C+ architects' 'stair pavilion' at beijing design week: a communal living room in beijing
 
C+ architects' 'stair pavilion' at beijing design week: a communal living room in beijing C+ architects' 'stair pavilion' at beijing design week: a communal living room in beijing
sep 29, 2016

C+ architects' 'stair pavilion' at beijing design week: a communal living room in beijing

 

beijing design week: C+ architects have unveiled their design for a regeneration project aimed at turning disused architecture in beijing into a communal living room. the project, entitled ‘stair pavilion’, is part of a wider renovation of a hutong — a traditional narrow street or alley commonly found in cities in the north of china. in beijing, the word hutong has become synonymous with community. the alleys are formed when multiple houses (called ‘siheyuan’) and their respective courtyards are constructed adjoining each other, forming a hutong. these then merge with other hutongs to form intersecting alleys and pathways: a narrow network of neighborhoods.


the plan for ‘stair pavilion’ is almost completely coterminous with that of original site

 

 

the initiative, developed by C+ architects and exhibited at beijing design week, involves taking a uninhabited siheyuan and turning it into an experimental social space, a ‘common living room’. the firm takes advantage of the original sunken ground and level difference of the siheyuan to design a series of ascending wooden steps, an upper level to be used as a gathering space for socializing, relaxing, or watching the world go by. the difference in elevation allows this upper level to also be used as a place of performance — for theater or film screenings — as well as lectures and presentations. to the right of the stairs, a passageway leads residents to the lower level — a small chamber intended to be used as a co-habitable social space, a shared living area or tea room. to alleviate any feeling of claustrophobia, the design calls for glass blocks to be used in the construction of the wall facing the courtyard, adding a sense of breathability to the lower section.


a stairway to the right leads down to the shared tea room

 

 

due to their cultural and historical status within traditional chinese cities, the redevelopment of hutongs is heavily policed and many are protected by law. eager to create a public space that would become an integrated addition to a site rather than a contemporary extension, the design of ‘stair pavilion’ is almost completely coterminous with that the existing site. the project is part of an ongoing endeavor to take meaningful advantage of communal space in increasingly crowded urban landscapes. in their brief, C+ lament the ongoing disregard for public space, where elderly residents and those seeking respite from the city are constantly disturbed by busy traffic and rush hour crowds. as part of their hutong regeneration program the studio aim to renovate and revitalize these traditional community spaces. the team propose their concept ‘separated home’; where a space such as ‘stair pavilion’ can become a shared, functional extension of one’s own property, bolstering relationships between neighbors and advocating for a stronger, more connected community.

 
a ‘hutong’ is a traditional narrow street in china, formed by a series of traditional residences or ‘siheyuan’


the development utilizes both the sunken basement and complete interior of the building

 

drawings

 

 

 

 

project info:

 

name: stair pavilion by C+ architects
lead architect: cheng yanchun
design team: xie bingyou, zheng yichun, wang lu, zhang ran, yang guang, chen pengyu, gu shuo
program: hutong regeneration
status: ongoing
location: no.9 tiaozhou hutong, dashilar, beijing
executor: dashilar platform

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: peter corboy | designboom

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