For the Beijing Design Week WAI responded to an invitation to rethink the Dashila District through specific architectural interventions that could renovate the area.
The result is the Housetelier, which reuses the courtyard typology of the Chinese hutong and converts it into a mixture of atelier, house, gallery and office.
Can architecture be an urban catalyst? How to regenerate an urban zone with interventions of specific forms of architecture?
By designing a space based on the three points of work, exhibit and live, the Housetelier creates the ideal conditions to attract creative enterprises that could enhance the urban context in the Dashila District both by contributing to its micro economy and by fomenting cultural and intellectual exchange through activities and events.
Conceived as an architectural prototype for urban re-development, the Housetelier integrates office space, gallery space, and living space in a seamless architectural strategy. By creating spaces that are visually related to a central courtyard, but that could also be accessed independently, the Housetelier could be used by up to three different tenants simultaneously.
The first level of the building situates at each of the four sides of the courtyard an atelier, service space (kitchen, storage, and restrooms), office space, and gallery space in a sequence of spaces that relate visually and spatially.
The Second Level of the building includes a residential apartment whose main spaces are arranged around the central courtyard.
Treated with a translucent polycarbonate main façade, the Housetelier looks radically neutral during the day, while it turns into a kaleidoscopic lantern during the night, inviting those who wander around to discover the contents of the building.