Chinese architect Zhang Ke and his firm, the multidisciplinary studio Zao/Standardarchitecture that won an Aga Khan Award for Architecture last year, have designed a 30-square-meter (approximately 323 square feet) hostel within a hutong neighborhood in Beijing as part of their ongoing Micro Hutong Renewal project.
A series of tiny rooms constructed from unfinished concrete and featuring an entirely glazed wall are staggered around a courtyard in an effort to, as they told Dezeen, “search for possibilities of creating ultra-small scale social housing within the limitations of super-tight traditional hutong of Beijing."
The hostel comprises a main floor, where a kitchen, dining space, two bathrooms, and two corridors are located. A ladder leads to the second level, where a bedroom, teahouse, study, and terrace are found. These rooms, with their glazed sections, protrude into the courtyard at varying angles that optimize light and space, both inside and outside.
The concrete walls, which are poured in situ and cast against wooden boards, are darkened by Chinese ink and match the wooden floors. This mix of materials complement the diverse materials of the hutong neighborhood itself.