For the people who live in Beijing, it takes only an hour drive to see the change from the metal forest to the “green landscape”, breathing the fresh air and feel the mountains close at hand. At the foot of the Yanshan Mountain, Zhangjiazhuang Village of Miyun District, an increasingly “hollowed” village with urbanization, is revitalized.
▼老院子，the old yard
The original village landscape and architecture of the site are relatively intact, and villagers live a relaxed life in contrast to the modern city. Such state provides a desirable space for busy urban residents who hope to “seek etiquette among the people” and are eager to embrace the natural living atmosphere like that described in Walden.
For architects, it is hard to find the possibility of diversified development of city and nature, while the countryside with rustic charm is a fertile land of hope, which is enough to rebuild the relationship among humankind, architecture and nature, internalize and shape tradition and current local culture, thus making them become visible and perceivable forms and symbols and permeate into the life.
▼后门全貌，entrance in the the rear facade
Two smallest homesteads (each covering an area of about 166 square meters) in Zhangjiazhuang Village are used by architects from Evolution Design to make an experiment, joining the trend of rural vitalization in the forms of residence and business. About 50 meters apart from each other, the two yards are not only self-contained but also act in concert, creating an attractive and demonstration effect and making it possible to realize the overall space evolution of the village through improvement part by part.
▼张家庄村总轴测图， Zhangjiazhuang Village site plan – axon
A Residential Model: the Shared Homestead Red Fruit Tree
The project is a rural homestead on the outskirts, which is required to provide an entirely different lifestyle for people living in cities for a long time, while meeting the functional needs of modern life. From a macroscopic perspective, by preserving and respecting rural culture and introducing a new business model, it is leading a transformation of culture and economic structure, and creating a life fashion unique to the East.
▼红果树下看客厅，view to the living room from the red fruit tree
In this case, when renovating the original house, the architect retained the spatial order of the original enclosed yard and the exterior texture of the building, out of respect for “Genius Loci” endowed by the rural environment. In the yard, a red fruit tree (local people recognize hawthorn with big fruit as “red fruit”) aged over 20 is carefully preserved. The scene of sitting around the tree evokes memories of nature and hometowns. Therefore, this yard of the Shared village is also named “Red Fruit Tree”.
▼“红果树”立面图，elevation of the“Red Fruit Tree”
At the entrance of the village, one can see the small yard at the foot of the mountain along the tree-lined road. From a distance, the building looks inconspicuous, accompanying nearby farmhouses humbly.
▼进村便能看到房子，a glance to the building from the entry way of the village
The layout order of traditional Chinese yards with screen walls to “block evil spirit” and “gather aura” is recovered in this yard, and the screen wall exists not only to bear memories but also add another layer to the entrance, arousing curiosity of passers-by outside about what is hidden in the yard. The building has two floors. The first floor is for the public area and guest rooms, and second floor is a completely for the master bedroom with a tearoom and a large outdoor terrace, which fuses a natural lifestyle with the relatively private space.
▼屋前的院子，the front yard
▼雨后的院子，the yard after rain
The roof truss of the original building is made of wood, which is low and shabby and cannot achieve good insulation. To optimize the environment and meet demands of living, the architect dismantled the roof and some walls, and built a new framework with concrete. Due to strict budget requirements, removed tiles, wooden rafters and the wooden roof truss are all recycled.
▼傍晚看向室内，view to the interior by night
▼客厅餐厅全景，living room and dining area
▼从餐厅望向庭院，view to the yard from the dining room
▼紧邻餐厅的烧烤台，the barbecue area next to the dining room
To achieve visual perspective and coherence of the yard, the architect adopts glass as a major material for the south and north facades. Staying indoors, one can enjoy scenery all day long in four seasons, and hear tinkles of raindrops falling on slabs, making natural landscape become scenery in daily life. But the openness is separated from outside, to fully guarantee the privacy of the living space and carry on the inward aesthetics of traditional residences.
▼客厅里看院子，view to the yard from the living room
To protect people from rain and sun exposure in outdoor activities, a glass awning is built against the south wall of the building, and a wooden grating is used to filter light. Meanwhile, a gray space is kept to recall “porches” in traditional architecture, with both functional and emotional value.
▼玻璃雨棚， the glass awning
Inside the house, the architect mainly uses white and extends exterior materials of logs and cement inside, to make the overall look and the yard contrast and complement each other. In every detail of furniture and ornaments, the original texture and authentic feel of materials are retained, and the fineness and warmth of meticulously made handicrafts are hidden, showing an exquisite but rustic vessel of life.
▼阁楼上的茶室，tea room in the attic
▼阁楼上的主卧室，master bedroom in the attic
A Business Model: Small Tavern
There is no restaurant in Zhangjiazhuang Village, one has to eat out in another village 3 kilometers away. “Small Tavern” is a business model born to meet the need of catering. It is similar to “Red Fruit Tree” in respecting the cultural context and texture of the site, covering an area of about 166 square meters and renovating an old house, but is endowed with more public attributes than the latter.
▼小酒馆立面图，elevation of the small tavern
The wall of the yard facing street is built of rock bricks, forming an utterly different texture from the plain concrete of the building walls, with the most intuitive attraction. Except on the north, there is no structure next to the building, so the architect regards the building as “a viewing machine” based on such an advantage, opening windows at the best positions on the exterior walls to capture scenery nearby and in the distance.
▼雨蓬下延伸出来的餐厅，dining area sheltered by the awning
To meet the sense of scale and flexibility for business space, the architect adds a second floor to the main building facing south, and creates a double-height space for indoor dining activities. The “porch space” has been brought from the “Red Fruit Tree” to this zone, to meet the need of semi-outdoor dining. In the yard, warm-colored woven fabric sofas get together to create a joyous gathering atmosphere, and the dining atmosphere becomes more “original” with lush green plants, bamboo in the cement flower terrace, the stone wall nearby; and small hills, blue sky in the distance.
▼餐厅全貌，dining room interior view
▼老房子改成的餐厅，the dining area is renovated from the old structure
▼风口安排在原建筑增高的部位，the openning is set in the raised part of the existing building
The original wooden roof truss was replaced with concrete which is more suitable in structure and function, and the dismantled old materials were used to repair remaining parts of the building. Beams, pillars, purlins and old walls are all in the original form, becoming evocations of the past—making a deep impression on everyone coming to the tavern, in the collision and dialogue between wisdom of building traditional residences and the modern architectural language.
▼从餐厅望向庭院，view to the yard from the dining area
▼修葺一新的老墙和柱子，the renewed wall and column
▼吧台和休息区，bar and lounge area
In addition to main functions, supporting functions serving catering are also indispensable, as one may would like to stay and taste the flavor of countryside in the tavern different from common restaurants. Therefore, there are also two small guest rooms and a master bedroom besides the main space for catering, each of which boasts a window facing the yard with the shadows of bamboo cast inside. It is hoped that urban residents can come here with joy for a delicacy, a sight and a lifestyle, to relax and set off again.
▼卧室里的休息区，seating area in the bedroom
▼二层卧室，bedroom on the upper floor
Towards the Countryside!
The “Red Fruit Tree” and “Small Tavern”, two small yards, provide two possibilities of operation. While attracting tourists and driving the new economy, the two small yards built based on local culture, are just like a mirror reflecting local residents themselves, quietly inspiring them to get a new understanding of their local and cultural value, offering a new choice of selecting an occupation and building a living space. It truly depends on such a new movement of going to the countryside to protect natural ecology and carry on traditional culture and folk art.
▼“红果树”平面图，plan of the “Red Fruit Tree”
▼“红果树”剖面图，section of the “Red Fruit Tree”
▼“小酒馆”平面图，plan of the “Small Tavern”
▼“小酒馆”剖面图，section of the “Small Tavern”
项目设计 & 完成年份：2018 & 2019