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Hutong Bubble 218 began as a fairly conventional restoration of a 300-square-metre hutong (alley) house dating back to the Qing Dynasty. MAD Architects reappointed the grey bricks, replaced the windows and restored the wood-filigree panels of the inner courtyard. Then the firm introduced a completely novel intervention: a duo of teardrop-like structures on the roof, each clad in polished stainless steel. The team made no efforts to disguise these bubbles — which contain living rooms — or blend them in with the existing structures. Instead, it drew a distinct line between the old and the new, suggesting that both have value. The work conveys reverence for history and excitement for the future.

Project Hutong Bubble 218 Location Beijing, China Firm MAD Architects, China Team Ma Yansong, Dang Qun and Yosuke Hayano with He Wei, Li Yuanhao, Shang Li, Fu Changrui, Wang Tao, Dmitry Seregin and Cesar D. Rey Photo Tian Fangfang

Hutong Bubble 218

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