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Beijing Courtyard Home

Formerly two independent courtyards, these were merged together to create a double-courtyard home for a German expat family. When first discovered these rural buildings were in a state of disrepair, with only the most basic amenities in place. The client’s requirements were for a contemporary family home which still maintained the rustic charm of the original building style. Plumbing, drainage and wiring had to be entirely redone and new gas boilers, AC units and underfloor heating added. In order to bring the building up to code much of the original structures had to be taken down and rebuilt. Wherever possible the layout was designed according to the traditional principles of a double-courtyard.


New and reclaimed grey bricks were used for the courtyard floor and walls and a mixture of existing and reclaimed clay barrel-and-trough tiles with decorative caps for the new roofs. Tile carvings found under the eaves were recreated by local craftsmen. In the first courtyard a ‘ghost’ or ‘screen wall’ was added in front of the main entrance. This freestanding wall protects the courtyard from outside view while promoting good Feng Shui by preventing bad spirits from entering the home.


Residential, Building Restoration 


Beijing, China



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