This classical Chinese «siheyuan» courtyard house consists of two courtyards framed by three compartments. The original siheyuan was restored to
Caiguoqiang Courtyard House Renovation
: Beijing, China
: Studio Pei‑Zhu
: Zhu Pei, Wu Tong
Architect in charge
: Liu Wentian
: Hao Xiangru, Li Shaohua, He Fan
: Xu Minsheng
: 910,33 sqm
: Studio Pei‑Zhu, Fang Zhenning
This classical Chinese «siheyuan» courtyard house consists of two courtyards framed by three compartments. The original siheyuan was restored to its original condition, using traditional materials, construction technologies, and local skilled craftsmen and builders. The north compartment is defined as a «three‑dimensional installation», where the old wooden structure is exposed to express its sturdy frame and multiple layers. The middle compartment is defined as a «two‑dimensional Chinese painting», where a white band of wall encapsulates the interior into one continuous canvas.
The new building is designed as an object that floats in the south courtyard to face the traditional structures. As an abstraction of its predecessors, it is built with the same scale and typology. Its minimal rectilinear form is realized with modern materials of glass and steel, using its reflective properties as a way to pay homage to the old. It contains new «modern» programs like a flexible multi purpose space and an artist studio versus the fixed traditional programs of the existing structure.