A derelict courtyard residence gets revitalized with a sinuous, glass-walled pathway.

The "transparent veranda" allows natural light to penetrate the building’s interior and connects the living areas to the exterior courtyards.

When Beijing-based firm ARCHSTUDIO first encountered this traditional residence in an old neighborhood, it “presented a bleak view,” says the firm. The home, a siheyuan, is of a typology that typically comprises four buildings surrounding a courtyard. This particular property had seven pitched-roof buildings and three courtyards, but the former were dilapidated, the latter overgrown and filled with construction debris.

The restored facade of the Quishe Courtyard by ARCHSTUDIO references the melding of traditional and modern architecture within. "Qi" means "seven" in Mandarin, and "she" means "house," giving the project its name; its address in the hutong is seven, and it originally boasted seven pitched-roof buildings.

The restored facade of the Quishe Courtyard by ARCHSTUDIO references the melding of traditional and modern architecture within. “Qi” means “seven” in Mandarin, and “she” means “house,” giving the project its name; its address in the hutong is seven, and it originally boasted seven pitched-roof buildings.

Wang Ning

ARCHSTUDIO’s goals for the project were simple: “to renovate the old and insert the new.” To that end, the project team first rehabilitated the old structures on the site, repairing surfaces and reinforcing key architectural elements, all with the aim of “reproducing the appearance of a traditional siheyuan,” says the firm.

Before: Entry and Front Courtyard

Before: The original gate was shrouded in overgrowth and trash.

Before: The original gate was shrouded in overgrowth and trash.

Courtesy of ARCHSTUDIO

After: Entry and Front Courtyard

The entry gate now functions as the front door to the residence. The front courtyard doubles as the garage. On the left, the gray roof of the veranda flows downward to obscure the functional spaces behind it, including wash rooms and a service room.

The entry gate now functions as the front door to the residence. The front courtyard doubles as the garage. On the left, the gray roof of the veranda flows downward to obscure the functional spaces behind it, including wash rooms and a service room.

Wu Qingshan

See the full story on Dwell.com: Before & After: Curving Glass Walls Give This Traditional Beijing Home an Otherworldly Appeal

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