The project is located in an ordinary village in the northern mountainous area of Beijing. The village where the site locates is on one side of a highway, with open field of river bank on the other side and long stretch of mountains in the distance. The village paths perpendicular to the highway varies in length, depending on the distance between the mountain and the highway; the project locates at the end of a shorter path, at the foot of a mountain full of chestnut trees.
▲项目概览，project preview ©孙海霆
▲鸟瞰图，aerial view ©孙海霆
That’s where the story begins.
▲场地平面图，site plan ©OEO
The original state of the project is a traditional three-section type of courtyard (sanheyuan). Throughout years of developments in the village, residential buildings in the area is a collection of different building types: there are uninhabited old houses more than 100 years old, in collapsing status; there are newly built two-story buildings with bright white tiles, which look bold and dominant. For our project, the existing buildings in the courtyard have wooden structure and grey roof tiles. There is a north-west five bays main house, and a flat roof north-east side room. It is a typical courtyard demonstrating the construction state of Beijing mountain village houses in the 1970s and 1980s.
What’s special about the courtyard is that the side room has its back against the mountain. During our first site visit, we thought why don’t we replace this side room, which has less historical value, with a two-storey building that will has its back against the mountain and views towards the mountains in the distance. The two storey building will also become the focus of the courtyard, turning the mountain behind it into the main backdrop.
The five bays main house is reorganized into three guest rooms; its walls, wooden structure and tile roof are reserved. Its external doors and windows are renovated in combination with the courtyard landscape design.
▲场地原貌，existing site photos ©OEO
The story started from the mountain, and the plot developed in the courtyard.
▲首层平面透视图，first floor perspective plan ©OEO
▲二层平面透视图，second floor perspective plan ©OEO
The site locates at the foot of the mountain, but it was not connected to it before the renovation. It was separated from the mountain by a bay of passage way, which we used as the entrance courtyard. From the entrance, we can walk up the steps to a shady platform on the hillside, which can be seen from the dining room on the first floor and the external terrace on the second floor.
Within the main courtyard, original rectangular enclosure is preserved and used as external space of the project. It is an active space, an external extension of the living room, and external view for the three guest rooms on the first floor. The living room and the courtyard space is separated by folding doors, allowing the two spaces to be fully connected; façade of the three guest rooms compose of white painted brick wall, glass bricks and full height glass windows, providing three different levels of transparency, corresponding to the internal space function. There is an external staircase within the courtyard, connecting the external terrace and the guest room on the second floor.
▲入口院子，entrance courtyard ©孙海霆
▲在院内看小白楼，view of the two storey building ©孙海霆
▲在院内看正房，façade of first floor guest rooms ©孙海霆
▲在客厅内看院子，view towards main courtyard from the living room ©孙海霆
The story goes back to the mountain.
▲在半山平台看小白楼，view towards the two storey building from the hill side ©孙海霆
Because of the mountain, form of the guest room on the second floor is rotated and set back. It lives within the atmosphere of the mountain behind, and has the unobstructed view of the distant southern mountains.
▲在小白楼露台看远山，view towards the mountains from the terrace ©孙海霆
▲在小白楼二层客房内看远山，view of the second floor guest room ©孙海霆
▲小白楼二层客房面向山的浴室, bathroom with view of the hill side ©孙海霆
Regarding the renovation of the existing main house, we rearranged the five bays space into three guest rooms, to ensure each room has sufficient space to meet the needs of modern living habits with on suite toilets and bathrooms. Glazed extensions are added to the courtyard façade to create a buffer zone when accessing the guest rooms from the outside. Although the three guest rooms are all facing the inner courtyard, the interior design varies according to their location. The guest room near the entrance has most visitors pass by that a group of sitting is designed next to the windows to encourage interaction between inside and outside; the guest room in the middle has the most open view towards the courtyard with a full height glass extension that works as the ‘viewing balcony’; the guest room at the end of the courtyard has the highest degree of privacy that a bathtub is placed adjacent to the windows. The guest room on the second floor is also equipped with a bathtub, located next to a full height window with full view of the adjacent mountain that visitors can have an unique bathing experience surrounded by nature.
▲平面生成示意动图，layout concept diagram gif ©OEO
▲正房最外侧的客房，interior view of first floor guest room ©孙海霆
▲正房最内侧的客房，interior view of first floor guest room ©孙海霆
In this project, we continued to explore the possibilities in renovation of residential buildings. We tackled it with a relaxed mood and a serious attitude, and tried to find the harmony between destruction and construction. We tried to retain the existing spatial form, material expression and relationship with the nature, and to give users a more spiritual experience of rural living in different seasons.
▲鸟瞰图，aerial view ©孙海霆
▲小白楼与正房改造后的立面，relationship between the converted and new build ©孙海霆
▲相互连续的公共空间，interconnection between spaces ©孙海霆
▲小白楼一角，cantilevered roof ©孙海霆
▲在门厅内看入口院子，view towards entrance courtyard from the lobby ©孙海霆
▲在正房最内侧客房看院子，view towards main courtyard from within the first floor guest room ©孙海霆
▲正房中间客房圆形梳洗镜中的画面，view through the circular mirror ©OEO
▲小白楼二层客房圆形梳洗镜中的画面，view through the circular mirror ©OEO
▲首层平面图，first floor plan ©OEO
▲ △二层平面图，second floor plan ©OEO
Project name：Mountain courtyard；
Design：Open Edge Office；
Date of design: June -July ,2020；
Date of construction: August – December, 2020；
Leader designer & Team: Wang Yue, Han Shukai, Simon Lee；
Project location:Badaoheling, Huairou District, Beijing;
Gross Built Area (square meters):180㎡；
Photo credits：Sun Haiting ，OEO；
Structure consultant：Wu Xia ；