ABITARE China #34 HUTONG /Adaptation

《ABITARE 住》'Hutong/adaptation' | Guest-edited by MovingCities, 2013

In June 2013, ABITARE China magazine invited MovingCities to guest edit its summer issue on the topic of (re)Design Heritage – Strategies of Urban Renewal and the Chinese City. We took this opportunity to address one of the most urgent issues to discuss when dealing with the urban, architectural, cultural, social and economical development of the city of Beijing 北京: heritage, preservation, adaptive strategies and the hutong 胡同. Hence we came up with HUTONG /Adaptation as our unifying theme. Check this post for more background; read our Preface and TOC or order a copy of《Abitare》#34 [September 2013].

From the Beijing HUTONG /AdaptationPreface

Under the keyword HUTONG, MovingCities presents a volatile architectural, urban and cultural condition, concerning the transformation of a local Beijing spatial culture. Let us call this HUTONG/adaptation; so to encompass the multitude of strategies, visions and reflections flourishing in this urban tissue. Beyond the demand or desire for preservation, ideas and visions of renovation, revitalization, occupation, relocation, legislation, urbanization and gentrification are explored. The content is organized in three complementary sections, identifying locations and actors influencing the perception and planning of these urban areas. Firstly, by looking back – REWIND – to reflect and remember; secondly, investigating and touching upon the present – NOW – so as to feel a possible future, and finally – DASHILAR – a complex neighborhood case study.

在“胡同”这个关键词的引导下,MovingCities展示出了一个多变的北京和其中的文化现状,关注到北京空间文化的转变。我们把这个叫做 “胡同社区共生”,包罗各个层面的策略、远景和对繁荣发展的北京的深度思考。除了保护北京的需求和渴望以外,《Abitare住》还探究了改造、复兴、占用、回迁、立法、城市化和贵族化等理念和视角。分别用三个章节来说明,把对影响认知、产生影响的部分街区参与者和特定的城区的改造方案联系起来。首先,通过“回顾”来说明情况并加深记忆;其次,调研和了解“现状”,感知未来的发展可能;最后,用人口密集和复杂的街区——“大栅栏”,作为案例进行分析。

Organized and promoted by Rizzoli China and Abitare China, the magazine’s launch & presentation happened in collaboration with Beijing Design Week 2013. As part of a series of initiatives in the run up to BJDW 2013, this project represents a joint effort to bring to public fruition some of the thematic strands and key areas of investigation featured throughout its program and remain central to its ongoing commitment to shape a sustainable environment for design discourse and practice in China.

HUTONG /Adaptation wishes to approach this much debated issue by bringing together a great variety of local and international professionals from the conservation/preservation design and architecture fields who have long worked with this subject matter, therefore forming visions and highlighting proposed solutions which need be confronted and divulged for/with a wider public. Ultimately, to broaden awareness and responsibility for the common environment, its preservation, nourishment and capacity.

《ABITARE 住》#34 HUTONG 胡同 | Guest-edited by MovingCities, 2013

As a starting point to explore the current state of affairs of the hutong 胡同, an underlying objective to guest-edit this special issue of Abitare China, we investigated the context-, cultural- and urban-specific decade-long transformation – in discourse, construction and destruction – of Beijing’s historical tissue. Wishing to further the ongoing debate on design heritage preservation, as well on Beijing’s hutong (in)tangible culture- thereby highlighting specific cases and places:

The once coherent visual and architectural identity of Beijing’s hutong has been largely erased, replaced, and at times invaded by a cacophony of architectural interventions; big, small, fixed and instant structures are mixed together. Today, selected gentrified and historical areas are in close proximity to pockets of tranquility, showing how modernity and tradition coexist within Beijing’s second ring road. But how can this present set of conditions be considered as an opportunity to forge new design solutions?

胡同,曾经与北京浑然一体,彰显着这座城市的建筑特性;现在,却在嘈杂的建筑改造中大面积的消亡、被取代或被侵占,各种大大小小、整齐划一的速建 工程在各处交织着。今天,在北京的二环以里,一些经过筛选的、贵族化了的老城区还保留着宁静祥和的气质, 告诉人们现代文明和传统文化如何共存共生。面对这样的现状,我们是否应该考虑如何把握机遇,为胡同找到一种新的改造方案呢?


《ABITARE 住》#34: HUTONG/Adaptation

  • Special edition with guest editors Bert de Muynck & Mónica Carriço / MovingCities, and bilingual readings, in Chinese and English; 130 pages; RMB30 《ABITARE 住》HUTONG 胡同 | INDEX 人物
  • 《ABITARE 住》HUTONG 胡同 | PEOPLE 目录 writers/contributors

MovingCities  (Bert de Muynck & Mónica Carriço 伯德孟  和 莫妮卡·卡瑞苏); Wang Jun 王军MichaelMeyer 迈克尔·麦尔Tibet Heritage Fund (THF) / Hirako Yutaka 平子丰; Laura Trombetta Panigadi 劳拉; Matthew Hu 胡新宇Hua Xinmin 华新民Chao Yan 晁艳Zhang Jinqi 张金起[META: HUTONGS] [超胡同] (Wang Shuo 王硕 & Andrew Bryant); Liang Jingyu 梁井宇/approach architecture studio 场域建筑 ; Kenya Hara 原研哉 /NDC.

[featuring interviews, texts, projects, illustration & photography … by/with]
Anu LeinonenVega Wang 王在实Thomas SauvinJérémie Descamps; Rania Ho & Wang Wei 何颖宜 和 王卫 / Arrow Factory 箭厂空间Markus M Schneider & Wu Fei 吴飞 / The Other PlaceWang Lian 王莲Lin Shu 林舒.
ZhangZi’an 张子安 /Baodu Zhang restaurant 爆肚张Duan Zhao 段昭 /H Cafe 红叶拾楠咖啡.
Prof. Zhang Jie 张杰 /School of Architecture of Tsinghua University 清华大学建筑学院教授Wang Youyin 王优银 / Beijing Shengyun Law Firm 北京圣运律师事务所Dai Yue 黛悦 /Representative of a local government 政府公职人员.
Sun Peng 孙鹏Lulu Le Li 李乐; Juan van Wassenhove 温守诺 / The TempleZai Zao Studio 在造工作室 (Zhang Bo  & Zhang Qingfan 张波 和 张清帆);  David Yin 尹大为 /King’s Joy Vegetarian Restaurant 京兆尹素食餐厅老板.
Dashilar Project – Beijing Guang’An Holdings & Beijing Dashilar Investment Limited 北京广安控股有限公司及旗下的北京大栅栏投资有限责任公司 – Jia Rong 贾蓉 (Associate General Manger 副总经理), Jiang Cen 姜岑 (Commercial Planning 策划), Neill Mclean GaddesSun Siwei 孙思维.
ZhangGuoqing 张国庆 (Tianpai Shoe Art Sudio 天派鞋艺工作室); Cui Yong 崔勇 (Zhengyang Bookstore 正阳书局); Michelle Garnaut (Captial M 前门M餐厅).
Aric Chen 陈伯康 (BJDW 2011 & 2012 
Creative Director 2011和2012年北京国际设计周的创意总监); Beatrice Leanza 毕月 (BJDW 2013 Creative Director 担任2013年北京国际设计周创意总监).
Clémence Pybaro & Thomas BatzenschlagerYves Chan You 陈启智Thomas H. Hahn.
>> see 《ABITARE 住》MovingCities Table of Contents (TOC)


The hutong’s way of life is today understood as an endangered aspect of Beijing and of Chinese cultures that needs to be conserved and/or adapted to contemporary needs. 

The debate on the future of the hutong – and on what and what not to preserve – is one that haunts Beijing since the mid 1980s, when heritage and preservation became parameters and subject of policies in the urban planning of the city.

《ABITARE 住》HUTONG 胡同 | Michael Meyer's The Last Days of Old Beijing 《ABITARE 住》HUTONG 胡同 | THF on Beijing Hutong Conservation Study 《ABITARE 住》HUTONG 胡同 | Beijing's pailou 《ABITARE 住》HUTONG 胡同 | Dialogue with Professionals: Hua Xinmin   《ABITARE 住》HUTONG 胡同 | Hutong Adapatation - Essay by MovingCities 《ABITARE 住》HUTONG 胡同 | Beijing's CHP \ 'Anatomy of a Chinese City' 《ABITARE 住》HUTONG 胡同 | Neighborhood Talks with 10 Beijinger's 《ABITARE 住》HUTONG 胡同 | Gulou & Building New Lives by Sun Peng 《ABITARE 住》HUTONG 胡同 | Hutong Architecture School by Lulu Le Li 《ABITARE 住》HUTONG 胡同 | DASHILAR 大栅栏 《ABITARE 住》HUTONG 胡同 | Dashilar & Dashilar Project [former Dashila(b)] 《ABITARE 住》HUTONG 胡同 | Interview with Liang Jingyu/approach architecture studio [Dashila(b) founder] 《ABITARE 住》HUTONG 胡同 | Dashilar & BJDW [by Beatrice Leanza, BJDW2013] 《ABITARE 住》HUTONG 胡同 | Dashilar Visual Identity by Kenya Hara / NDC

《Abitare住》HUTONG /Adaptation 胡同社区共生

《ABITARE 住》#34:  HUTONG  – guest-edited by MovingCities [Bert de Muynck & Mónica Carriço]

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HUTONG/Adaptation 胡同社区共生

About ABITARE China
ABITARE seeks for cutting edge design, architecture and art project, all seen from a new perspective. Based on the 50-year-old classic magazine Abitare specializing in culture and architecture, ABITAREChina always follows a characteristic, literary writing style, and covers in depth events and stories about architecture, design, culture and people in a lively and interesting way. Abitare China a cross-media communication endorsed by Rizzoli Beijing in 2008, the main goal of which is to promote design culture and bring design to everyday life.
About MovingCities
MovingCities is a Shanghai-based think-tank investigating the role of architecture and urbanism in shaping the contemporary city. Established in 2007 by Bert de Muynck [BE] and Mónica Carriço [PT], MovingCities publishes, collaborates talks and walks, and operate as embedded architects. During the past years MovingCities has conducted research, lectures, creative consultancy and workshops in China, Israel, Sweden, Netherlands, Finland, Indonesia and Italy.
MovingCities wishes to thank the many individuals who contributed their valuable time and expertise through the interviews, texts, photography and projects that form the foundation of this issue. 感谢:MovingCities在此对接受采访、提供文字、图片以及项目案例的诸位表示由衷的感谢,感谢他们对于胡同专辑所付出的宝贵时间及专业建树。

6 Replies to “ABITARE China #34 HUTONG /Adaptation”

  1. Sinapolis* recently posted “Regain d’intérêt pour les Hutong…(‘Renewed interest in the Hutong…’ 13 December 2013) featuring Abitare China ‘Hutong/adaptation’ issue, guest-edited by MovingCities; the Global Times article “First Beijing hutong museum preserves city’s history(18 October 2013); the Beijing Cultural Heritage Protection Center feature “Dilemmas of the Hutong Residents: The Homes They Lost(25 September 2013); and Jonah Kessel’s project on Vimeo ‘The Fate of Old Beijing -The Vanishing Hutongs (2011).
    *Sinapolis est une agence d’études et de ressources sur la ville et les environnements construits chinois, basée à Pékin.

  2. The WallStreetJournal (23 Jan 2014) features Juan van Wassenhove’s 温守诺 /The Temple 东景缘, on “A Beijing Temple Restored – A forgotten Qing Dynasty temple has been restored and transformed into a luxury hotel filled with luminous art—including China’s only James Turrell installation“.
    Read also MovingCities interview on ABITARE China’s #34 HUTONG p.88.

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