Located in a courtyard (siheyuan) of hutong in Beijing, this is a rental housing renovation plan designed for a couple and two cats. Known as zayuan, the previous courtyard was subdivided in order to accommodate several different families. Modifications and extensions to the original buildings gradually occupied the once public space, leaving only a passage now. Entering from the northwest corner of the zayuan, one finds the project at the southeast corner after passing through that narrow passage.
▼改造后的入口（左）和改造前（右）对比，entrance view before (right) and after renovation (left)
In an only 19㎡ space, the architect has dealt with the common problems of zayuan, such as ensuring ventilation and lighting, reducing the uneasiness the cramped environment engendered.The architect kept the original roof and removed the rest. The north and south walls were opened respectively to ensure ventilation and lighting. Half of a box-shape space and a layer of floor were embedded to extend the living space.
▼空间内加嵌一个半层盒体以扩大居住面积，half of a box-shape space and a layer of floor were embedded to extend the living space
As the plan shows, the 2nd floor performs the private functions, which uses the raised height to guarantee privacy; the 1st floor performs the rather public functions, maximizing the openness of the exterior wall. An unobstructed space was created from the courtyard passage, running through the first floor of the interior space and extending to the southern yard. By coexisting visually, the aisle in the first floor and the passage of the zayuan successfully avoid the binary conception of indoor vs. outdoor, effectively reduced the uneasiness that zayuan usually causes.
▼外墙做最大化开放性处理，减轻了杂院特有的闭塞感，the openness of the exterior wall was maximized to reduced the uneasiness that zayuan usually causes
▼从二层客厅望向一层空间，view from the living room on 2nd floor
▼位于二层的卧室，bedroom on the 2nd floor
▼二层客厅，living room on the 2nd floor
▼室内细部，interior detailed view
Project name: Renovation Zayuan
Contact e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Design year & completion year: 2016
Lader design & Team : Daisuke Matsumoto
Project Location: Dongcheng district,Beijing,china
Gross Built Area (square meters): 36.7㎡
Photo credits: Misae Hiromatsu,Yuming Song (Beijing Rui jing Photo)
Clients: Daisuke Matsumoto