It is always a challenge when considering heritage how to respect the past while accommodating the new. The houtongs in Beijing are now facing the predicament of a modernising city. Traditional society and lifestyles have changed. Consumer demands are different.
So the traditional courtyard house is being reinterpreted…and in some instances modernism and tradition are facing each other quite literally.
However, there is much to be gained from understanding the tradition of the courtyard house and the patterns of life which gave rise to it. The garden of the courtyard house seems to have been predominantly a place for trees.. but perhaps also for lawn?