation  · 
Beijing, China
  • Architects: Atelier ZAI
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 280.0 m2
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2017

Dwelling in Hutong / MINOR lab

office space. Image © Hao Chen guestroom. Image © Hao Chen courtyard view. Image © Hao Chen view from roof top to the courtyard (in autumn). Image © Yichi Wang + 31

Renovation  · 
Beijing, China
  • Architects: MINOR lab
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 115.0 m2
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2017

Revitalizing Theatrical Hutongscape / MINOR lab

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

Refurbishment  · 
Beijing, China
  • Architects: MINOR lab
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 255.0 m2
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2018

10000/1 OFFICE / O architecture

Night view. Image © Weiqi Jin
Night view. Image © Weiqi Jin

Glass passages. Image © Weiqi Jin Courtyard. Image © Weiqi Jin Office. Image © Weiqi Jin Doorway. Image © Weiqi Jin + 24

Renovation  · 
Xicheng, China
  • Architects: O architecture
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 130.0 m2
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2018

Han Wenqiang of ARCHSTUDIO: “Let’s Call My Work the Art of Coordination”

Throughout the work of Beijing-based practice ARCHSTUDIO, there is a constant feeling of sensitivity to culture and history. That is not to say that the firm’s designs are not modern—far from it in fact—but that the work of founder Han Wenqiang infuses modern materials and forms with a distinctly Chinese sensibility, that is just as apparent in his designs for a food packaging facility as it is in a Buddhist shrine (incidentally, both designs which won ArchDaily Building of the Year Awards, in 2017 and 2018 respectively). In the latest interview from his “City of Ideas” series, Vladimir Belogolovsky speaks to Han about whether architecture is an art form and what it means to create “Chinese” architecture in the 21st century.

Haitang Villa, 2015. Image © Magic Penny Tangshan Organic Farm, 2015. Image © Weiqi Jin Twisting Courtyard, 2017. Image © Weiqi Jin Waterside Buddhist Shrine, 2017. Image © Weiqi Jin + 53

Best Modern Examples of Ancient Courtyard Renovations in China

© Fangfang Tian
© Fangfang Tian

Chinese courtyard houses are one of the most common housing typologies spanning all the way from the northern capital of Beijing to the poetic southern cities Hangzhou and back to the picturesque regions of Yunnan. Typically referred as heyuan, these courtyards homes are simply a “yard enclosed on four sides."

Traditionally, heyuans were large single-family homes, built to house multiple generations of descendants, thus the essential gathering place for micro-communities. Today, however, many heyuans in China are faced with the challenges of encroaching urban development. The national reforms of the 1950’s divided up many existing courtyards to be occupied by multiple families and groups, exhausting ancient sanitation systems nationwide. These practical circumstances together with market-driven conditions have sparked a renewed interest among architects, to upgrade the conditions of these ancient courtyards and explore the spatial and conceptual possibilities of the typology within their fast-changing urban fabric. Scroll down for a selection of projects that will refresh your understanding of Chinese courtyards.

© Mingming Zhang Courtesy of hyperSity Architects Courtesy of Atelier Archmixing © Weiqi Jin, Ning Wang + 17

The MaoHaus / AntiStatics Architecture

MaoHaus Exterior. Image © Xia Zhi
MaoHaus Exterior. Image © Xia Zhi

MaoHaus Night. Image © Xia Zhi MaoHaus Exterior. Image © Xia Zhi MaoHaus Detail. Image © Xia Zhi MaoHaus Site. Image © Xia Zhi + 52

Small Scale  · 
Beijing, China

XinXian Inn Hotel / penda

© Xia Zhi
© Xia Zhi

© Xia Zhi © Xia Zhi © Xia Zhi © Xia Zhi + 30

Dongcheng, China
  • Architects: Penda
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 1000.0 m2
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2017

Beijing ‘Tsuo’ / Wonder Architects

Collecting’ views. Image © Haiting Sun Interaction between the rocks and our living space. Image © Haiting Sun The views corresponding with the space. Image © Haiting Sun The views corresponding with the space. Image © Haiting Sun + 32

Refurbishment  · 
Xicheng Qu, China
  • Architects: Wonder Architects
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 100.0 m2
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2017

A Hutong Home Renovation / CAA

© Huo Cheng © Huo Cheng © Huo Cheng © Huo Cheng + 27

Renovation  · 
Beijing, China
  • Architects: CAA
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 90.0 m2
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2016

Micro-Hutong / standardarchitecture

© Su Shengliang © Zhang Yanping © Zhang Mingming © Su Shengliang + 49

Houses  · 
Beijing, China
  • Architects: standardarchitecture
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 30.0 sqm
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2013

Reviving Beijing's Hutongs with Micro Installations

The Guardian's Oliver Wainwright documents the current trend of micro-scale installations spurring new life into the historic hutongs of Beijing and gaining support from the local communities, eager to reject the economic pressures of destroying/rebuilding. The local government’s endorsement, however, comes as a surprise - especially considering its fervent impetus to raze these areas just a few years ago. Read the full article here: Designers Use 'Urban Acupuncture' to Revive Beijing's Historic Hutongs.