multifunctional complex No. 37 Luanqing Hutong | The Plan
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multifunctional complex No. 37 Luanqing Hutong

rethinking the open space

Urbanus Architecture & Design

multifunctional complex No. 37 Luanqing Hutong
By Li Xiangning -

The Qianmen East District on the southeast side of Tiananmen Square encompasses Caochang Shitiao to the east, Qianmen East Road to the west, the Chongwenmen West Waterfront to the north, and the Cha Shi Jie to the south. The dense maze of streets and lanes that gradually developed into southern Beijing’s thriving commercial quarter is now one of the oldest districts of the city. However, unlike the uniform grid layout of the courtyards in the central area of Beijing, this site is impacted by the natural topography of the nearby Sanli River. No. 37 Luanqing Hutong is located in this district in proximity to West Damochang Street. West Damochang Street is considered the starting point of the Qianmen East District, the location of many stone craftsmen and their stores during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Luanqing Hutong Street is about 330 m long, and 4-5 m wide. The surrounding urban fabric has largely retained its historical appearance. The governmental masterplan for the regeneration, remediation and renewal of this listed area, the “Beijing Qianmen Historical and Cultural Area Protection Plan for the East District Old City Repair and Renovation Project”, is being gradually put in place. New forms of business and industry have been introduced, and public facilities and residential buildings improved. Seven architects were invited to restore and repair the seven courtyards between West Damochang Street and Luanqing Hutong. Urbanus was commissioned to renovate No. 37 Luanqing Hutong. From a certain perspective, the courtyard space and axis are exemplars of Beijing’s traditional courtyard architecture. After several changes down the years, the three buildings comprising No. 37 Luanqing Hutong - the east and west wing houses and the southern house - were combined to form an irregular courtyard on account of the east and the west house not being completely symmetrical. When Urbanus received the brief, the courtyard was in ruins and the central...

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