For Beijing, hutongs are significant generators for the city’s vitality They’re chaotic and energetic at the same time In order to attract young people to hutongs We need to make an effort Federico and Nicola are my partners They’re both Italians They came to China in around 2011 Wishing to experience the authentic and hard-core life in Beijing In the Dashilan neighborhood Cha’er Hutong where we’re located is a quiet spot And it’s also the closest hutong to Tian’anmen Square The yard was used as a small factory in the 70s to 80s We add a wooden roof The sloped diagonal stays actually form reinforcement to the wooden roof As for the wall, after we remove its exterior coating It shows an amazing texture of mottled black bricks The hutong project involves the biggest siheyuan we’ve worked on It covers an area of over 800m2 There’s a church to its west And a small school to its east It used to function as a coal bunker for the whole community No light could get in Then we renovate a comprehensive office building Areas of various functions, in different sizes and with different height are embedded Some are on the first floor and some are hung on the second floor Three courtyards are made To draw necessary lighting and ventilation into our working space And also to bring in the shades of the old locust trees And the view of the iconic gable roof of the church next door Through refraction and reflection The black path is a light structure made of steel plates It winds to connect the private areas On the second floor And the sling bridge also becomes scenery on the first floor Finally to the southernmost area You can walk up to the open space To gain a broader vision and some fresh air A siheyuan is actually the smallest living cell in northern cities And hutongs are veins of cities connecting siheyuans Since 2013 We’ve renovated about 8 or 9 siheyuans and they are all in Beijing In hutongs you can trace history to multiple levels After residence and industry gradually disappear Our emerging service industry is going to play a new role in siheyuans