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Hutong Skyscraper in Beijing

By:  | June - 24 - 2010

Designed by Tang Chun Kit

Hutongs are clusters of traditional courtyard residences (siheyuan) characterized by narrow streets and alleys most commonly found in Beijing, China.  Hutongs remained the most important residential typology until recent years. Its spatial organization promotes interaction between the residents and creates strong communal bonds. Hutongs are very environmentally friendly and energy efficient; its narrow streets provide shelter and natural ventilation during the hot summers and preserve heat during harsh winters.  Water recollection systems are also carefully integrated into the architectural language.

Unfortunately, the majority of Beijing’s Hutongs have been demolished and replaced by hundreds of poorly designed skyscrapers totally detached from the existing urban fabric and without consideration to the environment.  The main concept of the ‘Quadrangle Skyscraper’ is to create a vertical Hutong with housing units in multiple sizes and outdoor recreational areas. The uses of natural materials, thick walls, and cross ventilation are some of the passive energy systems incorporated in the design.

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