Courtyard at the White Pagoda Temple


Baitasi Sharing Courtyard

As a result of the successful joint studio between the Tsinghua University EPMA and National University of Singapore classes, we were offered the opportunity to design a Beijing Design Week 2017 pavilion, and exhibition within a restored hutong courtyard in the Baitasi area of Beijing. Using the studio research as a starting point for the design, we created the project with the involvement of the whole class.

View to the pagoda

The Historic City

The project was situated within a restored hutong courtyard in the Baitasi area of Beijing, right in the historic core of the city.

Baitasi Sharing Courtyard.

Aerial view of Baitasi

White Pagoda Temple

The ‘baitasi’ or ‘white pagoda temple’ is an ancient fixture of the skyline within Beijing’s historic city center. The buddhist stupa of the temple rises above the surrounding neighborhood.

Historical image of Baitasi

Site connectivity diagram

The “Sharing Cities” Studio

The “Sharing Cities” studio aims to provide solutions to emerging concept of sharing, and responds to the idea of public space sharing and sustainable urban development from social, economic and humanitarian perspectives.

Summer at the pavilion

Collaborative Process

The studio emphasized a holistic and collaborative approach. The students combined their research and ideas into a singular design intervention for the courtyard.

Students and teachers during a workshop

View of the pagoda from the viewing platform

Exhibition inside one of the renovated rooms

Sectional perspective

New & old structures

Courtyard concept sketch

From Studio to Construction Drawings

Within our office, together with class representatives, we developed the project concepts into complete and realistic construction material.

Seating corners around the pavilion

Before & After

The existing courtyard was badly dilapidated and was restored to its former state by the local government prior to inviting us to exhibit.

The courtyard before the removal of all illegal temporary structures

Opening day of the pavilion

Early scale model image

The new structure blending into the old

The courtyard during the construction of the pavilion

From Drawings to Built

Construction on site was a unique opportunity for students to see their designs built after only recently conceptualizing the ideas on paper.

During and after construction is completed

Beijing Design Week

The courtyard was unveiled at the opening of Beijing Design Week 2017 and visited by countless visitors over the course of the week.

Martijn & Huixin presenting the pavilion during the opening of Beijing Design Week 2017

Martijn & Huixin welcoming a party of leaders to the installation during the opening of Beijing Design Week 2017

White paint and timber stairs against the backdrop of the renovated courtyard

The neighboring children enjoying the temporary playground

Interactive Corners

Our design was inspired by the ability for people to explore around the courtyard in three dimensions, including quiet corners and opening amphitheaters.

Students to Space to Community

The courtyard addition was especially enjoyed by the surrounding residents as an addition, albeit temporary, to their neighborhood.

View to the pagoda

Members of the workshop class at the pavilion

Dismantling and Re-use

All the elements of the Baitasi Sharing Courtyard pavilion were dismantled after the design week and re-used or recycle. Many of the elements, the furniture in particular, were designed to be re-used at the School of Architecture by the same students who designed the pavilion.

Dusk on top of the viewing platform

Team: Martijn de Geus, Simon Henstra, Huixin Loo, Victor Tee, Han Zhang

Project Year: 2017

Location: Beijing, China