Unlike original projects, with all the benefits of a blank slate, a renovation project must deal with various heritages spread throughout. Some elements are going to be blessings in disguise, while others will limit the architect's work and force them to work around them. For a renovation for Hutong House in Beijing, ARCHSTUDIO took no shortcuts to display their mastery of old-school minimalism with lush contemporary sensibilities.
Two elements are key to understanding this renovation project: first is the original dark interior, due to the low efficiency of the existing windows; secondly is the integration of all four floors, a challenge turned into a solution. For the lighting project, the first order of business was to build a very clever skylight on top of the stairs, consequently solving the original issue and bringing forward a new feature to play off the chosen colour, the almighty white. The main stairs are made with very thin steel, instilling lightness both visually and to the experience of actually using the stairs, thanks to the perforated rails.
The interior design boasts a lot of personality, with raw wood present in almost every room as a functional element and to add texture to the white cube; furthermore, it serves as the perfect introduction to the wood grids spread throughout the house. Seamlessly adapting a visual feature as a response to the owner’s wishes and daily life, a clear example of interesting minimalism serving great aesthetics and function equally.
Photography by Xia Zhi, Zhang Lin Han and Wang Ning.