chinese architecture firm bwao unveils its latest hutong renovation project for a studio living space in beijingthe hutong is divided into several spaces: north, east, west and south. the westernmost house is reserved especially for the host while the east house is reprogrammed for the client’s home and studio. the house to the north is the designated dining room that can be shared by both houses.

with respect to its origin and spirt of hutongs, the clerestory window situates quietly among grey roofs, gently shining its light to the sky



bwao’s west house features a volume that extends from the living area. the interior space is reshaped by programs that are situated along the edges, such as a triangular cabinet, a seated window area, and a bathroom. additionally, a small kitchen volume is attached within the living room via a transparent roof canopy at the top, separated by a public passageway. the official living space is fully deployed on the ground floor of the west house, with an atrium space that separates the two. the atrium holds the vertical staircase that leads to the bedroom on the mezzanine level, while providing natural lighting and ventilation. 

the studio opens up entirely to the urban passageway, bringing public life into the space



a large working desk dominates the studio space to the north, with a wide open glass window overlooking the northern wall. a foyer is located to the northwest corner with a drawers that stretches along the wall. the east and south walls are equipped with open shelves and cabinets that hold miscellaneous office items. surrounding the old date grove that grows to the east of the house, a volume is inserted to hold a small tatami space that overlooks the tree and a bathroom that can be closed off entirely. this volume also serves as a small terrace that can be accessed from the east window of the bedroom on the second floor. the bedroom spaces are well lit and ventilated with three windows that open to different directions: a dormer that opens up to the south, a vertical window that opens to the east, and a horizontal window that opens low to the north. 

a device to frame views has become a spectacle to be seen



the dining room to the north lies very close to the east house, with only a one meter wide public passageway. it is practically impossible to get light through a wall mounted window, however big it is. as a result, the south wall of the dining room is completely sealed off for service area, open counter and cabinet as such, with only a 750 square opening for ventilation. rather, a full-sized clerestory window is introduced to get full access to natural light to the south. this 3 m x 1.1 m single-paned window not only brings maximum light to the space, but also frames the sky, the old tree, and the roof of the traditional house into the picture. a triplet of high windows is located to the north wall. an entrance door and a small high window are opened on west wall, the latter of which brings the tree canopy in the neighboring courtyard into the view. 

the window above the kitchen naturally illuminates the space



with all these different views, the dining room has become a spiritual citadel in the family activities rather than merely serving as a place to dine. the traditional houses are built with timber and bricks while all the other additions are constructed with steel frame structure with bricks as infill. the roof slabs are cast in concrete and the exterior walls are fitted with insulation panels that are applied with plaster and grey paint finishes. windows and doors use aluminum extrusion systems and double insulated glasses. the interior floors are finished with either bamboo or self-leveling cement.

the windows use an aluminum extrusion systems and double insulated glasses

between the studio and dining room, picturesque views are formed by neighbors passing by, bringing art into their daily lives

the minimalist living space combines traditional with contemporary

the interior floors are finished with either bamboo or self-leveling cement

natural lighting and ventilation create a healthy environment for an attic 

this newly renovated project brings blue sky and old tree into a geometric frame for hutong habitants

wooden model of the no. 66 lanman hutong renovation project

axonometric explosion view


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