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Drawings, Cai Guo-qiang Courtyard House Renovation (2006–2007), Beijing, China 中國北京蔡國強四合院改造(2006至2007年)繪圖

For the artist Cai Guo-Qiang’s residence and studio in Beijing, the architect Zhu Pei renovated an old siheyuan, or courtyard house. The project introduced a metallic box and restored the existing structures using locally sourced materials and construction techniques, with collaboration from local craftsmen. Surrounded by a wall, the project includes three buildings separated by two courtyards. An entry sequence begins at the main gate, flanked by staff quarters, and leads to a walkway at the eastern edge which allows access to both courtyards. Covered walkways, hexagonal windows, and spaces at varying scales modulate the experience. The northernmost building contains two bedrooms with restrooms separated by a living space and tea room, layering wooden screens and the exposed timber frame. The middle building contains a living room and a kitchen enclosed by white plaster walls. The new volume on the southern side, made of glass and metal, is a flexible, multipurpose space and studio with operable shutters; its scale mimics the existing buildings but its reflective materiality and modernist form—including a flat roof instead of a pitched one—assert a new identity. As increasing urban redevelopment pressures in Beijing lead to the demolition of historic hutongs, or alleyways, Zhu Pei demonstrates a sensitive approach to heritage preservation by juxtaposing old and new in a manner that is respectful but oriented towards the future.
This series is part of the Zhu Pei Drawings.


Object Number
Archival Level
Related Constituents
Studio Zhu-Pei (Archive Creator)
Object Count
2 items
Credit Line
M+, Hong Kong. Gift of Studio Pei-Zhu, 2013
© Studio Pei-Zhu

Archival Context

Zhu Pei Drawings, CA7 Drawings, Cai Guo-qiang Courtyard House Renovation (2006–2007), Beijing, China, CA7/4