Caiguo Qiang Courtyard House, Beijing Building, Image, Architect, China, Project
Beijing Caiguo Qiang Courtyard House : Photos
Traditional Chinese Architecture – design by Studio Pei-Zhu
5 Jun 2008
Beijing Courtyard House
Architects: Studio Pei-Zhu
Caiguo Qiang Courtyard House Renovation
This residence for an artist calls for the restoration of a historically significant classical Chinese ‘siheyuan’ courtyard house, and a new building addition within its compounds. This project was particularly challenging because of its site: situated very close to the Forbidden City and also the original grounds of Peking University, the addition had to be sensitive to its external surroundings, hutong neighborhood, and internal courtyard configuration.
The attitude we developed for this project was one of sensitive regeneration, where contemporary and modern buildings can symbiotically co-exist with traditional structures. Like many Chinese cities, Beijing’s historical core is succumbing to unrelenting ‘modern’ development because of the difficulty in engaging traditional forms so steeped in history. Its modern uses are formalistically at odds with traditional contexts. However, modern structures can adopt their predecessors’ vocabulary, yet still serve its modern functions.
The original siheyuan was restored to its original condition, using traditional materials, construction technologies, and local skilled craftsmen and builders. The double courtyard configuration was restored into its intended void that gives presence to the south-facing buildings. Because of disintegration over the years, the interior was replaced with the original types of floor tiles, wall surfaces, and structural exposure.
The new building, however, was created as an object that floats in the larger south courtyard to face the traditional structures. In dialogue with its immediate predecessor, the new “invisible” building is both oppositional and complementary to the painstakingly restored houses. It is detailed to be independent from the existing courtyard walls so as to create as little impact as possible on the old structure; visually and physically light. Modern materials like glass and steel are used throughout the new building, so as to take advantage of its reflective properties to pay homage to the old. It contains new ‘modern’ programs like a flexible multipurpose space and an artist studio versus the fixed traditional programs of the existing structure. Similarly, the light and invisible new building is in contrast to the heavy and commanding presence of the old. But they complement each other in form, scale, and function.
Caiguo Qiang Courtyard House Beijing – Building Information
Project title: Caiguo Qiang Courtyard House Renovation
Program: Individual Housing
Client: Caiguo Qiang
Location: Beijing, China
Architects: Pei Zhu, Tong WuStudio Pei-Zhu
Design team: Liu Wentian, Hao Xiangru, Li Shaohua, He Fan
Structural consultant: Xu Minsheng
Completion: Nov 2007
Structure and materials: Wood Frame
Site area: 910.33 sqm
Total building area: 412.72 sqm
Upper level floor area: 412.72 sqm
Caiguo Qiang Courtyard House Beijing – images / information from Studio Pei-Zhu