Hutong, timeline of the city prolonging and preserving local memories
北京的胡同如同历史的载体，各个时期的痕迹在此揉杂交错。 随着现代化发展， 胡同区域的功能也变得更加多元且多变。如同这个院落，曾经是住宅，在1998年被作为旅馆经营，在2014年的旧城更新中被改造成钢结构建筑，主要功能为小剧场，如今的新功能则为PAGEONE书店的办公室和艺文展示场所， 而这个功能也不会长久存在。
Hutong carries the local history that displays historic traces of different times. With the process of modernization, the function of Hutong becomes more dynamic and diversified. One representative example is the particular courtyard house that we explored in this project. It was a typical residence in old town Beijing and was once operated as a hostel since 1998; yet in 2014, under the policy of renewing the old town, it was changed to a small theatre in steel structure. Now it will soon serve as the office and exhibition space of PAGEONE Bookstore, though it cannot be permanent either.
▼胡同中的办公室，the project is located in Hutong area
胡同里有着丰富的生活，生命力是饱满且相互包容的。面对“二次更新”的项目，以及考虑未来继续变化生长的可能性， 我们在保留主体结构的条件下采用“轻” “弹性”的态度和方式去植入设计，保留部分场所记忆，并延续城市与胡同的活力， 在有限的空间和时间内企图凝聚更多的层次与胡同体验。
Hutong breeds vitality and inclusiveness. Given that the function of the courtyard might change again, we have adopted a light and flexible approach – we aimed for retaining memories of the site and keeping the dynamics of the city and Hutong while refining the main structure; and we managed to present multiple layers of Hutong experiences on top of a limited spatial and temporal condition.
Based on the existing spatial composition, we have redefined the space and its internal substances, contrasted new materials with old ones, and adjusted the spatial scale and light ambiance. Through these endeavors, we have tried to create a unique and authentic Hutong experience under the initial context.
▼立面近景，a close view
From Hutong to office space, a redefined theatrical hutong-scape
The sunken theatre space, skylight and the yard are inspiring elements in Hutong. By moderate design, people will experience a series of scenarios while wandering from the hutong street to the layering spaces with gradually changing ambience and scale. People can experience several vivid scenes through shades of light and space if they walk from the Hutong street into this site, just like wandering in a theatre.
▼层层光影与尺度渐变的空间，shades of light and space
The exhibition space at the entrance is bright and lively, whereas the following corridor on the eastern side of the yard is redesigned as a tranquil and dark gallery. The dialogue between itself and the yard is specified as a personal reading space that extends out into the courtyard.
▼明快的入口展间，the exhibition space at the entrance is bright and lively
▼院子东侧的连廊被改造为一条安静的黑色展廊，the following corridor on the eastern side of the yard is redesigned as a tranquil and dark gallery
The initial sunken space is reconstructed as the office space. A layer of metal mesh is installed to suspend above the office area, emphasizing the boundary and taming the direct sunlight. It also meets the needs of office lighting and poster hanging. Additionally, the height of the metal mesh layer rescales the sunken space into a comfortable office space.
▼金属拉伸网界面悬浮于办公区域上方，a layer of metal mesh is installed to suspend above the office area
▼网面还解决了办公照明和海报吊轨的需求，the metal mesh also meets the needs of office lighting and poster hanging
The ground floor around the sunken space functions as an annular circulated gallery for visitors. We keep the initial flooring-the black embossed steel plate from the entrance to the office space. While walking it through, people can get a feeling of walking onto the stage and be reminded of the venue’s previous usage, thanks to the unique texture of the steel plate and the layering space of initial steel plate walls and newly inserted perforated plate cabinets. Placed along the two long sides of the space, the two sides of cabinets grow upward and offer ample storage for the office space; as for the gallery, the shelves on the top serve as displaying, reading and writing space for visitors. Furthermore, it stands as a seeing/seen interface between office users and visitors.
▼金属冲孔板营造出多层次的办公空间，the steel plate walls provide a unique texture for working area
▼办公空间四周的地面层环廊为供访客参观的环形展廊，the ground floor around the sunken space functions as an annular circulated gallery for visitors
Releasing space by opening up Hutong
入口和院子的南北两侧立面是联系胡同街道与整个空间的三道透明界面，透过界面视线可以将空间串联 —— 胡同、展间、庭院直至办公空间。空间既是彼此独立，也相互交叠。当打开三道立面上经对位设计的推拉门，将有一条直接路径使空间流动。
The entrance, the north and south facades of the yard are the three transparent interfaces that link the entire space to Hutong. Visually speaking, all the connected spaces can be seen through, including Hutong, the exhibition space, the yard and the office space. These spaces stand alone and stay associated. After opening the aligned sliding doors of the three facades, a straight path turns the separate spaces into one flowing space.
▼空间既是彼此独立，也相互交叠，the spaces stand alone and stay associated
入口空间为展示与会议空间，除了办公需求外，在这里将定期发生展览活动，并和街道以及对面的社区图书馆互动。 我们在现有钢梁下植入新的系统，由胶合木板材（欧松板）与钢构件组成的十字型活动墙，可弹性划分空间。 借由墙体推移，空间东侧围合出的两个小会议室可相互合并为一个大会议室，亦可开敞成为西侧入口展间的延伸。
The entrance space is used for exhibitions and meetings. Besides, exhibition activities will be held regularly to interact with the community outside and the library on the opposite side. In order to divide spaces flexibly, we have implanted cross-shaped movable walls made of OSB boards and steel rails member under the existing steel structure. With these walls being moved, the two small meeting rooms on the east side can be merged into one large meeting room; or else, they can be used as an extension of the exhibition space on the west side.
▼十字型活动墙可弹性划分空间，the cross-shaped movable walls are used to divide spaces flexibly
In terms of selecting materials for the revitalization, we have taken the critical requirements of time and budget into account – we used the effective plywood and OSB board, as well as the galvanized steel sheet, metal mesh and polycarbonate sheet which usually appear in illegal additions to Hutong houses. We have tried to take advantage of common and economical materials in Hutong in hope of realizing their quality and value in most appropriate settings.
▼从室内望向庭院，interior view to the courtyard
The composition of hutong becomes complex and even fragmented, in the progress of modernization and urbanization. Comparatively, our attempt can also be a part of the overall social transformation. Therefore, from its design, construction to being in use, the project represents our objective of creating free spaces, so that people can have the opportunity of accumulating the individual Hutong memories and gradually become an urban collective memory of the hutong, a particular Hutongscape.
▼轴测前后对比图，axon before and after
设计方: 即作建筑 MINOR lab
设计时间: 10/2017- 11/2017
建造时间: 12/2017- 04/2018
location: Dashilar, Beijing
design firm: MINOR lab
design team: LIU Chen, WANG Yi-Chi, ZHAO Dan, YEH Ping-Chen
Construction: Beijing Hua Te
material: galvanized steel, metal mesh, perforated metal panel, plywood, OSB, larch, polycarbonate sheet, glass
floor area: 255sqm
design period: 10/2017- 11/2017
construction period: 12/2017- 04/2018
photographer: Chen Hao, Wang Yi-Chi, Zhao Dan