Page 1

Shijia Hutong Project An Effort to Regenerate a Traditional Neighborhood of Old Peking The Prince’s Charities Foundation (China) PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


Background - Hutong and courtyard houses became the main form of traditional vernacular residence in Beijing since the Yuan Dynasty (1271 – 1368 A.D.). - Yet, in the past few decades, its preservation has been severely challenged due to the lack of awareness, the loss of skill sets, the real estate developers’ interest for higher profit and the government’s longing for faster GDP growth. - Within the remaining 800 hutong communities, little effective preservation work had been carried out to generate real impact, and very few civil societies are involved in the preservation of hutongs due to its high technical and financial threshold. - At the invitation of the Beijing municipal government, the Prince’s Charities Foundation (China) had embarked on an experimental project to regenerate the century old hutongs, together with our other UK sister charities.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


Key Challenges - Restore the courtyard using traditional techniques and materials, but this has not been the common practice for most contractors. - Incorporate modern green technology, so the maintenance of the property will be more sustainable in the long run. - Tell the touching family story of the original owner using clever designs, so as to arouse sympathy among future visitors for the preservation of hutongs. - Provide the local community and the general public with the correct interpretation of the hutong culture, as well as the traditional Chinese culture. - Use the project as an exemplar project to leverage more resources from the local government, individuals and corporate on the preservation of hutongs in Beijing.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


Analysis -The architecture had little value for preservation, since the building has been rebuilt many times when it was used as a community kindergarten. - After dismantling carefully, most of the materials found in the last major restoration were not authentic and faithful to the traditional building practice. - Interior space should be connected, rather than separated to provide convenience when this property is used as a museum. - The central building has a longer history as it was not only recorded in the archive drawings in early 1950’s, but also was proven by its foundation built with traditional materials. - The other surrounding buildings were built gradually since 1960’s, as new materials, including a lot of cement, were used.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


The Ling family was very prestigious in the late Qing Dynasty, as well as in the early republican period. The father a senior official in the imperial court (1890’s to 1911), and the daughter and son inlaw both famous literati in the republican period (1930’s to 1940’s). PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


A drawing by Ling Shuhua, showing her impression of her home garden in Peking in 1930’s. PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


Enquiry by Design An Enquiry by Design (EbD) workshop took place in April 2010, involving local residents, preservation groups, architectural experts, urban planners, as well as local government. Initially, the Foundation was tasked to look at redesigning the entire hutong and propose a series of small interventions to help this historic neighborhood. During the EbD, the participating residents raised a series of other issues. Most of these issues are being addressed by the foundation report. After a few more rounds of follow-up discussions, the Foundation suggested a general plan for Shijia Hutong Project Phase I on restoring the Courtyard 24 as a Hutong Museum.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


After the workshop, a small expert advisory board was established to provide insights for the development of the project, from both historical and architectural perspectives. PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


Key features: - Authenticity - Sustainability - Energy efficiency

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


Dismantle the property carefully.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


Geothermal construction took place first, so it will not be in conflict with the architectural construction.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


Reclaimed old bricks from the site were being cleaned for reuse as the foundation of the building.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


Qing Dynasty foundation was re-discovered, confirming our assumption that the central building was on its original footprint.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


Reconstructed foundation using old bricks and stones.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


Wood logs had been processed and dried for over six months, so it won’t change its shape again when built.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


The last main room beam is key to the success of a wood structure house, and a traditional worship ceremony was performed by the workers.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


Finished wooden structure.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


Putting on wooden boards.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


Waterproof layer, simple yet key to improve the lifespan of a traditional building.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


More insulation layers

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


Some city wall bricks carry a chop from the Ming Dynasty, indicating the original kiln which had produced this brick – the ancient yet effective way of quality control. PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


A sample wall has been built to study the best way of building the main building in an authentic way, using reclaimed materials.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


From experiment to practice

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


The completed garble wall.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


And wooden window frames

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


Excel in the art of carpentry.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


Prefabricated windows shipped to Shijia Hutong.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


Finished work.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


More technical challenges need to be addressed at weekly meetings.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


Part of the window design had been improved to prevent the loss of heat in winter.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


Sample paints had been tested so as to select the best color.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


Putting on color to the wooden windows and doors.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


Double glazed window glasses arrived before winter.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


Finished window with lattice and glass.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


Geothermal team came back to install all the tubes and machines.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


The hidden tubes providing heat from underneath the ground.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


The pump of the geothermal system was placed in a small basement, which was part of the 1960 bomb shelter when China were confronting the Soviet Union in its northern border.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


Reclaimed old tiles.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


Workers finishing up the last part of the roof tiles.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


The garble wall are not the same color to show the one on the right was built using old materials.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


Reclaimed ground tiles, supposedly imported from Europe in 1930’s.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


Testing the quality of the ground bricks for the yard.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


Laying ground bricks.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


Winter arrives.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


But the temperature indoor was very comfortable.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


Reclaimed brick carving from a neighboring hutong, symbolizing auspicious meanings.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


Rebuilt into the east wall of the first courtyard.

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


Rose garden in the rear yard

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


View of the main hall from the rear yard

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


Before

After

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


Before

After

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com


Special thanks to: Chaoyangmen Sub-district People’s Government Beijing Archives Administration Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment Prince’s School of Traditional Arts

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com

Renovating a traditional Beijing courtyard  

In China, we’ve worked with other charities to renovate a traditional Beijing courtyard. It is now a cultural centre for the Shijia Hutong c...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you