Hutel Twisting Courtyard by Archstudio: 2017 Best of Year Winner for Coffee/Tea

PROJECT NAME Hutel Twisting Courtyard
LOCATION Beijing
FIRM
SQ. FT. 1,730 SQF

To know the siheyuan is to know China’s capital well. An elemental building block of historic hutong neighborhoods, these centuries-old courtyard-style compounds were conceived to accommodate an extended family. They therefore encompass a main house in front, two “side houses,” and a rear “opposite house,” all surrounding a garden crisscrossed by decorative pathways.

Hutel Twisting Courtyard by Archstudio in Beijing, China. Photography by Wang Ning.

In the city’s design-centric Dashilar quarter, one siheyuan—while continuing to represent traditional Chinese culture—has simultaneously been appropriated as a vision of change. Renovated by , what was once a single-story residence has become a rental property that can be booked for corporate retreats, business meetings, or overnight stays. The titular twist is a ribbon of gray epoxy-finished pavers that wends its way through the courtyard, peeling up here and there to form sloping walls and roofs of various rooms, including the kitchen in white-on-white solid-surfacing. “The design explores the relationship between courtyard and architecture,” Han says.

Hutel Twisting Courtyard by Archstudio in Beijing, China. Photography by Wang Ning.

Throughout the 1,730-square-foot interior, clever built-ins that he calls “embedded furniture systems” allow spaces to morph from tearoom to bedroom and back again. Each of the two side-house suites features an oak-clad niche containing a motorized dining table, which lowers flush to the floor, and a hideaway futon-style mattress, so guests can sip Oolong by day... and slumber by night.

Project Architect: Huang Tao.

Hutel Twisting Courtyard by Archstudio in Beijing, China. Photography by Wang Ning.
Hutel Twisting Courtyard by Archstudio in Beijing, China. Photography by Wang Ning.

> See more from the December 2017 issue of Wifijerez

> See all 2017 Best of Year winners and honorees

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