Courtyard Hybrid/

Vector Architects


Project Details



Beijing / China



Year (Design/Construction):

2015 / 2017

Area (Net/Gross):

- / 155 m2
Operational Carbon emissions

Operational Carbon emissions (B6) kgCO2e/m2/y:

Embodied Carbon emissions

Embodied Carbon emissions (A1-A3) kgCO2e/m2:

  • The building has a wooden structure using locally sourced Olga Bay Larch trees.
  • Use of natural materials such as laminated bamboo and glass bricks as the main construction materials.

Project description as provided by the Architects.

Courtyard Hybrid is located in the Baitaisi area, right in the core of Beijing’s old city. It is a part of the Baitasi Remade Project which aims to bring higher life quality, information and new lifestyles into the whole area through a small number of scattered courtyard renovations. Our site contained an irregular courtyard and a cluster of additions, which is typically called Zayuan in Chinese. Situated in the North side of the courtyard, the main building was built in the 1960s as a dormitory. In this project, we try to think about the methods to renovate the historical area of Beijing and to explore multiple possibilities of revitalizing the community through public space. Our main design strategies include the following.


Through its hybrid status, Zayuan incubates a sense of belonging and neighborhood. In Courtyard Hybrid, while a sense of privacy and domain can be achieved, most of the interfaces are designed with rotary operation in order to create more possibilities of space use. We aim to accommodate various functions such as exhibition, cultural event, academic seminar, office, café and living as well. By remaining the hybrid status of Zayuan, it attracts different kinds of users and stimulates even more potentials.

Juxtaposition of Old and New

Limited to local laws and regulations, we overhauled the North House for it was a registered property. We restore the pitched roof by reassembling its structure to maintain the traditional state of the courtyard house. We replace original low-quality additions by two spatial installations with less sense of volume. The overall layout defines one large courtyard and two small ones: relationship among multiple functions is then clarified. The prefabricated new material, laminated bamboo, together with the timber structure, minimizes the disturbance within the neighborhood during construction. Old and New are juxtaposed in terms of construction, structure, spatial experience, etc.

A Secret Path

When the east and west entrances are both opened, a path connecting Qingta Hutong and Gongmenko Sitiao is revealed by itself. While Courtyard Hybrid is open at both sides, the big courtyard and café further form a public space for the whole community.

In different periods, Courtyard Hybrid can vary in terms of functions; it can be owned and managed by different people or groups. We hope Courtyard Hybrid gradually becomes a place providing public energy to the whole Baitasi area.

Client: Beijing Huarong Jinying Investment & Development Co., Ltd.

Design Firm: Vector Architects

Principal Architect: Gong Dong

Construction Management: Dongping Sun

Project Architect: Kai Zhang, Chen Liang

Site Architect: Kai Zhang

Design Team: Pinchen Ye, Xiaokai Ma, Fei Sun, Muqiong Liao, Qiran Shang, Shoufeng Zhao

Structural & MEP Engineering: China Academy of Building Research

Structural Consultant: Dewen Chu

Lighting Consultant: Xin Zhang

Photography: Vector Architects

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