Micro Yuan'er / ZAO/standardarchitecture

© AKTC / ZAO/standard architecture, Su Shengliang | Once a typical “Da-Za-Yuan”-big messy courtyard- the architects redesigned, renovated, and reused the informal add-on structures instead of eliminating them like most recent renovation practices

Designed by ZAO/standardarchitecture in 2014, this small-scale Beijing project enriches bonds amongst communities and revives Hutong life.

Micro Yuan’er Technical Information

  • Architects: ZAO/standardarchitecture
  • Location: Cha’er Hutong #8, Dashilar, Beijing, China
  • Typology : Residential Architecture / Houses
  • Client: Dashilar Investment
  • Project Architects: Zhang Ke, Zhang Mingming, Fang Shujun
  • Design Team: Ao Ikegami, Huang Tanyu, Dai Haifei, Zhao Sheng, Liu Xinghua
  • Size: Built area: 190 m2; Site area: 350 m2
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: © AKTC / ZAO/standardarchitecture, Su Shengliang

Under a big Chinese scholar tree, one of the former kitchens was redesigned into a six-metre-square miniature art space made from traditional bluish-grey brick. Through this small-scale intervention in the courtyard, bonds between communities have been strengthened and the Hutong life of local residents enriched.

Micro Yuan’er House Renovation Photographs
Micro Yuan'er / ZAO/standardarchitecture

© AKTC / ZAO/standardarchitecture, Su Shengliang | Under a big Chinese scholar tree, one of the former kitchens was redesigned into a 6m² mini art space made from traditional bluish-grey brick, with an accessible roof

Micro Yuan'er / ZAO/standardarchitecture

© AKTC / ZAO/standardarchitecture, Su Shengliang | The 9m² children’s public library built of concrete mixed with Chinese ink was inserted underneath the pitched roof of an existing building

Micro Yuan'er / ZAO/standardarchitecture

© AKTC / ZAO/standardarchitecture, Su Shengliang

Micro Yuan'er / ZAO/standardarchitecture

© AKTC / ZAO/standardarchitecture, Su Shengliang

Micro Yuan’er description by the Architects

Cha’er Hutong is a quiet spot one kilometer from Tiananmen Square in the city center. Number 8 in this neighborhood, located near a major mosque, is a typical da-za-yuan (big-messy-courtyard) once occupied by over a dozen families. The courtyard is about 300-400 years old and once housed a temple that was then turned into residences in the 1950s.

Over the past fifty or sixty years, each family built a small add-on kitchen in the courtyard. Almost all of them have been wiped out with the renovation practices of the past years. In redesigning, renovating, and reusing the informal add-on structures instead of eliminating them, it was intended to recognize them as an important historical layer, and a critical embodiment of Beijing’s contemporary civil life in Hutongs has so often been neglected.

In concert with the families, a nine-meter-square children’s library built of plywood was inserted underneath an existing building’s pitched roof. Under a big Chinese scholar tree, one of the former kitchens was redesigned into a six-meter-square miniature art space made from traditional bluish-grey brick. Through this small-scale intervention in the courtyard, bonds between communities have been strengthened, and residents’ Hutong life enriched.

Micro Yuan’er Plans

Micro Yuan'er / ZAO/standardarchitecture Micro Yuan'er / ZAO/standardarchitecture

Micro Yuan’er Gallery
  1. Source: Aga Khan Award for Architecture
Cite this article: "Micro Yuan’er House Renovation / ZAO Architects" in ArchEyes, May 18, 2016, https://archeyes.com/micro-yuan-er-zao-standardarchitecture/.