In 2012 TAO moved to a small courtyard house in Hutong area of Beijing due to the demolition of factory when previous office was located. The physical space in courtyard is little tight for the office, however the courtyard offers sky, tree, sunlight, breeze, ground and roof to us and creates a pleasant and warm atmosphere for a working environment. Thus setting free more space in mind. The house is not so old, but its details give an ancient feeling—window frames, inscribed board, Queti, color painting, and moss on brick wall. These things make the time slower, reminding us slow down the working pace. The vivid color and rich details in courtyard house also tells the fact: architecture is not abstract. It is exactly the sensation and memory to these details, colors, and atmosphere make the real architecture alive.
Courtyard house is a typical introversive space with its boundary defined. We say that by living here physical boundary will help us not to expand blindly. Well the quiet courtyard can help us to introspect more. In a time while one is always distracted by outside noise, the introspection to heart is even more important. The intimate scale of courtyard shortens the distance and makes the communication among teams closer. Its dispersive layout makes the corners for independent working possible. The only problem of courtyard house is lack of storage space. When more and more models produced in studio, we may need to dig into ground.
Location: Beijing, China
Program: office, meeting room, storage etc.
Architects: Trace Architecture Office (TAO)
Principal architect: HUA Li
Design team: HUA Li, Chen Kai
Floor area: 300 sq. m.
Photographer: HUA Li, Zhang Zhiming