At the start of the Rěnrǎn Tang , the base was a ruin surrounded by brick walls. After its completion, still, it seemed to be a ruin surrounded by brick walls. I feel that our purpose has been achieved. —Wonder Architects
▼项目概览，project overview ©朱雨蒙
Rěnrǎn Táng before and after completion ©朱雨蒙
Starting in the winter of 2018, several architects have successively built houses in a village in the outskirts of Beijing. This is one of them. The bases of these houses are different, some are close to the mountains, some are close to the road, some are century-old houses, and some are part of ordinary cottages. And our piece is in ruins.
▼项目外观， Project appearance ©朱雨蒙
▼新围墙的环抱中，繁茂的老树和老屋塌陷的瓦顶，依然是村中的日常风景。Surrounded by a new wall, the lush old trees and the tiled roofs of the old houses are still the daily scenery in the village today ©朱雨蒙
特殊的基地 | A special Site
Houheilongmiao Village, where the site is located, is next to Haituo Mountain in the north and Guanting Reservoir in the south, is one of the hundreds of Great Wall Guarding Station formed in the 15th century. But today, like other villages in the suburbs of Beijing, it gradually dilutes its relationship with land and history in the disorderly renewal and sports infrastructure construction.
Contemporary mixed Landscape of Hou Hei long miao Village ©金泰霖
The site is in the center of the village, which is a long abandoned old house. Looking around, only it still maintains the appearance before the industrial age. Most of the old courtyard wall has been obliterated, so that a brick wall needs to be rebuilt to outline its boundary. In the long time, the dilapidated old house surrounded by brick walls and several old trees sprung out of the wall are the daily scenery left to the villagers.
▼村落中心的老院废墟，Ruins of the old courtyard in the village center ©神奇建筑研究室
Surveying—concept sketch—final plan, a courtyard embracing the ruins
Stepping into the yard, there are old houses and old trees and grass. However, the scenes of life that existed between ruins can still be imagined. Although they can hardly be classified as traditional beauty, these scenes undoubtedly contain a huge amount of information. They form a bond between the present and the past. Its fascinating to see this wonderful link to the past. So on a coincidence, we surveyed the unrepairable ruins. The new building is also trying to frame these “special” scenery.
A bird view of the building. Inlay in the village in the box of memory, a collection of the village’s connection with a gone era ©朱雨蒙
▼新建筑的庭院中，老院子的废墟安然伫立。In the courtyard of the new building, the ruins of the old courtyard stand safely ©朱雨蒙
▼新旧空间的并置，建立起过去与现在的联系。The juxtaposition of new and old structures establishes a connection between the past and the present ©朱雨蒙
并行的时空 | Parallel space-time
Keeping a piece of ruin in the site , rather than renovating it or removing it completely, is a courageous choice.
▼废墟并没有被修缮为新的“老房子”，而是继续以废墟的状态，作为建筑景观的一部分。 The ruins were not renovated as new “old houses”, but continued to be in the state of ruins as part of the architectural landscape ©朱雨蒙
▼新入口和一侧的老院墙遗迹。新房子像一个容器，小心的盛放着废墟的各种细节。The new entrance and the ruins of the old courtyard on one side. The new house is like a container, carefully showing the details of the ruins ©朱雨蒙
▼甚至连院门口的老树也悉心保存。Even the old tree at the courtyard gate was carefully preserved ©朱雨蒙
▼为了留存老院子的遗迹，曲线形成的各种环抱空间成为建筑的母题，In order to preserve the ruins of the old courtyard, various enveloping spaces formed by curves become the motif of the building ©朱雨蒙
▼主起居厅在新旧院落的对视间产生，废墟场景成为大厅内的一幅画卷。The main living room is created by gazing between the old and new courtyards, and the ruin scene becomes a painting for the living room ©朱雨蒙
▼新的生活将发生在曾衰败的旧遗迹之间，空间重新有了生机。A new life will take place between the old ruins that once decayed, and the space will come back to life again ©朱雨蒙
▼层层砖墙围合出记忆的乌托邦。Layers of brick walls surround the utopia of memories ©朱雨蒙
▼废墟像一个垂暮的老人，注视着周围环境的变化。The ruins look like an old man, watching the changes in the surrounding environment ©朱雨蒙
▼而废墟之外，真实的生活在继续奔跑，And beyond the ruins, real life continues to run ©朱雨蒙
▼庭院如同巨大的钟表记录着时间的逝去。 The courtyard is like a huge clock recording the passing of time ©朱雨蒙
As time goes by, the old house will continue to collapse, and the new tree will continue to sprout. One day, the old house in the courtyard may eventually collapse into a pile of rubble. But it doesn’t matter, it was still part of the building at that time. People will meet it at different times, marking the traces of each other’s lives. The ancients used “荏苒（Rěnrǎn）” to describe time. “荏苒” originally refers to the lush plants, which is probably the scene in the courtyard now. The name of the building is “RěnrǎnTáng “, which is why it is.
▼若干年后，当这些孩子再次和这片废墟相遇时，它们彼此可能都变了模样，这便是时间的美妙。When the children meet the ruins again several years later, they may all look different from each other. This is the beauty of time ©王冲
静谧的庭园 | Tranquility of the garden
▼荏苒堂的庭园布局，Garden layout ©神奇建筑研究室
▼施工过程俯拍，蜿蜒的墙体已分隔出不同的庭院层级，A bird view of the construction process, the walls have separated different courtyard ©朱雨蒙
▼不同庭园的组合，形成丰富的剖面关系， The combination of different gardens formed a diverse section layout ©神奇建筑研究室
The terroir has shaped the way of life of the place, which grows from the oldest part of the village, and we hope to recreate the rural life in the north in the village. Therefore, different levels of gardens were inserted into the space, creating private outdoor spaces for the four living rooms. These courtyards are small but generate the daylighting, ventilation and tranquil atmosphere for each room.
▼宁静的居室小庭园，有些囊括了老院中的树木，生成了新的风景。 Small garden in the living room, some of which contain the trees in the old courtyard, creating new scenery ©朱雨蒙
▼有些随形就势，产生了丰富的形体。 Some follow the form, resulting in a diverse shape ©朱雨蒙
▼有些互为对景，形成新的起居模式（由居室隔院望向属于它的浴室），Some are opposite to each other, forming a new living mode (looking from the bedroom to the bathroom belonging to it) ©朱雨蒙
▼有些在复杂的外部环境中别置洞天。Some create a different scenery in a complicated external environment ©朱雨蒙
▼不同的庭园，框定出不同的生活范式，Different gardens frame different lifestyles ©朱雨蒙
▼人们还能通过主庭园里的阶梯拾阶而上。People can still climb up the stairs in the main garden ©朱雨蒙
▼屋顶平台链接了不同的庭园，入夜，它们会变成一颗颗镶嵌在建筑中的宝石。The roof terraces linking different gardens are found on the roof. At night, they will turn into gems embedded in the building ©朱雨蒙
▼新的居室中设置了类似于“炕”的区域，A “Kàng” (the most important living space in northern North China for thousands of years) was set up in the new room ©朱雨蒙
▼我们刻意使用了一些北方村舍常用的材料，We deliberately used some materials commonly used in northern cottages ©王冲
▼让它们在新空间中展现出新的形式感。Let them show a new sense of form in a new space ©朱雨蒙
乡村的日常风景 | Daily scenery of rural
When we built the house, we used a lot of old materials, such as the original red bricks of the surrounding walls, and the old bricks from a dismantled old houses that were not far away. Anything we could collect was mixed together. Fortunately, it is not difficult for the artisans to understand, because it seems that they have done this for thousands of years. Therefore, after the house was built, it echoed with the surrounding environment. The folks didn’t think it was an eye-catching new guy.
▼荏苒堂顶视图， “Rěnrǎn Táng”Top view ©朱雨蒙
▼建筑东墙，建成不久就被村民摆上了休闲椅。The east wall of the building was soon put on a bench by the villagers ©朱雨蒙
▼建筑南立面，在形制各不相同的村舍间亦不显突兀。The south facade of the building is not prominent among the cottages with the same shape ©朱雨蒙
When photographing the north facade, we found that it was always incomplete, because a farm car parked on the northeast corner of the house all year round, and then we slowly let go. This car, like this building, is part of the daily landscape. They will shake hands sooner or later.
▼农用车和每个村舍都要配备的地源热泵外机，已成为北立面的必要组成元素。The ground source heat pump has become a part of the north facade of the building ©朱雨蒙
▼荏苒堂已经成为乡村日常风景的一部分。Rěnrǎn Táng has become part of the everyday scenery of the village ©朱雨蒙
▼它的内部也慢慢呈现出乡村生活的质感。The inside of it also gradually shows the texture of rural life ©朱雨蒙
When we took the picture, we invited the children from the neighborhood to be models and during chatting we found that this was their “old home”. No wonder when they saw the familiar old house in the courtyard, they were constantly running around with excitement. Judging by the age of these children, there should be no experience of living in this old house. But the day-to-day life of this barren house landscape is probably deeply rooted in their life experience.
▼庭院中的孩子们，Children in the courtyard ©王冲
At the end of the shooting, I was suddenly envious of them. In this era of rapid changes in the physical space of cities and villages, it is probably a happiness to be able to reunite with the childhood scenery.
▼孩子们的新家和他们的祖宅只有一街之隔。Children’s new home and their ancestral home are only across the street ©朱雨蒙
Rěnrǎn Táng is just a fragment of the physical space change of this village. We don’t expect a small house to change anything, but we hope to bring a new balance of rural scenery in some part of it. We expect people to re-examine the meaning of historical traces, and also to discover the beauty of ruins and time. We also expect people to re-focus on this land so that they can be re-painted and praised.
▼乡村风景中的荏苒堂 ，The Rěnrǎn Táng in the rural landscape ©朱雨蒙
A “Mother’s Scripture” with scenes from the life in the Rěnrǎn Táng ©金泰霖
Project Name: Rěnrǎn Táng
Design firm: Wonder Architects
Official website: www.wonder-architects.com
Project location: Yanqing , Beijing
Building area: 200 ㎡
Client: Da Yin Yu Shi B & B
Architectural Design : Zhu Qipeng, Jin Tailin, Yuan Yingzi
Structural design: Gao Xuemei
Water supply and drainage design: Wang Weiwei
HVAC Design: Zhen Qin
Electrical Design: Guo Chen
Lighting Design: Yuan Yingzi
Visual expression: Jin Tailin
Photography: Zhu Yumeng, Wang Chong
Construction: Wang Gensheng’s team, etc.