The property is known locally as a da-za-yuan; translated as "big messy
courtyard shared by several houses", and is situated in Qingping Hutong,
Beijing. The owner’s parents who live in the property, suffer from
Alzheimer's or is wheelchair bound. The project answers questions
highlighted in China, in accommodating an increasingly aging population.
Constructing an additional steel interior frame, whilst keeping the hutongs
original wooden structure allowed for a second floor, thus expanding its
living space. Common poor lighting conditions found in traditional hutongs
were resolved by increasing the size of the windows, incorporating
staircases louvers, and implementing a playful sky light into the kitchen.
These design features not only add character to the home, but allows for
light to pour into the interior spaces from all angles.
The result is a project that embraces the constrains of its unique site, and
elegantly balances between historic preservation and modern living.