little yard

This is a competition project, which depends on an old yard in BAITASI Conservation Districts of Historic Sites. The old yard was a Beijing traditional dwelling pattern. As the removal of residence, how to give rebirth to this deserted yard to make it harmony among the complex living surroundings became an issue. In this project, I used the food-sharing space concept to renovate the yard.

In cooperation with Di Xiao, Yuefei Lin, Shuo Ding

The white pagoda temple as a historical and cultural preservation area lies in the west city of Beijing next to the national financial center and covers an area of 37 hm2, whose history can be tracked backed to the Yuan Dynasty over 700 years ago and which has a profound historical background and rich cultural connotations. There are some most ancient urban spots of Beijing established in Yuan Dynasty in the area— Miaoying Temple Pagoda, the Sutra depository, the former residence of the famous Chinese writer Lu Xun, Fish-Bird-Flower market, etc, which is one of the last cultural memories remained by the old city of Beijing. The yard that we transform is near the Qingta alley in the northwest of the white pagoda temple.

“Yard” is one of significant elements that constitute the basic fabric of the old Beijing city. For a long time, “yard” includes every possibility of people in work, creation, pleasure and residence in Beijing, which occupies limited space and even narrow space. Their lives are hard as well as happy. It is not only a part of Beijing’s real life but also an epitome of the whole Chinese old cities.

After having understood the situation of site, I have interviewed residents around the site. During the talk, I find that nearby residents have great interests in delicious food. Thus I further investigate the theme of delicious dishes.

The Generation of Conception

After the investigation, we find that the relationship between community’s people is largely connected by delicious dishes. Residents often cook in their houses, sometimes when they cook some delicious food or use precious ingredients, they invariably share it to their neighbors and friends, and hence the affection between people is strengthened. 

The behavior of sharing delicious food is very exciting, so we decide to combine the existing yards with this behavior. Besides the satisfaction of daily routines of masters, new yards can also let residents show or taste their skilled dishes so that new buildings can quickly integrate into surrounding environments and promote neighboring relationship, making community give off energy.

The Description of Design

Before transformation, this courtyard has a special architecture of the wooden structure. Based on the principle, we preserve the structure and form of wood of original architecture and only add some windows in several places to improve indoor lighting.

Since the area of the structure is limited to 43.5 square meters according to related regulation, to satisfy the delicious food cultural communication of different scales we design the space into flexible forms. In a courtyard, we have designed flower racks used to plant as well as a resting area around the tree, which restores the harmonious living condition between traditional residents in Beijing and nature.    


When the household stays at home alone, he can flat all lifting modules into a relatively space so that he can enjoy poetic life.

Cooking Show

When a nearby resident or the chef shows his cooking skill, he can change the lifting module into bar form, so that the guests can close to the shower and communicate easily.

Party or Workshop

When he holds party or workshop, he can raise more lifting modules as the combination of tables and chairs, the operating table of the kitchen can also be extended into the courtyard so that can accommodate more people to cook and communicate.

Washroom & Cabinet
Small library