This is one of the most impressive renovations to ever cross our desk. Beijing-based architects META – Project worked absolute magic on an abandoned alleyway, turning the bleak space into a multi-use entertainment area for the nature-loving homeowner. Once a long-forgotten hutong, Courtyard by the West Sea is now an open “extraverted” space that is a perfect spot for enjoying both peaceful solitude and lively family gatherings.
The owner of the home asked the architects to design an open-air space that could accommodate a variety of uses, including a tea house and entertainment space. Using the local custom of “meandering in the hutongs” as inspiration, the team began to recreate the space as a private, but welcoming courtyard.
The original site was quite narrow, but the architects opened the width by removing a temporary structure to the east and in the middle of the space. Inspired by the home owner’s daily routine of slowly strolling around the property, the project evolved into a dynamic “three-step-courtyard”.
The courtyard space was built by local artisans using locally-sourced materials such as constructed volcanic rock, catalpa wood, and tube tile. These unique materials were chosen to contrast with the privacy wall made of grey tiles, which pays homage to traditional Chinese architecture. Green vegetation is integrated into the design in various forms, from the patches of green lawn to the bushes and trees located throughout the space.