Dongsi 5Lmeet，located in the Hutong alleyway within Second Ring Road in Beijing, is the first Hutong renovation project of DAGA Architects. The original building was an abandoned soy sauce factory and now is retransformed to a space integrating living and working. During the 2019 Beijing International Design Week, we displayed our installation – “Transparent Hutong” in Dongsijiutiao Hutong, trying to show the life-like Hutong scenes for people to learn more about the urban renovation details. The “Transparent Hutong” installation is inspired by the attempts and summaries of DAGA in urban renewal practice in recent years. We also encourage Hutong residents to pay attention to the transformation of their living environment, so they can get closer to the urban renewal.
透明性 | Transparency
Colin Rowe proposed “Transparency” in 1955, extending the two-dimensional study in painting to architecture and space. Transparency has duality. It can be a physical property, such as the glass material itself, which is the existence of an entity; it can also be an intrinsic property of an organizational relationship, which is reflected in the fact that the space can penetrate each other and can ensure that they do not affect each other visually. “Transparency” realizes the duality of physics and phenomena in the transformation of architectural space. The attributes of transparent materials make the new and old buildings more integrated at the historical level, and also form an infiltration without destroying the artistic conception in space.
▼东四九条胡同中的“透明胡同”装置，“Transparent Hutong” in Dongsijiutiao Hutong
▼装置局部图，the installation illustration
The installation is in the form of a movable glass box. It is randomly placed in the courtyard or hutong alley, allowing people to relax and enjoy the scenery of the Hutong; It can also can also moved, allowing people to walk shuttled through the Hutong, which provide a convenient community public space for the residents in the Hutong. The installation shorten the distance between people，human and buildings, human and the cities.
▼装置的形式为一个可移动的玻璃盒子，随意放置在庭院或者胡同中，the installation is in the form of a movable glass box and is randomly placed in the courtyard or hutong alley
▼可以供人们休憩，观赏胡同风景；也可以移动，在胡同里穿梭，为胡同里的居民提供一种便利的社区公共空间，allowing people to relax and enjoy the scenery of the Hutong, also to walk shuttled through the Hutong, which provide a convenient community public space for the residents in the Hutong
胡同场景 | Hutong Scene
The word “Hutong” is not only a type of building or urban planning, but also a kind of lifestyle, cultural feelings, and even a memory of tradition. The Hutong carries memories of the past, people’s current lives and their aspirations for the future. Hutong life is a kind of art. People are like “self-training” architects, putting creativities in Hutong：The chess and card playroom at the gate, the small terrace on the roof and the small garden in the corridor are all spaces designed by the Hutong residents themselves. These spaces are full of scenes of vivid life, which is like a lively picture of life. Hutong is a “museum of life”.
▼“透明胡同”装置在胡同中的场景，Scenes of The “Transparent Hutong” Installation in The Alley
The installation “transparent box” moves around in Hutong as a showcase of the entire Hutong Museum. It presents life objects, scenes or some unexpected and interesting events of Hutong residents. The “exhibits” of the glass box constitute a dynamic museum where anyone and everything can participate. The museum not only shows the past but also the present and the future. As a transparent medium, glass connects the past and present of the Hutong and carries the old and future of the existing building.
▼ 游客与装置的互动，Interaction Between Tourists and Installations
▼装置“透明盒子”在胡同中移动，The installation “transparent box” moves around in Hutong
▼作为整个胡同博物馆的一个展柜，as a showcase of the entire Hutong Museum
▼玻璃盒子里的“展品”构成了一个动态的博物馆，任何人与物都可以参与其中，the “exhibits” of the glass box constitute a dynamic museum where anyone and everything can participate
空间现象 | Spatial Phenomena
The installation is illuminated by lights at night, presented as a lightbox without any boundaries. Visitors can enter the box and experience the space. The mirror at the bottom makes the space seems deeper, which let people feel small and lonely in time and space. In this virtual “time machine”, you can think of the past, the universe and the future.
▼装置夜间效果，Installation at Night
▼ 悬挂的盒子，Hanging Box
The bottom of the installation is a stainless-steel plate, like a mirror. Through the entire glass box, the surrounding environment can be reflected at the bottom, presenting a “kaleidoscope” effect. The glass frame under the light can also be reflected infinitely on the glass plate at the top. This special visual perspective enhances the spatial order, and the physicality of the material produces different phenomena according to the change of the environment.
Project Name: Transparent Hutong
Design Company: DAGA Architects
Design Team: Shen Jianghai，Liu Yu，Fan Jinming
Project Type: Installation Design
Date of Design: July 2019
Date of Construction: August 2019
Photographer: Liu Yu
Video: Fan Jinming