Skip to Main Content
Specs logo

Design Trends

Extreme Odyssey Home Focus: Twisting Courtyard

Continuing with our Color Trends 2019, we are focusing on designs that explore the color and design of the "Extreme Odyssey" trend. Designs within this realm attempt to address the influences of technology, context and vernaculars on architecture, as well as challenge conventional architectural practice, explore original paths of thought and develop innovative design tools and methodologies.


Twisting Courtyard

Completed by ARCHSTUDIO, "Twisting Courtyard" is a renovated residence in Paizihutong, Beijing. The property was once a Siheyuan (courtyard house) with a single entry. It has been turned into an attractive, urban public space within Beijing’s inner city.


Twisting Courtyard

ARCHSTUDIO's design aims to create an open and active living atmosphere. Based on the existing layout of the courtyard, the undulated gray brick floor connects indoor and outdoor spaces of different height and extends to the inside the house — twisting into walls and roof, creating dynamic connection between in and out. What hides within the curved wall are necessary auxiliary spaces such as kitchen, toilet and warehouse, while reception and dining areas are shown outside the curved facade and connect to the courtyard as a whole.



The small yard is mainly used as an urban public space, while maintaining the possibility of functioning as a residence. Even more, four houses can be rented for public events such as recreation, gatherings and meetings — or could serve as a family hostel with three bedrooms. Integrated furniture is used to enable the flexible switch of space scene by inserting boxes into the existing wood frames of the east and west wings.







For the building type "Siheyuan," the courtyard is the core of living fun. This project makes micro-adjustments that change the temperament of the courtyard space, while meeting multiple use requirements without changing the existing housing structure, making the traditional courtyard up to date.


Aerial view of courtyard

All Photographs Used with Permission. All photos courtesy of ARCHSTUDIO