Hutong Filter

Location: Beijing, China
Year: 2014-2015
Type: Private residence
Status: Completed
Materials: Pine, cedar, slate

Published in: Dezeen, Archdaily

The client resides inside a shared Beijing courtyard. The brief was to provide a private patio with freestanding studio space. Privacy inside a shared courtyard can often mean a solid brick wall, a solution that quickly turns a courtyard into a series of narrow alleyways. Looking for better answer, ZAI found a building technique used widely in Europe but is often overlooked in China — the stone shingle. The shingle's modular nature allows a wall made from it to pixilated easily, providing openings where views are desired while maintaining a uniform look. The grey color and rough texture of the shingles references the traditional grey bricks in the surrounding buildings, blending easily into its context while preserving a sense of individuality.  


A Stud wall system was chosen for its ease of assembly and flexibility inside the cramped confines of a Hutong. In such a small space, every centimeter needs to be maximized, ZAI saw extra utility in the structural noggins of the stud wall system. When these noggins were extended beyond the plane of the wall they become shelves, providing a seamless storage solution while visually linking the exterior and interior space. All timber are hand rubbed with pure tung oil, a traditional technique used in Chinese ship building to achieve a waterproof finish.

All timber are hand rubbed with pure tung oil a traditional technique used in Chinese ship building to achieve a waterproof finish. ZAI hopes through these small gestures, the traditional communal lifestyle of the Hutong can be preserved while bringing much needed privacy and ownership to the inhabitants.

在选材和施工上,建筑师大量应用木架结构,解决了四合院场地小,人员摆不开的困难,降低了施工难度,提高了工效,方便使用保温材料。外层防腐选择了中国古代传统为木船防水的桐油这种天然的涂料,杜绝了污染,没有一般中国房屋的甲醛担心,对人体健康完全无害。在木结构上,可以方便打造储物架和艺术摆件格,而这些储物架本身就有结构功能。木结构从室内延续到室外,整体呈现出连续统一的视觉效果。 设计师出生北京,适逢保护老北京的风貌和文化传承的政府规划出台,在改造北京老四合院,使之宜居方面,他做出了很有益和成功的尝试。正如其本人的夙愿:使北京更美丽。