Completed by Archstudio, “Twisting courtyard” is a renovated residence in Paizihutong, dashilar area, Beijing. The property was once a siheyuan (courtyard house) with a single entry, and the purpose of this project is to upgrade the necessary infrastructure needed for a contemporary lifestyle. Hence, this traditional courtyard which mainly served as a residence is turned into an attractive, urban public space within Beijing’s inner city.
Archstudio‘s design aims at getting rid of the solemn and stereotyped impression given by a siheyuan by creating an open and active living atmosphere. Based on the existing layout of the courtyard, the undulated gray brick floor is used to connect indoor and outdoor spaces of different height, and is extended to the inside of the house – twisting into walls and roof, thus creating dynamic connection between in and out.
What hides within the curved wall are necessary auxiliary spaces such as kitchen, toilet and warehouse, while reception and dinning areas are shown outside the curved facade and connect to the courtyard as a whole. The small yard is mainly used as an urban public space, while maintaining the possibility of functioning as a residence. Even more, four houses can be rented for public events such as recreation, gatherings and meetings – or could serve as a family hostel with three bedrooms.
Integrated furniture is used to enable the flexible switch of space scene by inserting boxes into the existing wood frames of east and west wings. For the building type “siheyuan”, the courtyard is the core of living fun. This project makes micro-adjustment that change the temperament of the courtyard space and meet requirements of multiple use, without changing the existing housing structure, making the traditional courtyard up-to-date,’ elaborates Archstudio.
Photography: Wang Ning, Jin Weiqi