- Architects: Hu Yue Studio
- Location: Dongcheng, Beijing, China
- Architect In Charge: Hu Yue
- Design Team: Hu Yue, Tai Fangqing, Jiang Ran, Wu Hancheng, Zhao Mochao
- Area: 435.4 m2
- Project Year: 2015
- Photographs: Yang Chaoying, Chen Su
Transform and Rethink
This project includes the transformation in No. 8 Courtyard and No. 19 Courtyard, and also an installation in No. 8 Courtyard, on CaochangSitiao, Qianmen, Beijing.
During the transformation, architects concern the daily lives in the normal houses. It makes the courtyard dwellings continue with its ordinary mission after the transformation.
The traditional Beijing courtyard dwelling is designed with a peaceful inner yard and rooms around in good lighting and ventilation condition. However, these characteristics have been disappearing along with the exceeding population expansion and additional construction in chaos.
On the premise of satisfying residents’ basic need in daily life, this project tries the best to make the traditional layout of the courtyard recur in the extremely crowded circumstance. After partially demolishing and extending, it makes each resident enjoy the inner yard space, enough sun light, nice ventilation, as well as the peace of the traditional dwellings. Also, obtain the happiness and dignity of life again.
During the transformation process of No. 8 Courtyard and No. 19 Courtyard, we have been ruminating over the role of traditional buildings and its relation to the current city life. We find the conflict between the traditional and contemporary building happens on two aspects, the role and the change.
Fatty – Scale Transformation
There is a 10-meter-high inflatable figure – the fatty, whose height is computative. In the past, the width of Hutong is about 4 to 5 meters, however, now the width of the city-level secondary street is around 30 meters, while the width of the main street goes over 100 meters. As the technology develops, the city scale is becoming larger and larger, therefore the adaptable human scale has been taken place by non-human huge scale. According to the past scale 1.7/5, human height to road width, the height of human should be at least 10.2 meters, based on the contemporary street width (30 meters). Actually, the amount of our living unit has been shrinking down comparing with the past, while the public space and the city scale is such considerable. Hereby, you could see the transformation and the conflict. We hope it could make the visitors a profound think.
Dumplings – Role Transformation
As a kind of traditional food, here, the dumplings become cushion and sofa. It only maintains the profile shape, but the function, scale and material have been changed. This is just the current situation of most traditional culture. What associations does this have for you?