The architectural revitalization strategy for Baitasi historic district is yet to be fully explored, although as part of its first steps over the past two years, the renovation of existing yards in the area has been taken as blueprint to inject new vitality therein, while ‘repurposing’ governmental directives looking into clearing unfit spaces.
The complex property rights entanglements that often abate these neighbourhoods have at the same time offered fertile ground for architectural experimentalism on the small scale. The four projects here presented were commissioned to 4 of China’s most renowned architects to rethink use and functionalities of historical courtyard houses responsive to the local context as models of renovation that could be employed on a larger scale. They all approach the prototypical formation of the courtyard house to elicit new modalities of reconstruction and accommodation of contemporary life and community needs which could restore their long forgotten values into the present.
One was completed in 2015, the other 3 are to be unveiled in the fall of 2016.
Hua Li (TAO – Trace Architecture Office) – Split Courtyard House
Zhang Ke (ZAO/standardarchitecture) –
Dong Gong (Vector Architects) – Courtyard Hybrid
Xu Tiantian (DnA_ Design and Architecture) – Courtyard with A View