In hutong, building forms are not rejected by people’s behavior patterns. Residents in those courtyard houses instinctively extend their private life to the street. They embrace those spaces as their living room, their laundry room, and their nursery. Residents chat with their neighbor, childrens are seen running around freely, personal objects are moved around, changing according to daily uses. Private and public activities occurs simultaneously, echoing with each other.


Roofscape focuses on the large amount of building extensions in the hutong of the inner city in Beijing. The roofs of traditional courtyard houses become the second ground for the new constructions. The spaces are self constructed by the local residents based on their daily needs. In contrast to the horizontality of the original face of hutong, the various spaces and structures of the roofscape create a verticality. Occupying the roof forms a new kind of urban expansion under the background of increasingly limited and highly dense urban environment in hutong.

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