Humble Hostel

Humble Hostel

Cao Pu studio
Beijing, China | View Map

Social Housing
Cao Youtao

Humble Hostel

Cao Pu studio as Architects

Nowadays in Beijing’shutong,most of the courtyards properties are dividedup into mix occupants instead of one big family. Everyone is trying to occupy more space, thus the shared communal space in the middle has shrink down to one walking aisle. The yard was already takenup by small constructions built by the neighbors, bicycle parking and piles of junk, leaving a tiny spacebarelyto walk through. This is a very common situation of the living environment in Beijing’s Hutong yard.

The purpose of the design is to ‘give back’ space to the communal courtyard and provide space for its neighbors. The solution was to install a sliding wall that’s made up of windows, door and storage cupboards on the front of the hostel. The wall can be slid back and forth, so that the proportion of indoor and outdoor space can be changed based on the need. When there are few guests at the hostel, some space can be given back to the courtyard by sliding the wall in.

The adaptable design creates some needed breathing space within a chaotic hutong yard life. The ‘given back’ area can be used for public leisure, a tearoom, a chess room, a bar, or for the neighbors to store their bicycles.

Humble Hostel is located in Beijing's historic Dashilarneighborhood – one of the city's few remaining areas of ancient alleyways and courtyards known as hutongs.This 12 square meters roomintegrated 3 beds, a workspace and a small bathroom. When pushed in, it could give a maximum of 5 square meters to the yard for temporary use.

With more rooms being built up, more space will be given back to the courtyard. As the living environment improves, theaging community could also be infused with a vibrant neighborhood relation.

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