Located in the district of Dashilan, just south of Tiananmen Square, Arch Studio have renovated a traditional Siheyuan residence. Their ‘Twisting Courtyard’ is an advance towards more efficient use of space in the Hutong neighbourhoods of Beijing, famed for their narrow alleyways and central courtyards.
The ‘Twisting Courtyard’ presents itself as a sweeping path of grey-brick paving, sweeping from exterior to interior spaces of varying heights and mimicking the flow of a waterfall. By connecting the inside and outside areas in this manner, together with the use of large windows around the edges of the courtyard, the space is now open and extended. The building was initially intended to be a hotel or residency, but Arch Studio have transformed the possibilities of the space, also refurbishing the rooms around the courtyard to be more suitable for meetings and events. The studio team explains that “the design aims at getting rid of the solemn and stereotyped impression given by Siheyuan, and creating an open and active living atmosphere.”
All images © Wang Ning and Jin Weiqi